How to Create the Ultimate Backyard Oasis

Incorporate some of these key elements to ensure your backyard is the best on the block.

Warm weather is upon us, so it's time to turn our decorating attention outdoors. Summer is all about spending time outside with friends, and what's better for that than an enchanting garden oasis where guests want to linger for hours? Whether you have a small apartment terrace or a sprawling suburban setup, incorporate a few of these key elements to ensure your space is the place to be this summer.

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Nothing fosters good conversation and copious amounts of laughter better than a well-planned seating arrangement. Comfort is key when lounging outdoors so use plushy lounge seating whereever you can. Mix in soft floor cushions and poufs as additional places to perch that won't take up too much extra space.

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Leagrave Classic Sofa, $1630, Restoration Hardware Sundial Chair, $1850, Serena & Lily Montauk Nest Chair, $679, West Elm

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Exterior lighting is important for creating ambiance and setting the mood. Just like indoors, we suggest layering lighting sources to create a soft glow. Overhead twinkling or vintage-inspired globe lights are an excellent way to create a relaxing retreat. Add in overhead fixtures and globes, and don't forget exterior sconces or wall lanterns to help further illuminate your space.

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The Chestnut Copper Gooseneck Light, $369, Barn Light Electric Ruby Rattan Light Fixture, Price Upon Request, Inner Gardens 24 String Lights, $228, Rejuvenation
_3 Nothing creates a cozy atmosphere and helps fend off nighttime chill like a roaring fire -- and it's perfect for roasting marshmallows and star-gazing. If you don't have the space or ability to have a full fireplace or firepit, replicate the idea with a grouping of oil lamps or hurricanes to get the glow.
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Silver Repousse Oil Lamps, From $23, Pottery Barn Pierced Porcelain Hurricanes, From $9, West Elm Bol Corten Fire Pit, Price Upon Request, Paloform
_4 Though you may already be surrounded by trees and bushes, adding in some key decorative plants in beautiful containers will help jazz up any patio or deck space. Vary the size, shape, and types of greenery for a natural and dynamic look and be sure to display them in attention-getting pots for added beauty.
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Aged Iron Pedestal Bowl, $48, Terrain Placard Fiberclay Cylinder Pot, $58, Terrain Chalkboard Planter, $14, West Elm
_5 Make the atmosphere feel warm by adding in soft, textural elements like fresh throw pillows and outdoor rugs. Making your exterior oasis just as cozy as your family room will ensure you get the most use out of the space. Keep stylish throws handy to ward off any evening chills, and you and your friends will stay for hours.
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Outdoor Awning Stripe Rug, From $125, Serena & Lily Sunbrella® Sulfur Outdoor Pillow, $40, Crate & Barrel Honeycomb Cotton Throw, $128, Terrain
_6 Style your outdoor retreat as you would any other area of your home, incorporating decorative accessories to add personality and flair. From stylish hurricane lanterns to vintage garden stools, this last layer of décor sets your place apart and injects a unique aesthetic into your exterior living space.
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Wee Watering Pot, $20, CB2 Blue and White Garden Stool, $185, Furbish Studio Copper Peaked Lantern, $98, Terrain
For even more exterior decorating ideas, check out our Outdoor Spaces Pinterest board and make sure to follow us for up-to-the-minute décor inspiration. Photographs: 1. 4. 5. 9. Justin Coit, 2. PurePhoto, 3. Jeff Andrews, 6. 7. 8. Andrew Arthur, 10. D Gilbert Photography, 11. Eric Piasecki, 12. Errez Design, 13. Francesco Lagnese, 14. Grey Crawford, 15. Estee Stanley, 16. 17.  Mark Sikes, 18. Peter Murdoch, 19. 20. Thom Filicia, 21. Yolanda Foster.
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