Colorful Outdoor Furniture Pieces to Bring Joy to Your Yard

By Ingrid Fetell Lee
Colorful outdoor chairs from Dobro design.

Colorful Outdoor Furniture Pieces to Bring Joy to Your Yard

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You know you’ve settled into a new home when you finally have a tradition. One that I now look forward to every summer is a visit from friends who live in the city. We have cocktail hour and snacks on the covered porch while we play with G. Then we put him to bed and have dinner outside on our long teak table, surrounded by moonflowers and climbing hydrangeas. Not wanting the night to end, we take lanterns out past the pool to the edge of the stone patio overlooking the creek. Albert builds a fire and we snuggle up with s’mores or pie and chat under the stars.

Last year our outdoor hosting got a big step when I finally decorated our outdoor spaces. But looking back, one regret I have is not going bolder with colorful outdoor furniture. Don’t get me wrong: I love our natural teak pieces. They weather so beautifully and the pieces we picked are timeless. I had custom outdoor cushions made for all our chairs in a blue and white stripe that just happens to look perfect out the window of our blue living room.

But, if I had it to do over, I think I might’ve mixed it up with few more pops of color: perhaps some woven chairs with colorful rope, or a few bright powder-coated side tables for drinks. I indulged my “what ifs” to make this collection of colorful outdoor furniture that I’ll be eyeing next time I get to design an outdoor space.

Benefits of Colorful Outdoor Furniture

Colorful outdoor furniture can sound a bit like an indulgence, but there are benefits to having colorful furnishings in your outdoor space. Here are a few:

Get More Use Out of Your Outdoor Space

Color acts like a beacon, drawing people toward it. Having color in your outdoor space can remind you to get outside and use it. Given that being outside can increase both mental and physical well-being, anything that gets you outdoors more often is good for your health.

Distract the Eye From Undesirable Features

If your outdoor space isn’t the nicest, colorful furnishings can help distract from unsightly features, like a neighbor’s cluttered yard or an ugly pool fence.

Conversation Starter

Colorful outdoor furniture can be a conversation point when gathering people together. It acts a bit like an icebreaker, especially if you place a piece on your front porch where neighbors can see it.

Creates an Oasis

Colorful outdoor furniture can offer contrast with both the green of a natural environment and the gray of an urban one, helping to define your outdoor space and set it apart. This can help make your outdoor space feel more like an oasis from the outside world.

Add Off-Season Interest

In the winter, when trees are bare, having colorful outdoor furniture to look out on can bring a joyful lift to your surroundings.

14 Colorful Outdoor Furniture Pieces

This collection of outdoor items includes some pieces that are aspirational and others that are more accessible. While not everyone (me included!) has $3500 to spend on a lounge chair, I find pieces like this can be inspiring. When I just search for what’s available in stores right now, I often end up with things that feel very trendy and current. Seeking out vintage or iconic pieces helps me see a different approach that I can DIY or emulate in a more cost-effective way.

Colorful Outdoor Furniture Pieces to Bring Joy to Your Yard

1. Axel Chay Parad chair; 2. Sebastian Herkner Maraca chair; 3. Jasper Morrison Crate Series No8; 4. Fermob Cocotte side table; 5. Fermob Luxembourg side chair; 6. Imandeco Chaise Droite – Taïssa; 7. Dobro Design Bubbles Collection; 8. Schoolhouse folding outdoor chair; 9. Like Minded Objects dining set; 10. Maison Drucker Banquette Lune in Chambord; 11. Terrain side table with tray top; 12. Kathrin Eckhardt Round Chair; 13. Vintage Gogo chairs by Charlotte Rude & Hjördis Olsson-Une for IKEA; 14. Gae Aulenti Locus Solus armchair.

If I had to pick just one, I’d probably snag a pair of no. 13s (can you believe that this was an IKEA design from the 80s?!). I have a similar stripe going on in blue at my place, but the overstuffed cushions look so comfy! A set of no. 6s would be so fun around a green Fermob table. I’m thinking about adding no. 11 (surprisingly affordable) to the current mix on my patio. The coral color would highlight the blue, and I love that the top is also a tray. Also, no. 10 in the right space would just be magical — the kind of brunch spot you’d never want to leave!

Tips for Making Colorful Outdoor Furniture Work in Your Space

Of course, the boldness of colorful furniture can be a little bit daunting. How do you make it work in your space? Here are a few approaches that have caught my eye.

Choose a simple style in multiple coordinated colors
Green chairs of various hues seen against a long wood table.

Chairs in multiple colors make a simple space feel alive. The wood table and silvered decking provide contrast to keep the overall scheme relaxed. (via Gardenista)

Choose complementary colors to your surroundings
Red outdoor dining set by Fermob under a grove of vines.

Outdoor furniture in colors like red, pink, and orange will pop against greenery (as this Fermob set does), while colors like yellow and green will contrast with the gray or brick tones in an urban space. Creating contrast with the background will make your outdoor space feel more defined and more inviting. If you live in a natural area, the color difference will also make your greenery look more lush.

DIY Macrame chairs | Colorful Outdoor Furniture Pieces

If the furniture you want is out of budget, try a DIY option. If you can’t afford a colorful outdoor sofa, you could have bright throw pillows made in a fun performance fabric. I love Kitiya Palaskas’s DIY macrame makeover for creating a woven look with ordinary beach chairs.

For even more colorful outdoor furniture pieces, check out our Colorful Outdoor Furniture Pinterest board. And if you have a favorite piece I missed, let me know in the comments!

Image, top: Dobro Design Bubbles Collection

Reminder: Sign ups for the 5 Secrets to Designing a Feelgood Home are now open! Check the schedule for this year’s free live workshop here.

May 11th, 2023


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