Melissa Joan Hart's hanging outdoor lights have inspired us to get creative with our backyard ideas this spring

Trust us, hanging outdoor lights in the style of TV sweetheart MJH will add whimsical chic

A shot of festoon style hanging outdoor lights at night, next to Melissa Joan Hart at a red carpet event
(Image credit: Alex Levine + Elyse Jankowski/Getty Images)

Be still our beating hearts. Melissa Joan Hart's hanging outdoor lights are styled to whimsical perfection and make for the perfect warm-weather setup. 

The actor took to Instagram recently to show off a snowy evening in her backyard. Though a white blanket covered the ground, the whole look was channeling summer vibes, courtesy of her Adirondack chairs, wooden dining setup, and adorable festoon string lights. 

Now  the snow is (hopefully) behind us, let your favorite childhood actor inspire a few small backyard ideas for spring 2024. Sabrina the Teenage Witch herself might not be able to guarantee a series reboot, but she can certainly bring lighting design inspo.

Hanging outdoor lights à la Melissa Joan Hart

Melissa always seems to evoke nostalgia, so it's no surprise the hanging outdoor lights in her backyard remind us of summer camp near the lake, with festoon lights (such as the 48ft addlon LED outdoor string lights with shatterproof bulbs from Amazon) completing the whimsical look.

As much as you might like to recreate this look ASAP, there are a few things to note as you learn how to hang outdoor string lights

Designer Nina Lichtenstein says, "Take the time to carefully plan your layout. Consider the size and shape of your backyard, as well as the specific areas you want to illuminate.

"Whether you're draping lights over a patio, pergola, or along a fence line, envision how the lights will flow and interact with the surrounding elements to create a cohesive and balanced look."

As one of our favorite outdoor spring decor ideas, lighting can completely transform a space. Nina recommends warm white LED lights with clear bulbs (try these waterproof dimmable outdoor LED string lights from Amazon) for subtle chic.

Nina also suggests accenting the area with playful furniture, much like MJH's chairs. You can score a Ratcliff Plastic/Resin Adirondack Chair at Wayfair in a variety of colors (and it's made from one of the best material for outdoor furniture), plus it's discounted during the big Wayfair outdoor furniture sale.

"Experiment with different configurations until you find the perfect arrangement that complements the unique layout of your backyard and enhances its natural beauty," Nina explains. 

"Alternatively, string lights can be draped diagonally across the space or wrapped around trees and shrubs to add dimension and create a magical atmosphere."

When styling your best gardening lighting, the key is to start near an outlet and use strong support — a building or pole with a clamp on top — according to Dara Greaney, the Founder and CEO of

"Only after the supports are done can you hang lights," he says. "I recommend zip ties at each light, it's time-consuming but gives it the best look. Support wire running from support pole to support pole, but do not use the electrical wire for this."

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.

Dara Greaney
Dara Greaney

Dara is the founder and CEO of, an e-commerce lighting retailer. He is a nine-time INC 5000 CEO and is an expert in growing products and brands that resonate with customers.

What to shop

Need to tidy your space for spring? You can't complete Melissa's outdoor look without making sure the grass is green. Our experts spill on when to start mowing a lawn in spring to get your space in tip-top shape for the incoming beautiful weather. 

And, if it's your first time on the lawn mower, our expert guide on how to mow a lawn might come in handy.

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.