Patio, Perfected: My Fave Amazon Home Finds for a Shady Outdoor Oasis

Baby, it's hot outside! Learn how I beat the heat and used Amazon Prime's fast, free shipping for outdoor essentials that turned my too-sunny patio into an inviting oasis that makes every day feel more like vacay.

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June 18, 2019

Photo by: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Here in relatively balmy Knoxville, Tenn., outdoor living is a reality most of the year, and while I'd maxed out my home's interior spaces with lots of thrifted antiques and vintage finds, the patio was a bit of an afterthought. The classic 1940s metal patio furniture I scored at an estate sale was beautiful but starting to show its age (AKA rust), while my patio's full-sun exposure was taking its toll on the brightly colored indoor (whoops!) cushions I'd used to cozy up my now-rusting metal beauties. Time for a refresh — just in time for summer entertaining and lazy afternoon lounges with my pups.

I headed to Amazon for a shady solution to temper the sun and durable outdoor furniture and pillows that can stand up to the elements while still fitting my traditional sense of style and love of color. Read on to learn which products I chose to turn my underused, overexposed patio into a tropical-inspired outdoor oasis that’s now my favorite ‘room’ in the house.

Here's What I Chose:

Crafted from sturdy acacia wood, this mobile cart is perfectly scaled for keeping summer sips and snacks handy. Large, wooden wheels make it easy to move the party around my patio, while the cart’s teak look and streamlined styling are as timeless as the perfectly mixed martini.

BUY IT: Amazon, $106.04

Generously sized and a treat underfoot, this colorful charmer adds a serene shade of blue to ground my patio while providing a soft surface for my pups. And best of all, stains aren't a worry; a quick rinse with the hose and time in the sun to dry will keep this pretty pattern looking its best for many summers to come. For max comfort, consider adding this outdoor rug pad, too.

BUY IT: Amazon, $199.99

The cheery turquoise color isn’t the only thing this Adirondack chair has going for it — it's also supremely comfortable and — wait for it — nearly maintenance-free! Just remove any surface dirt with a damp cloth and dish soap. Constructed from HDPE lumber (high-density plastic made from recycled milk jugs), this sturdy seat won’t crack, rot, chip or deteriorate over time — even the color won’t fade. And, bonus: Polywood chairs can even be left outdoors year-round.

BUY IT: Amazon, $279

For the ultimate in kick-back-and-relax, the coordinating ottoman provides the perfect spot to prop up my feet. Like the folding Adirondack chair above, I can just remove the pin to fold it down for easy storage.

BUY IT: Amazon, $139

Ample shade was a must to turn my too-sunny patio into an inviting oasis but I didn’t want a full-time cover like an awning or pergola. Enter the cantilever umbrella: shade superstar. The umbrella’s canopy is easy to lift to the desired height, then crank open to create a shady span that feels 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the surrounding space. I can even swivel the canopy’s position on the sturdy base (sold separately) to match the sun’s shifting location.

BUY IT: Amazon, $499

Lightweight but surprisingly absorbent and fast-drying, these 100-percent cotton towels, inspired by traditional Turkish linens, beautifully combine form with function. Also known as a fouta or hammam towel, their quick-drying material and massive size (61" x 82") make them an ideal outdoor throw that’s perfect for popping in a bit more color or cozying up an outdoor chair.

BUY IT: Amazon, $31.98

Perfectly scaled to work as a handy side table, this stool’s ceramic surface can weather rain or sun with ease. For a stylish stacked effect, I paired the tall stool with its shorter sibling for double the visual impact and storage space.

BUY IT: Amazon, $78.46

A rich, cobalt blue glaze and embossed sunburst pattern make this planter a real eye-catcher. I added a potted mandevilla (this planter is a cache pot — so no drainage hole) for a bit of tropical flair.

BUY IT: Amazon, $39.99

Your pup will have it made in the shade with this pressure-activated cooling pad that cushions and cools your furry best friend. My Schnoodle, Sophie, likes hers so much that we even take it with us in the car for long trips and on vacay so she can sleep cool and calm all night — no matter where we are. Note: Only for use outdoors in a shady area; never leave the cooling mat in direct sun.

BUY IT: Amazon, $49.98

Timelessly on-trend, these well-constructed pillow covers look just like pricey indoor accents but feature a durable construction that can stand up to the elements. Sold as a set, coordinating the colors and patterns for a designer-worthy look is a snap. (Water-resistant inserts sold separately.)

BUY IT: Amazon, $45.99 (Set of 3)

Constructed entirely of weather-resistant polyester, this pair of plump pillows is perfectly sized to cushion your lumbar area to make relaxing in the great outdoors even more enjoyable. Coordinating welt trim adds a fashion-forward finishing touch that would also make these pillows right at home indoors.

BUY IT: Amazon, $44.99 (Set of 2)

A beautiful accent to any shady patio (direct sun will burn them), this palm adds tropical flair and, bonus: the palm's sculptural leaves are perfect for creating a lush, living screen for an added bit of privacy.

BUY IT: Amazon, $33.99

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