Simple Ways to Convert Your Backyard into Paradise

While much of the country is still under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, people are focusing on having fun in their own backyards—and shopping for ways to make their personal parcel of land more luxurious than ever. So, how do you pull this off?

According to a recently released survey by Wayfair Professional on what its millions of customers are searching for right now, it’s all about making outdoor spaces feel as comfy as the indoors.

For example, searches on the Wayfair site for outdoor kitchen islands are up 130 percent over this same time last year, while searches for backyard bars and wine fridges jumped 155 percent and 46 percent, respectively.

Fire pits also are trending, with searches for gas pits up 99 percent and concrete fire pits soaring by 173 percent. Searches for patio furniture sets are up 30 percent this year, meanwhile, and searches for cozy “deep seating” have spiked by 171 percent.

These outdoor amenities also add home value because you’re increasing usable space—and creating an outdoor living area allows for distinct gatherings to take place simultaneously.

And this comes in handy if you’re thinking about selling your home anytime soon. Toward that end, here are some top picks to enjoy with your family now and to share with friends (or buyers) later, once we’ve fully emerged from our homes.

1. Basket chair

Woven furniture is having a moment, including rattan, wicker and caning, partly because of its classic style and the texture it adds. Every patio should incorporate these pieces because they scream tropical and fun. This basket chair ($360) comes in brown or white, and includes plush pillows in tan, beige or lime-green stripes.

2. Wine fridge

Because restaurants as we’ve known them may not return soon, people are going to want their outdoor living spaces to reflect a ‘going out’ vibe with a spot for having cocktails in the sunshine and fresh air. This dual-zone wine fridge ($890) fits the bill nicely, with a modern glass front and five slide-out shelves.

3. Vertical garden

No space for a container garden on your porch? Look to your walls to install lush greenery. Adding plants to your patio or deck can turn your outdoor room into a total summer hangout.

Take this metal wall planter ($75), for instance, which holds three potted plants and can change a dull backdrop into a verdant accent. Want an herb garden nearby for grilling or making drinks? A vertical garden keeps everything within reach, and it’s relatively low-maintenance.

4. Outdoor rug

Don’t forget outdoor accessories, including rugs and cushions, say the pros, and try to blend your indoor and outdoor spaces to establish flow. Carrying the same tile from inside to out, for example, can make both spaces feel visually larger. This geometric area rug ($31) in a poppy-orange hue is available in nine shades and more than a dozen sizes.

5. Outdoor bar

Bar sets have been top sellers on Wayfair, especially ones that offer storage and seating, as well as multiple sides for serving and prep work. This affordable outdoor bar ($310) in chic chocolate-brown can live on your patio all season long thanks to its weather-resistant resin wicker exterior.

6. Patio lantern

Another popular item this year are outdoor lanterns with perforated patterns and geometric details, which offer a bohemian aesthetic and visual interest. Hang this lantern ($42) from a patio tree or place a series of them along a walkway to light a path for family and friends.

7. Fire pit

Adults and kids alike flip for S’mores on a warm night, so consider this sturdy, yet a compact, version for your outdoor setting. This attractive copper and black fire pit ($137) is easy to assemble, and it comes with a poker and wood grate.