Officially, we still have a full month of summer left, people, so let's make the best of it. Not sure what that means to you exactly—eating all the summer produce? Going to the beach every weekend? Either way, I think we can all get behind the idea of spending more time outdoors. And what better way to do just that than kick back in your own yard? You can't argue with the convenience. Whether you have a huge lush lawn or just a small stretch of patio, you can still make it feel like a stylish extension of your home. Actress JoAnna Garcia recently made over her backyard in partnership with HomeGoods, and she was nice enough to share these bright ideas with us. So go ahead, and show your outdoor space a little love with one or more tips. It'll pay you back in spades!
Tip #1: Add rugs and pillows to create an outdoor living room. "When I spotted bohemian-inspired outdoor rugs in fun patterns at HomeGoods, it sparked a new vision for our movie screening and fire pit area," says Garcia. "We use our fire pit year-round, so these new rugs and a few durable, knit floor pillows and poofs were a great way to cozy up the space and add extra seating." You can find all-weather pillows, rugs, and cushions at HomeGoods, so you don't have to worry about the elements messing them up. Once you add a rug and some pillows to the mix, your backyard will truly feel like a loungey extension of your living room. Indoor/Outdoor rugs are also great for anchoring dining areas, too.
Tip #2: Start a container garden. It's never too late to get your grow on. And yes, a raised bed or full patch of grass would be ideal for veggies or flowers. But you can also create a gardening corner like Garcia did with succulents in containers. "There are so many amazing planters at HomeGoods ranging in different sizes and materials like ceramic, clay, wood, and even wicker," says Garcia. For best results, choose pots in different sizes, and don't be afraid to go super small and put plants on a cute stand. For larger planters, follow the "thriller-filler-spiller" rule for picking plants: Go with a bold, bright "thriller" plant as the focal point, surround it with mid-sized "filler" plants, and then find a few "spillers" that trail over the pot's edges. This creates an eye-catching composition.
Tip #3: Load up on textiles. Towels can come in handy when you're hanging solo or entertaining outdoors. "I'm always on the hunt for Turkish towels and love the terry cloth ones," says Garcia. "I loaded them in a basket for people to easily grab as they get in and out of the pool." Even if you don't have a pool, you can also stock up. Towels are great for draping over chairs, and the Turkish styles make great inexpensive tablecloths when you're throwing a party or dining al fresco.
Tip #4: Create a hydration station. "My favorite addition to my backyard is the bar," says Garcia. "I’ve turned it into a self-serve station with big drink dispensers that are a beautiful focal point but also super practical." The bigger the container, the better. If your drink dispensers don't come with cute galvanized bases like these ones from HomeGoods, you can also set containers up on cake stands to make your guests' cups even easier to fill. Make sure to have water as an option, so everyone stays hydrated.
And there you have it—four simple, celeb-approved ways to spruce up your backyard so you can enjoy it to its fullest during this last breath of summer.