From a chic water feature to an on-trend outdoor pouffe – these 12 buys will turn your backyard into a relaxing haven

This season, turn your backyard into a space for relaxing with these 12 essential buys to help you on your way

A backyard with a seated area
(Image credit: Adam Potts. Design: Susan Skornicka)

There are so many things you can do to elevate your backyard into an outdoor living space that is perfect for relaxing and unwinding in. From lighting fixtures that can create a soft and warming glow come evening time, to water features that embrace the natural elements, these are the backyard shopping picks I've got my eye on.

Oonagh Turner
Oonagh Turner

Oonagh is an interiors writer and editor, and expert at keeping up with trends. She's also a keen online shopper, with shopping baskets full of decor must-haves that reflect wider trends from the world of interior design. For this story, she's picked her favorite outdoor pieces of decor and furniture to help her readers create a tranquil and relaxing backyard space.

Top buys for a relaxing backyard

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Water features

The tranquil sound of flowing water relaxes and calms the senses. 'Water features of any kind naturally create tranquility,' explains designer and contractor Susan Skornicka. 'Water sounds and reflections are simply soothing.' 

These are my favorite buys to help you bring water to your backyard.

Soft furnishings

Tranquil lighting

Outdoor lantern

(Image credit: Article)

Relaxed seating

How to create a relaxing backyard space

Your backyard space has the potential to be an added living area for quiet contemplation and tranquility. A place to enjoy the elements and embrace nature. But to create a serene spot in your backyard involves some investment. These are the top buys that can help you do just that. 

Embracing water and the elements is one way to add an element of relaxation to your backyard space. 'No matter the size, or amount of planting, a water feature is an excellent way to bring sound, wildlife, and motion to a landscape,' explains landscape designer, Christopher Dameron. 'Water engages your senses and brings a sense of calm and abundance. We are hardwired to respond to the sound of running water.  It calms us'

As well as water, think about the lighting that can transform the space. Soft warm light at night is magical. 'There are so many lanterns and solar lighting options that make it easy to make the space sparkle.'

Warmth is another factor that can bring relaxation to the space. Instead of a simple seating area, give it some warmth with soft furnishings to encourage you to take a seat and relax. Outdoor living areas are important. 'Outdoor furniture doesn't need to be uncomfortable,' says Susan. 'It can be covered or layered with soft, cozy fabrics to sink into. Set it up for gathering, inviting all to be cozy in nature - always good for the soul.'

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.