Backyard inspiration: interior designers reveal the four things you need for summer 2024, starting at just $40

Ready to start shopping? This backyard inspiration will get creative juices flowing

Two rattan egg chairs in between a bistro table in a green backyard with red flowers
(Image credit: Getty Images/Olga Ionina)

Summer is slowly creeping in, and backyard inspiration from our design experts will help you tweak your outdoor oasis to perfection.

Whether you'd like to finesse your green thumb, keep active, or just have a place to kick back, this year's essential backyard products cater to everyone. Plus, they'll make a statement in your space.

Now's the time to complement your summer outdoor decor with the pros' favorite seasonal buys. And while you're at it, make sure you have SPF and a cold drink on hand. 

Backyard inspiration: what you need in your space this summer

You've assembled the basics: trendy outdoor furniture, gardening accessories, one of the best grills. But designers believe there are a few selections that will catapult your space into envy-worthy territory. Here's what to shop and why. 

1. Backyard fire pit

Fire pit ideas are endless and will transform your space to a delightful sanctuary. Whether you've stationed yours (safely) alongside nearby flower pots for a romantic feel, or if you find yourself yearning for some nostalgic camp vibes with Adirondack chairs — the JEAREY Folding, Stackable Adirondack Chairs at Lowe's are on sale and available in 10+ colors — there are plenty of style to explore. 

"A fire pit is a must in any type of backyard, big or small, as it creates a seating area for keeping warm, roasting marshmallows and enjoying casual conversations and relaxing moments," says designer Claire Paquin.

She has a few non-negotiables, particularly if you have young ones in tow.

"I always use gas fire pits instead of wood-burning fire pits," she says. "The design options are endless and the ease of being able to have a fire at the flick of a switch is unmatched."

Both options are available below for your perusing. 

2. Backyard greenhouse

While you're figuring out what to plant in May and how to get your flower beds ready for the season, wouldn't it be nice to have a dedicated spot to tend to your selections?

"Greenhouses are invaluable for gardeners because they extend the growing season by providing a controlled environment protected from harsh weather," says Gene Caballero, co-founder of GreenPal. "This allows for the cultivation of plants that would otherwise struggle or be impossible to grow due to climate limitations."

If the viral portable Lidl greenhouse hasn't convinced you, greenhouses don't need to take up a large space in your backyard. And, when speaking with Martha Stewart, the gardening guru told Real Homes that no place is too small for growing. She also said people are truly embracing the hobby now like never before. 

"The joy of gardening and the joy of growing is growing in America, I think gardening has become the biggest and most popular outdoor activity," she said. "And I'm very happy about that because growing is enchanting, delightful, and the results are beautiful. So why not garden?"

And why not give your leafy friends a little extra love with help from a greenhouse?

3. Backyard swing

We're talking backyard swings but for adults, i.e. the beloved egg chair — a boho accessory that adds a playfulness to any space. 

"Enhance the natural setting by surrounding the egg chair with lush greenery," says interior designer Nina Lichtenstein. "Potted plants, hanging baskets, or a vertical garden backdrop can amplify the chair's organic charm."

But add your favorite cozy elements from inside out on your patio, too.

"Complete the look with a small side table for beverages or reading materials," Nina adds. "Lanterns, string lights, or outdoor rugs can further enhance the ambiance, creating a cozy retreat."

4. Pickleball backyard accessories

Considering pickleball was considered 2023's fastest-growing sport in the US, why not see what all the hype is about? You can easily set up shop for tennis' little sister right from home. 

Meet our experts

Claire Paquin
Claire Paquin

Claire Paquin, founder and principal designer of Clean Design Partners, LLC, has established herself as a go-to designer in Westchester County in New York. She is a graduate of the New York School of Interior Design’s interior design program. She is an Associate member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Her long-standing interest in design and decorating, space planning, and the decorative arts fuels her passion for the business.

Gene Caballero
Gene Caballero

Gene Caballero is co-founder of Green Pal, a platform connecting customers to lawn care experts in their area throughout the United States. With such diverse areas to cover, Gene is well-versed in specific greenery needs for various environments. 

A picture of Nina Lichtenstein, a woman wearing a green jumpsuit
Nina Lichtenstein

When Nina Lichtenstein designs a home, it is more than just a house. It is a haven. One tailored to a family's distinctive tastes, daily rituals, special gatherings, and long-term dreams. It is a nest from which to launch lives and make memories for generations to come. Her use of diverse textures and elegant blends of stone, wood, and other natural materials are part of her signature style.

Want to bring summer indoors? We asked designers how to refresh your space for summer, and they have great tips for adding sunshine to your space.

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.