5 Outdoor Decor Ideas To Help Make Your Summer Bucket List a Reality

Realtor.com | By Larissa Runkle | May 26, 2023

We all have a summer to-do list: Weed the garden, refinish the deck, deep-clean the patio furniture before your big Fourth of July party. But around this time of year, many of us also start putting together a very different type of checklist: the summer bucket list.

Filled with sun-centric activities that will ensure you have an enjoyable season, this bucket list often involves hobbies that can be done in the comfort of your own backyard.

Maybe you want to spend more time reading or cooking your way through an entire cookbook. Whatever your summer goals are, we have some ideas on outdoor decor that can help make them happen. Here are five trending outdoor looks from Instagram this week that will help you check off every item on your summer bucket list.

1. Back porch bistro

For those who love to cook or have ambitious summer cooking plans—you’re going to want a place where you can enjoy those meals. Enter: this back porch bistro look from @homewithrue.

“An outdoor patio with a bistro table sets the stage for long, leisurely conversations and laughter-filled evenings,” says designer Robin DeCapua, of Madison Modern Home. “Invite your friends to cook with you—you’ll need the extra helping hands if you want to tackle that whole cookbook!”

Get the look: Create your perfect back porch bistro with this outdoor bistro set.

2. Patio potting bench

Every great gardener needs a potting bench to organize plants and prepare seeds. We’re particularly taken by this moody-colored potting bench seen in a post by @ohhomelygirl.

“This potting bench is a fantastic example of how to use your outdoor space to enhance your interests and pay attention to your bucket list,” says designer Dani Smith. “It’s perfect if you’re interested in gardening or even love to repot and propagate houseplants—it sets an intention and provides a casual-living aesthetic.”

Get the look: Give your green thumb an outlet this summer with this potting bench.

3. Garden reading nook

Looking for a quiet retreat where you can devour your growing pile of summer reads? Curate a reading nook like the one seen in this post from @cuckoolandcom.

“A comfy outdoor chair, adorned with plush cushions and a cozy throw, will invite you to curl up and dive into your literary adventure,” says DeCapua. “Set up a small table nearby to hold a refreshing glass of lemonade and a stack of books. With your summer garden reading nook, you can indulge in your love of reading while basking in the beauty of nature.”

Get the look: Get ready to have some of your best reading days of the season on this daybed.

4. Backyard fire pit

Need a place to gather around the fire with your brood? Check out this fire pit setup featured in a post from @outdoordesignerstore.

“What I especially love about this gathering area is that it’s the perfect foundation for entertaining,” says Smith. “Just fire up the pit and surround it with cushions, blankets, a lantern or two, a tray with drinks—you can’t go wrong.”

Get the look: Design your perfect summer gathering spot by combining this fire pit with a few of these floor pillows.

5. Poolside Tiki bar

If learning how to shake up some new craft cocktails is on your summer bucket list, you probably want to have a spot to show off your skills.

This poolside Tiki bar, seen in a post from @fincadelicaibiza, is a luxurious version of something you can achieve in your backyard.

“Refreshing drinks, good vibes, and lots of fun—cheers to the perfect poolside Tiki bar,” says DeCapua.

Get the look: Go all in with a thatched-roof Tiki bar or keep it classic with this wooden bar table.