7 Outdoor Accessories We Can’t Live Without

Outdoor Accessories

We achieved the al fresco dining aesthetic you see above by combining our Giardino Rectangular Teak Outdoor Table with the Marina Indoor/Outdoor Rug.

As the warm breeze of summer beckons, it’s finally time to turn our attention to decorating with outdoor accessories.

Regardless of your outdoor space, deck, or patio area, transforming your backyard into a haven of style and relaxation is an absolute must. That’s why, after a lot of research & brainstorming on our end, we’ve organized a list of our favorite outdoor accessories we truly can’t live without to help you in your own outdoor decorating journey.

1. Outdoor Rugs

We used the St. Tropez Indoor/Outdoor Rug combined with

We created this relaxing backyard space using the St. Tropez Indoor/Outdoor Rug combined with anchor pieces from our Bermuda collection.

Outdoor rugs not only add a touch of style but also define and anchor your outdoor decor. The St. Tropez Indoor/Outdoor Rug we’re using above, for instance, provides a seamless transition between the outdoor furniture and concrete finish below it.

Don’t just opt for a normal indoor rug, however: We recommend opting for rugs specifically designed for outdoor use made of durable materials that can withstand everything mother nature will inevitably throw at it. If you don’t know where to start, check out our rug buying guide (specifically the living or dining room advice) before shopping to make sure you choose an area rug that complements your overall outdoor decor theme.

2. Cozy Outdoor Seating

Outdoor Cushions and Pillows

This back porch space was accomplished by facing two of our Sunday Porch Swings together above the beautiful Marnay Indoor/Outdoor Rug.

We believe outdoor seating areas should be just as cozy and comfortable as your indoor living room, which is why comfy outdoor cushions or pillows are paramount for any outdoor space.

For starters, invest in quality outdoor furniture pieces that combine style and comfort—like our Santa Clara or Amalfi collections—and consider adding unique seating options such as sunbrella fabric lounge chairs, cozy porch swings, or inviting outdoor sectionals. Just like your indoor living room, be sure to pick the perfect pillows that accent your outdoor furniture arrangement and build out your decorating accents from there.

3. Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor String Lights

Relax under the stars with outdoor furniture from the Navio outdoor Collection, which pairs perfect with our Jakar Indoor/Outdoor Rug.

Does the sun keep setting before the outdoor entertaining is over? Extend the enjoyment of your outdoor space into the late evening with well-placed outdoor lighting—no electrician required!

Create a magical ambiance by draping string lights overhead on adjustable string light stands, placing rechargeable LED lamps on side tables, or even using good old-fashioned candles in beautiful oversized lanterns. As we covered in our outdoor lighting guide, incorporating a variety of light sources will add a warm & inviting glow to any outdoor area.

4. Versatile Side Tables

Outdoor Side Tables

This Amalfi four-piece sectional and round coffee table work perfectly with our versatile side tables.

Outdoor side tables are not only functional for lounging but also offer an opportunity to showcase your personal style. They can also serve as a convenient spot for drinks, books, or decorative items, adding both functionality and flair to your outdoor setting.

We’ve found our outdoor Kincaid Martini Table to be the perfect blend of style and practicality, giving outdoor hosting poolside or on big sectionals a whole new meaning (plus, you can use it for indoor drink-holding purposes too!)

5. Shade Solutions

Instead of worrying about re-applying your sunblock every few hours, shield yourself and your guests from the scorching summer sun by incorporating simple shade solutions throughout your outdoor space.

If you have a covered patio, you can’t go wrong by installing beautiful drapery panels in areas where the mid day sun might be hitting. Conversely, large auto-tilt umbrellas are a great option for non-covered outdoor spaces like decks, gardens, and poolside lounges.

6. Outdoor Dining Essentials

Outdoor Dining Set

Our Madison Teak Rectangular Dining Table is a practical option for poolside or al fresco dining occasions.

If you enjoy alfresco dining on a cool summer evening, we highly recommend investing in stylish outdoor dining sets such as our Scalloped Melamine Plates or Gingham Melamine Accent Plates for more than just heir aesthetics.

Unlike plastic, weather-resistant materials like wicker or melamine are durable all season long without feeling cheap in quality. Complete the look with accenting table linens or chair cushions designed around your dinnerware set of choice.

7. Greenery and Planters

Outdoor Planters

Our Toulon Planters shown above come in a wide array of sizes and styles, making them a stylish option for coordinating greenery across your outdoor spaces.

Finally, don’t forget to add a touch of lush to your outdoor space with greenery accents and beautiful overflowing planters.

Incorporate overflowing potted plants, hanging baskets, or faux boxwood planters in your outdoor corners or tabletops to bring life and color to your space. Of course, if you choose real plants over faux options, be sure to consider the amount of sun an area receives before shopping.

Outdoor Dinnerware

If you’re wanting to create beautiful outdoor spaces, look no further than our Amalfi Dining collection.

With these seven essential outdoor accessories, we’re confident you can transform your outdoor space into a stylish and inviting oasis. So, get ready to embrace the beauty of nature as you unleash your inner decorator and embark on creating your dream outdoor space!

Find exactly what you’re looking for by shopping Ballard Designs’ Outdoor Furniture by category:

Read some of our other guides to learn more exclusive outdoor decorating tips from the How to Decorate team:

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Kelley Bostian

Kelley enjoys a light and livable home and is always searching for that perfect finishing touch. Here on How to Decorate, it's his goal to help you bring your own unique design vision to life.