Backyard Bliss: Everything You Need For Outdoor Entertaining And Relaxing This Summer

In partnership with Shop. 

Ah, summer: a mystical time of sunset hangs, candlelit dinner parties in the backyard, and pool days desperate to bring the heat down a few degrees. Despite the relative comfort of our indoor AC units, we really just want to be outside.

Luckily, some of our favorite brands offer creative and innovative solutions to the usual complaints (bugs, heat, proximity), allowing us to bring the convenience we love from our living rooms out into a backyard oasis. 

In prepping for July, we chose our favorites from Shop (our go-to shopping app from Shopify that has all of your shopping must-haves) and relished the ease of picking out our new porch aesthetic. (Name a better sound than the ding of their delivery notifications.) Download the Shop app to join in on the fun.

Slap some steaks on the grill, settle in at your stylish picnic table, and get ready for your perfect summer evening. You deserve it.

Outdoor Furniture Just Stopped Being Boring.

Whether your yard is a bona-fide garden paradise or a sad pile of gravel (no shame), trust us: you can still make it cute. We’ve seen and decorated a variety of spaces, and all that matters is that you have a method of gathering all your favorite people, snacks, and sips for some quality time. An excellent furniture setup instantly does this.

New favorite spot. Credit: Novogratz

Our first pick is from artsy-hip brand The Novogratz, which fuses the founders’ Manhattan and L.A. styles. The brand’s colorful, unique furniture and quirky accouterments immediately make a statement. Our favorite? The Paulette Outdoor Table and Bench Set ($599). It’s built like a classic picnic table but has fresh accents of bright yellow that liven it up for any hangout.

Then, roll out a versatile indoor/outdoor rug like this Flatwoven Warm Sand Re-Jute Rug ($319). Ruggable’s known for being machine-washable (and therefore life-friendly) with offerings that are both versatile and stylish. The neutrals in this piece will balance out the vibrant color we’re introducing throughout the tableware and décor (we’ll get to that in a second).

And whether you’re outside for an hour or an evening, you’re going to need some cold drinks. I personally find there’s no greater pleasure than a frigid water on a hot day, and this rolling patio cooler ($249) from Backyard Bath fits the bill. Its mint color and retro patina add a bit of extra flair to your next beer. You could match shades with The Novogratz’s Penelope Indoor/Outdoor Cart ($107) for instant cohesion (and plenty of beverage options). Sprucing up a cabin or more rustic space? This more traditional wooden cooler ($249) from Backyard Discovery evokes a grounded presence that feels right at home.

Ambiance Is Everything.

Bye bye bugs. Credit: @junehomesupply

Good lighting.

To start, we’re huge fans of the Bolleke Hanging Lamp ($139) by Fatboy. Inspired by the flexibility of hair elastics (yes, really), these functional, rechargeable little bobbles loop wherever you need more light. Frankly, they’re easy and cute – with three different settings for ultimate flexibility.

For some candlelight, we love the multi-colored flair of these handmade Cone Candles by NíLe, available from Mociun ($48). Their spritely shades energize any tablescape; my personal favorite is the Palenta combo in pink and orange.

Bug-free serenity.

I’ve all too often gotten excited for a dinner party only to end up ducking back inside because of the bugs. Mosquitoes shouldn’t destroy a good time. Instead of opting for a hulking bug zapper or cloying spray, try this elegant Citronella Incense Coil (Large) ($40) from Fredericks and Mae. Nobody will even know! If you go for the smaller size, pair with this quaint Citronella Holder ($25).

A thoughtful new home for the plant you haven’t killed yet.

Embellish your seating area with a natural touch from your green thumb (or the garden shop). This intricately woven poly-rattan planter ($40) from McGee & Co. adds some elegant texture to your setup.

Did Someone Say Happy Hour?

Stay hydrated. Credit: @rachael__otoole

Finish setting the scene by setting the table. Whether you’re having a multi-course meal with friends or simply grazing, snacks and drinks are crucial.

If you’re the charcuterie type (who isn’t?), elevate your cheese plate game with this lengthy statement piece: the Endless Entertaining Board ($150) from Addison West. Stunning.

If you’re more of a chips-and-dip character, heirloom Italian brand VIETRI offers a simple yet sophisticated choice that equally wows: the Lastra White Chip and Dip ($150).

You can’t go wrong with these effortlessly chic Dinner Plates ($65 for 4) from Fable for your main course. Each plate is organically shaped and one-of-a-kind, lending a natural finish to your setting.

For sober folks (or for the waters you’ll definitely need), the handblown Moroccon Beldi Glasses ($48 for 6) from Verve Culture add a vibrant, vignetted pop of color. For wine, the subtle lines of the Fluted Texture Wine Glass ($54 for 4) from Carlyle Avenue contribute to the delightful cohesion of shapes and patterns on your table. Add a final flourish with tri-colored Stripe Placemats ($58 for 4) from Dunsen Dunsen.

The morning after, we also love to sit outside with our coffee and soak in those rays – especially before the temps get too brutal. Keep your artisanal hosting vibe going with these Still Mugs ($34 for a set of 2) from Hawkins New York.

There’s So Much Room For Activities!

Just hanging out. Credit: @blondegiraffe_

While we adore a good dinner party, we can also appreciate some good leisure time, too. 

Keep the conversation flowing with intimate, thoughtful conversation prompts from We’re Not Really Strangers ($25), a card game gone viral for its functional connection. It’s a great way to bond with new folks or intentionally talk with someone on a deeper level.

Blow up a funky inflatable pool for the kiddos (or for a little extra temperature control yourself) and get instant entertainment for hours. We love this Large Recycled Inflatable Pool ($179.99) from kid-friendly brand Early Bird and Worm, designed exclusively by Sydney-based artist Daimon Downey. 

On cooler days, nap or relax with a good book in the Mojave Hammock ($299) from Yellow Leaf Hammocks. Weathersafe, colorful, and ultra-comfy, this hammock means hanging out never felt so good.

Download the Shop app and get outside.

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