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My Five Favorite Ways To Decorate Outdoors

Welcome to the May edition of My Five Favorites, the monthly series I host along with bloggers extraordinaire, Kris @ Driven By Decor, Pam @ Simple Details and Jennifer @ Dimples & Tangles!

Today we are so excited to have the incredibly creative Julia of Cuckoo4Design join us! Julia’s style is so fun and infused with color and personality. She comes up with insanely genius ideas like the DIY curtains below, and also creates stunning artwork!

Colorful dining room at Cuckoo4Design

Today, with spring finally here and summer not too far off,  we are posting about our favorite ways to decorate an outside space. I am about to take on a HUGE outdoor DIY project that my family is so excited about, and with it, some fun changes are coming to our deck too. I can’t wait to share it all with you! In the meantime I thought I’d talk about some simple and inexpensive ways to spruce up an outdoor space without breaking the bank. As you will see I take full advantage of natural “decor” in the warmer seasons!

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Read more about my disclosure policy here.




Is there anything quite like overflowing, flowering plants to bring cheer to a space?

Restoration of an older deck into a pretty entertaining space.

A roll-out awning came with our house, and although I might not have chosen these colors, the awning is absolutely amazing in the summer!!!! It covers 3/4 of the deck and makes the space enjoyable even on the hottest of days. I am a big fan of a monochromatic color scheme; to coordinate with the red stripes in the awning I planted tons of red petunias, double impatiens and a couple of reddish-coral hibiscus, they were gorgeous all summer long into the fall!

{Check out this quick tip for finding deals on plants!}


{Have you seen the before and after of our deck and backyard? Hard to believe it’s the same space!}



If you love to grow herbs outside in the summer, upgrade them from the plastic pots they came in to a colorful or interesting container and make them part of your outdoor decor.

Potted basil

“Marshall’s Boutique” & Homegoods always have great garden containers. Local friends, one of my fave places for beautiful and inexpensive glazed pots around Massachusetts and Rhode Island is Ocean State Job Lot! They have a huge selection and are so reasonable!

{Check out this post for tips for planting herbs in containers.}  

Herbs on deck

{Wine cork herb markers}



If you use a backyard entry a lot more in the summer, give it a little love at the start of the season. Before I could paint my back stairs a couple years ago, this gorgeous mandevilla that I had left in a pot at the bottom climbed on up. So lovely and welcoming – what better outdoor decor could I possibly add to our deck? Mandevilla is a beautiful flowering, climbing plant that is lovely for deck stairs.

I installed a stepping stone path and little garden from our driveway to our deck a few years ago, and at the beginning of the outdoor season I clean up the edge the garden (I use an old-fashioned human-powered edger, it’s a bit of a workout but does the trick just fine!)  I love these glass solar lights for the garden – I stuck three in this little garden and was surprised at how pretty they are at night.

solar lights

(Mine are green but I’d rather the clear.)


Look how much the ornamental grasses grow over the course of the summer! They are super low maintenance as long as they get a lot of sun, and they come back year after year and create this big show. I love them!IMG_0616


This goes without saying, because I’m a blogger and you know how bloggers are all googly-eyed about the power of pillows to change up a space, but seriously, PILLOWS!

Tommy Bahama Swaying Palms outdoor pillows.

I bought these pillows in indoor/outdoor Tommy Bahama palm fabric from this Etsy seller last year to work with the colors of the awning. They bring some fun pattern to our deck and make lounging at the table so comfortable. And they are a steal, on sale for 2/$30.60!


Tommy Bahama Outdoor Pillows

You’ll be seeing more of these when I share our outdoor space in the near future.




I saved my favorite way to decorate outdoors for last. Do you remember the baby changing table that I upcycled into a beverage cart for the deck? It was fantastic as a self-serve drink station for the kids and especially when we entertained. I ended up selling it due to lack of storage space, but have another idea for a built in beverage station for the deck that I’m hoping to do this summer.

Changing Table Upcycled To Beverage Cart

Having a designated spot for guests to help themselves to a drink is so nice, particularly when you’re busy getting food prepared and served. (Can you believe I found that glass drink dispenser at a thrift store for next to nothing? It’s perfect for iced tea or lemonade for the kiddos, or Red, White & Blue Sangria or Pineapple Infused Vodka for the adult crowds!)

A beverage cart for the deck made from a baby changing table that has been up cycled.

The DIY mercury glass shelves were really easy to make and gave this beverage cart a bit of sophistication (and made it feel a lot less like a baby changing table!)

Wishing you and yours many happy times enjoying the outdoors this spring and summer!



For more inspiration on beautifying your outdoor living areas, check out my amazing co-hosts…..

Kris @ Driven By Decor

Pam @ Simple Details

Jennifer @ Dimples & Tangles

and our special guest,

Julia of Cuckoo4Design!

A big thank you to Julia for joining us for this month’s My Five Favorites!

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Sarah Sofia Knepp

Thursday 5th of May 2016

Oh Lisa this is just beautiful! My favorite is the changing table now bar cart, so creative! You've been busy my friend, love it all! XOXO, Sarah

Jennifer @ Dimples and Tangles

Wednesday 4th of May 2016

Your outdoor spaces are always so pretty, Lisa! I can't believe the deal on those pillows, what a steal!

Shelley @ Calypso in the Country

Tuesday 3rd of May 2016

So many great ideas, Lisa! I remember that beverage cart and always thought it was such an amazing transformation! Shelley


Tuesday 3rd of May 2016

Hi Lisa, Thank you for featuring our pillow cover. Tommy bahama Palm print... Thanks a lot, TwistedBobbindesigns


Tuesday 3rd of May 2016

Arlyn, I'm happy to recommend your site for pillows, they are so well made!


Tuesday 3rd of May 2016

Your space is oh-so-ready to party Lisa! I need some herbs outdoor and of course, a well-stocked bar cart for sure!


Tuesday 3rd of May 2016

That is a must for summer, Vel! :)