Outdoor Design Tips from a Decorating Expert

Meredith Mahoney, Birch Lane's founder and design director, shares her top garden trend design tips.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Birch Lane

Photo By: Image courtesy of Birch Lane

Photo By: Image courtesy of Birch Lane

Photo By: Image courtesy of Birch Lane

Photo By: Image courtesy of Birch Lane

Photo By: Image courtesy of Birch Lane

Photo By: Image courtesy of Birch Lane

Photo By: Courtesy of Johnny's Selected Seeds

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Birch Lane

Photo By: Image courtesy of Birch Lane

Photo By: Image courtesy of Birch Lane

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Hearthstone Environments

Photo By: Image courtesy Birch Lane

Meet Meredith

In 2014, Meredith Mahoney conceived and created Wayfair's newest lifestyle brand, Birch Lane. Under Mahoney's close watch and influence, Birch Lane launched after just six months of production, and is rapidly rising in the ranks as a premier destination for a fresh take on traditional furnishings and décor. The company most recently launched their first outdoor line this spring, offering nine distinctive furniture collections, as well as dining essentials and lawn décor. Mahoney shared her design expertise with HGTVGardens to bring you her best outdoor design tips.

Decorative Wall Planters

Mahoney recommends using wall planters. "Whether you’re looking for a small-space solution, or a way to landscape your garden from head-to-toe, wall planters are a fun way to infuse your backyard space with plants at all angles," she says.

Cocktail Table

Bring the indoors out! A dining table in an outdoor area automatically creates a center for gathering. "Add the perfect touch of formality to your backyard lounge space by bringing these statement furniture pieces outdoors," Mahoney advises.

Trestle Table

"Traditional indoor silhouettes like wingback chairs and Trestle tables are just as gorgeous indoors as they are outside," Mahoney says.

Versatile Throw Pillows

Mahoney says throw pillows can add comfort to the outdoors as well serve as a decorative element.  "Gone are the days of stiff, waxy outdoor fabrics – embrace the updated soft, textural, and comfortable fabrics that look as good outdoors as they do inside," she says.

Colorful Throw Pillows

These patterned outdoor pillows from Birch Lane add pops of color to outdoor seating areas.

Rug-ged Outdoors

Decorate from the ground up using outdoor rugs. "Whether you prefer more sophisticated solids or playful patterns, outdoor rugs can completely transform a backyard space for outdoor dining and backyard parties," Mahoney says.


"There’s nothing better than harvesting your own fresh produce right from your own garden," Mahoney says. Grow 'Moonset' sweet peppers for eating fresh, frying, or stuffing. These big, warmth-loving peppers can be grown in heated tunnels or greenhouses, They're medium-sized and change from green to golden-yellow as they mature.

Outdoor Oven

"For a backyard BBQ refresh, try prepping your next meal in a wood-fired pizza oven rather than with your traditional grill," Mahoney suggests. "Many companies are now selling affordable, weather-resistant pizza grills that are made for outdoor cooking."

Owl Figurine

"While woodland creatures and forest motifs traditionally get a bad rep, these figurines are being given a modern refresh with monochrome palettes and updated metals – bringing the perfect, updated whimsical touch to your garden," Mahoney says.

Flower Stakes

Stick to the sophisticated monochrome theme by adding these flower stakes to your yard. Now you'll have some flowers in your garden that you know will never die!

Subdued Palettes

"Go for more subdued colors this year for your backyard palette, opting for earth tone hues like forest green, greige and navy," Mahoney suggests. This outdoor rug features a taupe geographical print perfect for toning down your color palette.

Special Spot

"Small entertaining spaces off the beaten path are a great way to provide a welcome garden escape for your guests," Mahoney says. "Clearings enveloped by trees and foliage are a great addition to a garden outdoor entertaining space, for a more intimate opportunity to chat."

String Lights

Decorative lighting is essential for entertaining at night, Mahoney says. "Utilize your patio after dark by draping string lights over your backyard entertaining space – the soft and festive lighting will create a rustic ambiance while still allowing for stargazing with guests," she says.