Everything You Need This Summer for a Backyard Oasis

The next best thing to being on vacation is being somewhere that reminds you of vacation. And that place can be your own backyard.

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July 26, 2021

Whether you want to host friends for alfresco meals and fire pit hangouts, create the perfect spot to read (or nap), cool off in your own private inflatable pool or just find a peaceful respite away from your home office, your outdoor space should feel like your own little vacation spot.

If your patio or backyard feels miles away from somewhere you want to kick back and relax in, start with the basics. No backyard oasis is complete without a fire pit, which creates an instant focal point and natural gathering place. We love this TIKI® Brand Patio Fire Pit because it's lightweight, doesn't take up too much space and, thanks to the airflow design, produces low smoke. Beyond a place to gather, privacy is key. Free-standing privacy screens will ensure your neighbors won't strike up a conversation when you're not in the mood to have one. Mosquito-repelling lights and other pest control measures will keep biting insects from showing up to your backyard party uninvited, too. Comfortable seating you and your friends and family will actually want to sit on is also a must. From hammocks to resort-style lounge chairs, a few thoughtful furniture and decor additions can bring the resort vibes steps away from your daily grind.

No matter how large or small your backyard is, making a few easy upgrades will bring privacy and relaxation to your space. Shop our favorite backyard buys to revamp your space for summer and beyond.

$350
Photo Courtesy TIKI®️ Brand

Who doesn't love a fire pit? It's the perfect spot for kids and adults alike to gather, make s'mores and enjoy summer evenings. We love this sleek fire pit because it doesn’t take up much space, weighs just 45 pounds and provides low smoke and smell — no need to move your chair every time the wind changes. The fire pit's internal airflow system provides low smoke with either TIKI Brand Wood Packs or firewood, and the ash pan leaves minimal ash to clean up. It comes with a stand to keep it elevated, a cloth cover, a wood pack and free shipping. Plus, a fire pit isn't just great for summer evenings; this backyard essential will get plenty of use during cooler fall weather, tailgating season and family holiday parties, too.

$289.99 $215
Photo Courtesy Wayfair
26% Off!

A classic, Adirondack chair makes a great seat for relaxing by a fire pit. It's also a great addition to any porch, patio or deck that you want to feel like an outdoor retreat. This well-crafted piece boasts a natural color-washed finish for a traditional touch, and it’s designed to resist water and rust while standing up to harsh sun and rain exposure.

$49
Photo Courtesy The Inside

Effortlessly add color or pattern to your outdoor space with outdoor throw pillows. These 16-inch square pillows from The Inside come in more than 100 fabric options, including toile, cabana stripes and palm prints, so you're sure to find a style that fits your style. Engineered to be water and mildew-resistant, these pillows come with both the insert and the cover.

$375
Photo Courtesy Target

If you really want to bring the vacation vibes, go for this Opalhouse patio chair fir for royalty with a built-in personal canopy. This outdoor canopy chair features a square shape with a steel frame, finished with a bamboo-like woodgrain texture. A built-in canopy offers a little shade from the sun, and it features tufted trim details for added texture. Luxe plush cushions that form the back, bottom and armrests of the canopy chair will draw you to this comfy spot every time you go outside.

$79.99
Photo Courtesy Target

If your idea of an outdoor oasis involves a solid napping spot, consider adding this Linen Striped Flat-Weave Hammock from Threshold to your cart. Perfect for lounging on sunny days, the hammock features a flat-weave construction to keep you comfortable as you sprawl out, and the variegated blue and white stripes give it a classic look. This hammock hangs from two different rig points (hanging hardware not included).

$100 $70
Photo Courtesy Bed Bath & Beyond
30% Off!

Whether the look you're going for is inspired by a Miami resort or a peaceful English cottage, a black-and-white patio umbrella is a classic choice that will look great no matter what. Keep yourself protected from the sun with this stylish striped cabana from W Home. This umbrella is made from rust-resistant aluminum and UV-resistant polyester for improved sun protection.

From $35
Photo Courtesy Amazon

If you need more coverage, try a shade sail. Available in sizes from 7'x13' all the way up to 16'x20' and 11 colors, this shade sail can provide sun protection, no matter the size of your space. Made from heavy-duty high-density polyethylene, this sail protects against 95 percent of harmful UV rays.

$400.80
Photo Courtesy Walmart

If you live close to neighbors and don't have mature trees to offer privacy, a freestanding privacy screen is a perfect solution. Made with 100-percent cedar in a sleek, slatted design, this screen is built for long-lasting use. The three-panel hinge design means you can adjust this piece to fit in your space exactly how you’d like it. The planter boxes provide a spot for your favorite flowers or herbs while also weighing down the privacy screen and providing extra stability.

$89.95 $72
Photo Courtesy CB2
20% Off!

You can truly never have too many plants in an outdoor oasis. Groupings of large planters flanking furniture and walkways help define zones in an open outdoor space. Plant flowers to bring in pops of color or herbs that provide fresh ingredients for summer dishes. You can even provide some added natural insect-repellent with plants like lavender, lemongrass, geranium, rosemary and mint. The more plants you bring in, the more serene and beautiful your oasis will be, even if you live in an urban area and only have a small deck or patio.

$199 $159
Photo Courtesy Pottery Barn
20% Off!

In the summer heat, it's important to stay hydrated and cool. Keep the cold drinks within arm's reach with this stylish galvanized metal stand-up cooler that doubles as a side table.

$2.99
Photo Courtesy Target

Leave your fine china inside, and set your outdoor table with these stylish bamboo melamine dinner plates from Hearth & Hand with Magnolia. Durable and dishwasher-safe, these plates will make cleanup after alfresco dinners a breeze.

From $28
Photo Courtesy Food52

Nothing spoils a great outdoor meal faster than bugs and gnats. Food52 collaborated with Dot and Army to design these lightweight net food covers that are easy to fold up and carry for picnics, camping and any on-the-go meals, but they're also pretty enough to keep your thoughtful outdoor table setting picturesque and Instagram-worthy. The nets feature weighted corners, so you can toss it over your food and not worry about it flying away.

$59
Photo Courtesy Urban Outfitters

When the summer heat tempts you to stay inside, take a dip in your very own private pool. This mini inflatable pool measures 66 inches in diameter and 14 inches high. Weighing just six pounds, it packs down and is easy to stow out of the way in colder months.

$159
Photo Courtesy TIKI®️ Brand

These TIKI® Brand BiteFighter® LED String Lights get our pick because of their double-duty functionality — they offer both the ambiance of string lights with 330-square-feet of mosquito-repellent protection. They’re perfect for use outdoors on patios, decks, unenclosed porches, walkways, around swimming pools and more.

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