Exterior Curb Appeal

The Most Stylish Outdoor Decor, According to a Design Pro

Say goodbye to gnomes, flamingos, and mushroom statues once and for all—here’s how to add some upscale decor to your outdoor space.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


Lawn decor sometimes gets a bad rap. Too often, it calls to mind bulbous gnomes, life-sized pink flamingos, and frogs in lotus pose. We don’t have to resort to tacky lawn ornaments, however, to add style and personality to our yards and decks. Wendy Yates, CEO and founder of Abigail-Elise Design Studio, shares pro tips about outdoor features we can install in our yards that will help us love our open-air spaces, and want to spend more time outside.

Related: Rejuvenate Your Lawn with 7 Spring Musts

Try a Water Feature

Ballard Designs

Yates urges homeowners to first expand their ideas of what counts as outdoor decor—ornaments can be something other than animal statues, after all. “Consider adding a water feature,” she says, because it “will make the yard feel calm as well as cover unwanted noise from a busy street.” This gorgeous mosaic fountain is inspired by the blue-and-white-tiled gardens of the Mediterranean. Available at Ballard Designs

Use Solar Lights


Decorating the yard can be as simple as illuminating it, which is why Yates suggests adding “solar yard lights in the ground to create an ambience at night.” Moody ground lighting is enough to create a magical-looking lawn full of magic? We’re in. Try these cracked glass balls, which give off a warm light and offer a unique and unexpected look. Available on Amazon.

Install a Gazebo


Lawn ornaments, we’ve noticed, lean heavily on a storybook theme—think about how many gargoyles and mushrooms there are on neighborhood lawns. Instead, create a yard vibe that allows you to be a part of the story itself.

“A small gazebo will naturally make a space more welcoming,” says Yates. This metal gazebo brings a laid back yet romantic look to your property. Available on Wayfair

Related: 13 Stunning Gazebo Ideas for a Relaxing Backyard Retreat

Decorate With Potted Flowers

Ballard Designs

Lawn ornaments can certainly add vibrance and creativity to the yard, but what you choose to display makes all the difference. Offsetting planted flowers with potted ones, for example, adds depth and interest to your garden. Unglazed ceramic pots are a good bet—they have a weathered look that comes off as rustic-chic. Available at Ballard Designs

Choose the Right Statue


“A small animal statue is always a nice addition” to the yard, says Yates. Just be sure to skip the statue of the peeing dog! There are so many truly tacky statues out there, but for every one of those there’s a gorgeous, wow-worthy piece for your yard. A lion statue like this one always comes off as classy. Available on Etsy

Add a Garden Table

Yard Art

“A garden table is a must if you want somewhere you will actually spend time,” says Yates. A cast-stone table with complementing benches will fit right into the natural surroundings. Available at Yard Art

Decorate With a Peacock Chair


Skip the cheesy peacock lawn ornaments and opt instead for a peacock chair. A whimsical, high-back chair with embellishments gives off a storybook, throne-like vibe and will draw folks into the garden. Seek out one that looks like it belongs in a cottage garden, like this vintage, wrought-iron peacock chair. Available on Amazon

Consider an Outdoor Kitchen

Obadiah’s Woodstoves

“If you want to really enhance your outdoor area, consider an outside kitchen,” says Yates. “This can range anywhere from a grill to an outdoor pizza oven.” While it is not exactly a lawn ornament, food-prep gear will certainly add a whole new level of utility and comfort to your outdoor space. To add beauty as well as function to your outdoor kitchen, consider this wood-burning oven that’s inspired by 17th-century French masonry. Available on Obadiah’s Woodstoves

Related: Craft a Perfect Outdoor Kitchen