Our new outdoor furniture & my tips for a backyard refresh!

It’s that time of year! The kids are officially out of school, which means there’s a lot more down time at home with the whole fam. Whenever we’re not at the beach or pool or Chick-Fil-A during the summer months, everyone in our family wants to go straight to the backyard. It’s the place where we play, barbecue, relax – you name it! If the sun’s out, everyone’s out. And I am here for it. That being said – we’ve had the same outdoor furniture for about six years now. Knowing how much time we spend back there, and how run-down our furniture has gotten over the years, we decided that we really needed to do a 2021 outdoor furniture refresh!

If you’re feeling the itch to update your outdoor furniture this year, too, (OR if you are buying outdoor furniture for the first time!) these are all of the things that I could not recommend more!

accent table

How to decide what outdoor furniture you need

Sometimes ordering outdoor furniture can be overwhelming because it seems like a lot of arranging (or rearranging) at once! Start by choosing items you know you for sure need – and then add on from there.

The first space I knew I really wanted to update was the area around our outdoor fireplace. My kids LOVE to sit right next to the fireplace on the ledge and roast marshmallows, so I wanted to get some nice chairs that Neil and I could sit on that would be close to the fireplace as well. That way, we could all enjoy the fireplace together as a family – comfortably!

Second, I wanted to add a nice outdoor rug in that area. I think a rug can really ground a space and make it feel like a “room,” even though you are in your backyard. It just feels more homey and comfortable, like it was a space meant for gathering and enjoying each other’s company.

** P.S. if you’re on the hunt for a good outdoor rug too, you can use code MINTARROW60 to get 60% off any of their rugs right now!

It was also important to me that the rug wasn’t huge. I wanted it to be small enough that it would make the area feel like an intimate space. (TIP: if you get a rug that’s too big, you end up having to buy more furniture than you need, just to fill the space! Don’t feel like you have to go big or go home with outdoor rugs.)

I knew I wanted to start smaller with just two chairs and an accent table in this space – but the good thing about starting small is it allows you room to grow! Right now we have the chairs and table facing the fireplace head on – but in the future, we could always put two chairs on one side, then a sofa (or two more chairs) on the other side, with a coffee table in the middle! Starting with a few simple things means you can build on it in the future and adjust when needed.

accent table
outdoor chairs

Two outdoor chairs

Trust me on this: when I was searching for chairs to fill this space, I. looked. EVERYWHERE. Target, World Market, and I finally settled on these beauties from Serena & Lily!

I ended up choosing these particular chairs because A) I loved the look of them, B) I loved the low-sitting, comfortable style of them (they really are SO relaxing!), and C) the cushions looked SO dreamy to sit in – which might be the most important part – but they looked beautiful, too! All in all, I found exactly what I was looking for.

You also can’t go wrong with Serena & Lily because their stuff is really, really well made, and their pieces last forever. I specifically wanted these new chairs to last a while (at least another six years!) and I knew I was making a good decision by buying from Serena & Lily.

(BONUS: if you’re drawn to this style as much as I am, they also have a matching chaise that I might end up getting one day, too, because it is so pretty and perfect!)

In the end, there are a ton of really great outdoor chair options on the market – these were just the ones that matched my style and preferences best! But, if you have a bit of a different style, or something else in mind, we’ve rounded up some other ideas for you here!

outdoor chairs

An accent table

My search for the accent table was a little different because I wasn’t as concerned about it being a super high quality, last-forever item. I ended up finding one I loved at World Market that was still super highly rated, but it was also a pretty inexpensive find that I thought was cute and went perfectly with the style of the chairs.

(TIP: if you’re ordering from World Market, you can save an extra 10% by ordering from home and doing curbside pickup!)

outdoor table

Outdoor rug

The outdoor rug was actually the first piece I picked out and I chose everything else according to its design! It feels super comfy and durable (like it’s going to last a long time), and it makes the space feel like you’re walking into an outdoor living room – I absolutely love it!

This rug made everything feel complete, and we have already been enjoying our updated space SO much. I’m happy we refreshed everything now so that we can enjoy it the rest of the summer! The one last thing I would add to finish it all off would be cafe lights. I think that would really make this section of our backyard feel special and magical and cozy for our evening summer hangs!

outdoor rug
boutique rugs

Next up: the umbrellas in the barbecue area

The next area I knew I wanted to update was around our Traeger grill. The number one item that had to be replaced right away were our umbrellas. We had our old umbrellas for three years, and after three whole summers they had majorly faded. Functionally, they probably could have made it another summer or two because they were so well made – but looks-wise, they were struggling.

I knew I for sure wanted to order the same brand again because these umbrellas crank SO. EASILY. You put in minimal effort and they open up beautifully and perfectly every. single. time. They close super easily, too!

I also love that these umbrellas can tilt so that you can block sun from whichever direction you want! Such a cool feature. I would recommend these outdoor umbrellas over ANY others.

I did change the style of umbrellas from navy blue to white with fringe (to go with my new chairs!) – and I absolutely love them! But I’m SUPER BUMMED because that specific color in the fringe is sold out now. I will definitely keep an eye out, and let you know when it is back in stock!

But definitely know that this is why I’m serious when I say this: whatever outdoor furniture or decor you want for this summer, BUY IT NOW! This stuff really does sell out every year, and often times doesn’t come back till the next year.

In the meantime, they DO have other styles available including this grey and white fringe, striped navy (without fringe), or scalloped navy (the one we used to have and LOVED!). I think all of these options are so, so cute!

white umbrella with fringe
safavieh umbrellas

Umbrella for less

If you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, I looked into this umbrella replacement canopy from World Market, too! It’s the exact same circumference as the umbrellas I mentioned above, and it has the fringe but in a cream color. It’s SUPER cute! Note: you would have to buy a World Market umbrella frame and pole (sold separately) if you don’t have one already in order for this canopy to fit properly.

Fair warning: one of the reasons I didn’t go with this one was because some of the reviews said it collects mold (yikes!), and it had a decent amount of one-star reviews. I am always, always skeptical to buy something that has more than a single digit of one-star reviews, and this one had 35 when I was looking.

Personally, that’s why I chose the brand I did – especially because I already knew how much I loved my previous umbrellas. Why ruin a good thing, you know? And I knew they would last a long time just like before.

My word of advice: cheaper doesn’t always end up being cheaper! If it doesn’t last as long, you’re going to end up paying more in the long-run anyway, so I always think investing in high quality pieces are worth it! Plus, that allows you to add more items to the furniture you already have in the future, rather than having to replace everything year after year.

Bar stools

We also have a bar by our Traeger that we use SO much in the summer. Neil and I like to go outside to work just to have a change of scenery and get some fresh air and sunlight, and we love sitting on our IKEA bar stools.

We used to bring them inside because we were worried they would wear out if we left them outside all the time, but after leaving them out a few times we realized they were holding up SO well. It’s been a couple years since then and they still are holding up great! Definitely an IKEA WIN.

outdoor bar stools

The time to buy outdoor furniture is NOW

A word of advice? If you are buying ANYTHING for your back or front yard this year – buy it RIGHT NOW. Outdoor furniture especially will. sell. out. It may sound weird, but it’s true!

Let the sold out white fringe umbrellas be a warning to you – it’s barely June and they are already sold out, and I have no idea if they will be restocked! I hope they will, but you have to take advantage of getting what you want while you can when it comes to outdoor furniture.

Jumpsuit sold out, similar
Venice Patio Umbrella in Navy/White
Iris Patio Umbrella in Navy/White
Milan Fringe Grey and White Outdoor Umbrella
Replacement Umbrella Canopy With Fringe
Lounge Chair
Outdoor Accent Table
White Bar Stools
Outdoor Rug
Photos by Arielle Levy

Before you go, will you help me with my next update?

I hope this post has been helpful if you are updating your outdoor furniture, or getting some outdoor furniture for the first time! I know that I am on a kick right now and just want to keep updating everything in our backyard.

One last section in our yard that really needs some updating is our seating area that has a sofa with a chaise connected to it! The cushions are torn up and old, so it goes without saying we need to replace it.

What do you think we should replace it with? An outdoor sectional? Something totally new? For context, make sure to follow along on my Instagram Stories so you can see what I’m talking about! Thanks for your help in advance – and happy outdoor furniture shopping! Yay for SUMMER!

Corrine Stokoe

Corrine Stokoe is a blogger, podcaster and content creator behind the brand Mint Arrow. She and her husband Neil live in South Orange County with their 5 kids, she runs her blog and business with 7 team members, where they find the best daily deals and share favorite finds in fashion and beauty. They also run a podcast called Mint Arrow Messages. Mint Arrow has been featured in Forbes, Women's Wear Daily, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, AdWeek and Allure. Corrine is passionate about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ as often as she can and teaching others to use social media for good.

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Hi, I’m Corrine and it’s pretty simple. I think you deserve to buy the things you want at a price you can afford. Here you can find the best deals and steals on high end fashion, as well as beauty and wellness tutorials.

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