10 Must-Have Outdoor Accessories for Your Backyard

Do you feel like your backyard is missing something? Whether you're after some warmth and ambience for summer evenings with a fire pit, or are looking for style that will make your outdoor living space stand out from the neighbours', the Outdoor Living Centre at Shepherd's Hardware has everything you need to add an extra layer of personality to your yard. With the right accessories, you can create a cozy and inviting space that you'll never want to leave. From entertaining essentials like seating sets and lighting solutions, to planters and decorative touches – here are 10 must-have outdoor accessories you need to take your backyard living experience to the next level.

Outdoor Seating

Your backyard should be a comfortable escape that suits your lifestyle, so invest in outdoor seating such as sofas or lounge chairs that let you relax and read a book or hang out with friends or family. If outdoor naps are more your thing, a hammock can bring the staycation home to you. 

Outdoor seating can come in a variety of materials including wood, metal, and wicker, each with its own unique benefits. For example, wood adds a natural and rustic feel to your space, while metal provides durability and longevity. Consider how much time you want to spend on upkeep, and if you have a place to store the furniture in harsh weather or winter to keep it looking new.

Outdoor Dining Sets

Outdoor dining sets make for memorable gatherings, and there’s nothing quite like dining al fresco in great weather. Whether you want to enjoy a solo breakfast before work, sit down for dinner with your spouse or host a big family barbecue, it’s important to choose a table and chairs that are both stylish and practical for your needs. Large dining sets are great for hosting guests, while bistro sets are better if you have limited space — the average large dining set seats up to 8 people, while a bistro set seats up to 4. If you don’t host people very often, a bistro set may be a better option so you can fill the rest of your space with other types of outdoor seating and accessories. 

You can also choose different styles of dining sets depending on your own aesthetic. Just because it’s outside, doesn’t mean you need to skimp on design!

Outdoor Lighting

Create an enchanting atmosphere with functional lighting that adds a warm glow once the sun sets. Outdoor lighting comes in all shapes and sizes — from string lights, to lanterns, to wall lights. It’s important to decide the main purpose of the lighting, whether it’s for ambience or function, like lighting the path to your garage or house or adding a twinkle to your outdoor dinner party. Motion sensor lights are great for lighting up the path when you need it, as well as deterring break-ins. Solar powered lighting is great for wireless solutions that turn on once it’s dark. 

Candles can also be a great light source and work no matter what the size of your patio area. Citronella candles, or even tiki torches, can also help deter mosquitoes and other undesirable insects.

Outdoor Storage

Outdoor storage solutions can help you declutter your space and keep your  tools and equipment organized and tidy, which contributes to your overall backyard aesthetic. Storage sheds are great for keeping lawn mowers and other electrical equipment and tools, as well as out-of-season items you don’t need access to. Storage benches and deck boxes are useful for containing your patio cushions and protecting them from harsh or wet weather. Storage sheds, benches and boxes can not only be functional and weather-resistant, but also stylish and an extension of your outdoor style.

Shade Structures

Shade structures, like gazebos, pergolas or umbrellas offer relief from the sun and its harmful rays. As part of your dining set, you can get an umbrella that comes through the centre of your table for optimal shade solutions while you’re eating outside. Alternatively, you can offer shade for your couch or lounge chair with a standalone umbrella. Retractable awnings are another way to create and take away shade as needed with the position of the sun and time of day.A pergola is built with open rafters and is a great option if you have more space and want shade mixed with a bit of sun. If built over your outdoor seating and dining area, it can be a great way to also offer modest protection for your furniture from the elements. For full shade and furniture protection, the ultimate solution is a gazebo, which has a permanent roof canopy.

Decorative Accents

Just like inside your home, decorative accents such as planters and wall hangings add charm and personality to your space. Adding colourful flowers and lush plants can bring your garden to life, while adding a relaxing water feature like a fountain or bird bath can create a feeling of calmness. Wind chimes also add soothing sounds to your space,  and are also said to bring good luck and positive energy! Don’t forget that lots of backyard decor can be kitschy and pure fun, which can make for a great conversation starter piece when you have people over. 

Cooking Essentials

Impress your guests with mouth-watering, barbecued meals prepared on outdoor cooking essentials such as grills and smokers. As a bonus, cooking outside during the warmer months helps reduce your utility bills!

An outdoor bar cart can be a great place to store outdoor cooking tools and supplies, or deliver drinks to your guests from inside. Don’t forget a cooler to keep those beverages cold and refreshing!

Outdoor Entertainment

Keep everyone entertained with outdoor entertainment options like speaker systems for ambient music. You could even build a blank white surface to use as a screen for an outdoor projector for the ultimate outdoor movie night. 

Outdoor Rugs & Pillows

For a finishing touch, add outdoor rugs and pillows to cozy up your space. Outdoor cushions add a layer of padding to your outdoor seating for ultimate relaxation. Outdoor rugs not only add visual interest to your space, but add function in protecting your feet from hot patio bricks or wooden slivers. In addition to providing a cozy atmosphere underfoot, outdoor rugs can also protect your flooring from the elements. 

Games and Recreation

Incorporate outdoor games and recreation to your outdoor space to keep everyone active and engaged. Swings and playground sets are great for keeping kids moving, while outdoor lawn games like cornhole, bocce or croquet are fun for the whole family. If you have the space or budget, consider a hot tub or swimming pool to really be the envy of your neighbours. 

As humans, we have an instinctual draw to nature. Being immersed in the great outdoors can provide a sense of calm and relaxation that is hard to replicate anywhere else. This is why having outdoor furniture and accessories is so important — it allows us to create an outdoor oasis that we can retreat to whenever we need a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Transforming your backyard into an oasis is easier than you think. Shepherd's Hardware’s has an amazing selection of high-quality outdoor furniture and accessories that can bring beauty and comfort to your outdoor atmosphere. These 10 must-have items will make entertaining and relaxation a breeze while helping you create the perfect backyard getaway for family and friends. Visit our outdoor living centre in Armstrong today to explore all the wonderful outdoor pieces we have available to truly transform your backyard.

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