Shopping·10 min read

16 Products That’ll Upgrade Your Outdoor Space

Design: theSkimm | Photos: Wayfair
May 22, 2023

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It’s officially the season of patios. If you’ve got a little space of your own, consider yourself lucky. We’re here to help make sure your outdoor space is ready for summertime hosting. We’re giddy at the thought. Get ready, because HGTV is about to be knocking.


A large umbrella for shading outdoor meals…

At 108 inches wide, this umbrella is large enough to shield your entire patio table and chairs when the sun is just a little too intense for your outdoor dinner. The fabric is UPF 50, so you’re getting sun protection beyond the sunscreen you’ve already applied. Plus it’s resistant to mildew and fading, so it’s made to last. It comes in six colors. ($189.99+, Wayfair)

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A gingham rug you can use inside or outside…

This rug looks like a picnic blanket with its wide buffalo check pattern. It’s incredibly durable (trust us, we’ve put these rugs to the test), machine washable, and fade- and mildew-resistant. It’s great for high traffic areas and comes in black and red. ($129+, Ruggable)

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A rattan lantern that lights with the push of a button…

The subtle glow of the flameless candle inside the rattan shell is enough to bring full tiki party vibes to any backyard. Just use the remote to turn it on and off, or set it on a six-hour timer and forget about it as you enjoy your guests. Just note it requires four batteries that are not included. ($59.12, QVC)

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A portable charcoal grill for backyard grilling…

This little grill is small but mighty. Fill it with charcoal, plug it in, and it’ll heat up with no lighter fluid required. Don’t worry, your burgers and franks will still have that perfect smoky flavor. The metal handles stay cool to the touch, and it comes with a bamboo cutting board that sits right on top. ($159.20, Food52)

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String lights that’ll give a romantic glow…

It’s hard for anyone to resist dreamy string lights with Edison bulbs. Just hang this 25-foot string (with dimming capabilities) across your patio, deck, or backyard, and your friends won’t be able to resist hanging out there. Pro tip: Customers say it’s easier to hang them if you unscrew the bulbs first, then later screw them back in once the string is in place. ($17.99, Amazon)

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A plush floor pillow for extra seating…

It’s made from durable polyester with a UV coating, so it’s both fade- and water-resistant. You can leave it outside and not have to worry about it being damaged. It’s great for kids at the party who would rather sit on a pillow in the grass than in a chair. ($79.20, Society6)

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A mini yard game that’s easily portable…

Bean-bag game. Cornhole. Whatever you prefer to call it, there’s nothing like this game to really ignite everyone’s competitive streak. The boards are made of fabric but feature support wires to help them stand straight up as you and your guests make toss after toss. They can be set up with minimal effort and come with a carrying case for easy storage. ($33.29, Amazon)

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An indoor-outdoor rug that can move from your sunroom to the patio…

This woven rug features a basket-weave pattern and brown hue that will fit in with any and every type of decor. The low pile prevents dirt from getting embedded in the fibers, so you can dab spills with a cloth or even take a garden hose to it for a more thorough clean. ($34.99+, Wayfair)

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An inflatable kiddie pool you’ll want to jump in yourself…

Who says this is just for children at the party? You’ll find yourself splashing around in this giant inflatable pool when the temperatures are too hot to handle. Choose from six patterns that will look pretty in your backyard, even if no one’s using it. Inflate with an electric pump (not included). ($41.82+, Amazon)

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A woven bird house to give your backyard wildlife a cozy home…

It’s made from natural seagrass and recycled saris (hello, sustainability), so each one is delicately crafted to be one of a kind. It’s an ideal place for birds to make a nest in during the springtime, so get ready to delight in watching them get to work. ($46, Terrain)

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A portable Bluetooth speaker that’s actually waterproof…

Trust us, we have this one and can’t gush enough about how much we love it. It’s one of the most portable, lightweight speakers on the market, but it doesn’t sacrifice sound quality or bass. The battery lasts for thirteen hours (it literally feels like you never have to charge it), and it’s waterproof even if you drop it in a sink full of water (guilty). ($82.09+, Amazon)

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A spider plant that needs very little attention…

This one is technically a houseplant but can live outdoors, is pet-friendly, and requires minimal effort. It can survive in low-to-bright indirect light and will be a nice, lively touch to your outdoor space. Plus, the planter comes in four natural colors. ($69, Bloomscape)

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A concrete planter for setting up your own succulent garden…

Grab one of these with either gold or silver trim, and get to potting. It’s made of concrete so it can be left outdoors in all types of weather. They’re surprisingly lightweight, so you can move them around easily. ($13+, MadeByRheal via Etsy)

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A hammock for maximum relaxation vibes…

Guests will admire the hammock during the party, and you’ll have the perfect place to rest once it’s over. It’s made from weather-resistant fabric with bright white and yellow tassels for added flair. Just note, you’ll need to get your own hanging hardware. Psst…if you happen to get a bug bite or two while you’re lounging, try the handy tool we swear by. ($148, Anthropologie)

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A portable fire pit you’ll use year-round…

When it’s hot during the day but chilly at night, sidle up to this fire pit that produces a large flame with minimal smoke. It has a stainless steel body with a weatherproof coating, so you can leave it outside. It also has a removable ash pan for easy cleaning. ($183.75, Amazon)

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Uncommon Goods

A collapsible table specifically designed for drinking wine…

Drinking outdoors on a beautiful day is a top-ten experience, but trying to find a place to safely put down your wine glasses and bottle is not. This little wooden wonder unfolds to reveal special spaces to hang the bottle, rest your glasses, and even hold a plate of cheese and crackers. The fiberglass spike helps hold it firmly in the ground so it remains standing without a fear of tipping. ($60, Uncommon Goods)

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