The days are slowly getting shorter and the kids are heading back to school, but we’re still not feeling quite ready to be done with summer. And apparently, we’re not the only ones—a quick scroll through Instagram will show you post after post of outdoor decor with seductive summer flair.
The Instagram posts that got the most hearts this week, though, all had a little something in common: pure whimsy. And if you like these fanciful designs as much as the internet does, we’ve got good news—we’ve tracked down what you can buy to steal the look and decorate for those final parties of the season.
1. Dog-days-of-summer bed swing
If you’ve always wanted a swing on the front porch, this one that’s the size of a bed is sure to make you swoon. You can thank the experts at @southernlivingmag via this repost from @glimpsesofthesouth.
“Nothing says ‘home’ like a porch swing,” says interior designer Kathryn Nelson of Kathryn Nelson Design. “I believe these have grown in popularity because they remind us of our childhood and older times, while being a more comfortable, deeper-sitting version.”
2. The party-ain’t-over paper lanterns
If you thought giant paper lanterns were just a thing for Lunar New Year, think again. One of the best ways to spice up your outdoor space is to add some bright texture and a fun pop of light, just like the ones pictured in this post by @s.u.s.a.p.
“Giant paper lanterns offer a lovely scale to an overhead space while still feeling ‘airy,’” Nelson says. “They also provide nice, warm, glowing light whether lit from within or by reflecting and glowing from nearby lights.”
3. Beach-bum outdoor decor
Whether or not you actually use it to catch some waves, it never hurts to have a surfboard lying around. Repurposed surfboards are making a big comeback this season, as seen in this post from @skovbon.
“Surfboards can be repurposed for your beach home or business as art objects, tables, benches, and more,” explains designer Pablo Solomon of Austin, TX.
Their slender shape also works really well as a minimalist design element in any outdoor space.
“The narrow depth allows for layering behind other furniture pieces,” Nelson says. “It brings great height to a space, and the lightweight nature allows for mounting to walls and ceilings with ease.”
Get the look: If you happen to live near the beach, ask around to find local artists repurposing surfboards. If you don’t, check out these custom designs on Etsy to find the perfect board for your backyard.
4. An egg chair big enough for the whole family
These last few hazy days of summer, before the kids go back to school and the chaos of daily life resumes, are perfect for some quality family time. Which is just one of the reasons you may want to invest in a giant egg chair like the one featured in this post from @handmakeshome. Maybe we’re biased, but any chair that’s big enough for two kids plus a glass of wine seems like a win.
“I just finished an addition for a family home, and this was the first piece my client ordered to furnish out the new space,” Nelson says. “They’re comfy, inviting for everyone, and the shape of the frame creates this intimate, safe, cocoon feeling.”
Get the look: If you’re ready to have the ultimate front porch cocoon for you and your brood, try this patio egg chair from Target.
5. Fairy-tale she shed
Call it what you will, but the she shed is basically an adult playhouse—and we think everyone should have one. And although the concept is nothing new, the fairy-tale magic behind the one featured in this repost by @mybackyarddecor, originally from @mygardeningstories, is definitely something we haven’t seen before.
“These can range from any style of architecture and fit to any budget while being reminiscent of our childhood days,” Nelson says. “Who wouldn’t want an adult-size dollhouse that is your very own private space?”
Get the look: If you manage to convince your S.O. that this is a must-have for the backyard, we recommend checking out the she-shed kits from Studio Shed, or (even better) designing your own fairy-tale magic with some help from the folks at Lowe’s.