12 playful designs to add happy optimism to the garden

These uplifting garden accessories will bring joy and cheerful colour to your outdoor space, whatever the weather

Included in this guide:

Colourful garden furniture - happy gardens - Livingetc
(Image credit: Heal's)

When the sun is shining it's easy for our outdoor spaces to become our happy places - somewhere to soak up the Vitamin D and immerse ourselves in the mood-boosting super-powers of nature.

These colourful garden objects - from playful garden seating to bright and zingy picnic blankets and serotonin-boosting plant pots - are guaranteed to amplify the happy when the sun is shining, and help banish the blues and put a smile on your face, even when the weather outside is grey. 

For the ultimate outdoor round-up check out our guide to the best garden furniture, otherwise, delight in these bouyant brights that will bring joy to the everyday. 

Colourful garden furniture - colourful garden parasol - colourful deckchair - Business and Pleasure

(Image credit: Business & Pleasure)

The striped deckchair (and parasol)

Reasons to buy
+Folds away for space-saving storage+UV and water-resistant fabric+Padded headrest

Nothing says summer like a striped deckchair, and you can embrace old-school Riviera style to the max with this laidback deckchair and matching yellow garden parasol.

Want still more stripe in your life? There's also a coordinating cooler bag, sunshine yellow beach tote and shade-delivering tent canopy for the ultimate in beach-day-trip vibes. Just pass us the suncream, please.

Colourful garden accessories - colourful picnic blanket - rainbow picnic blanket - Heating and Plumbing

(Image credit: Heating & Plumbing)

The rainbow picnic blanket

Reasons to buy
+Easy to carry+Water-resistant lining on reverse+Made in the UK

With outside meet-ups the new norm, bring the joy wherever you go with this easy-to-carry picnic blanket in rainbow hues.

The herringbone-patterned 100% wool upper is lined with a water-resistant backing to prevent ground moisture from spoiling the fun, and the handy leather strap is easy to hook onto a bike or backpack for lunch on the move.

Colourful garden furniture - colourful garden chair - Roly Poly

(Image credit: Driade)

The playful outdoor chair

Reasons to buy
+Fuses sculpture and function+Multiple colour options

Designed by Faye Toogood, the curvaceous shape of the Roly Poly armchair is guaranteed to raise a smile in the garden.

The naive, almost child-like form has been carefully crafted by Toogood to be "bold, joyful and spontaneous", and bridge the gap between functionality and conceptual design.

The sculptural chair can be used indoors or out, with a choice of colours from Flesh Pink to Cement, Peat Brown and Yellow Ochre.

Colourful garden furniture - bright coloured outdoor drinks trolley - Petite Friture

(Image credit: Petite Friture)

The zippy outdoor drinks trolley

Reasons to buy
+Multiple colour options+Use indoors or out

Sashay the drinks into the garden in style with this smart drinks trolley available in a selection of pic-n-mix colours. 

Designed by the French studio BrichetZiegler, the powder-coated aluminium frame and easy-to-manoeuvre wheels mean - with a little careful driving - you won't spill a drop of drink.

Opt for brilliant blue, sunshine yellow, or pastel pink - along with plenty more understated options - in this handy cocktail deliverer that's as happy indoors as out.

Colourful garden furniture - colourful garden table and chairs - Eos

(Image credit: Heal's)

The colourful outdoor dining table

Reasons to buy
+Multiple matching seating options+Designed to be maintenance and rust-free

Awarded the Design Guild Mark in 2016, the Eos outdoor furniture collection offers a multitude of versatile pieces perfect for a contemporary outdoor space. 

The outdoor dining table in the Rust colour option, is, ironically, designed to do anything but. The powder-coated aluminium makes for a rust-resistant finish that's crafted to be left outdoors in any weather - although handily the table can be dismantled for space-saving storage should you wish.

Pair with the matching outdoor armchairs and garden dining bench for modern alfresco dining.

Colourful garden accessories - colourful garden lighting - Fatboy

(Image credit: Fatboy)

The easy-to-hang outdoor light

Reasons to buy
+Waterproof+Energy efficient LED bulb+USB charging

There's no need for tangled cables or outdoor electrical sockets with the Bolleke lamp. 

Simply charge the energy-efficient LED light via the USB connection and use the colourful rubber loop to hang anywhere you want. 

Perfect for illuminating evenings in the garden, the waterproof globe has three light settings to create an intimate ambiance. 

Colourful garden accessories - colourful outdoor rug - bright yellow patio rug - Maisons Du Monde

(Image credit: Maisons Du Monde)

The outdoor rug that's a sunshine substitute

Reasons to buy
+Instantly cover an unsightly patio+Can be recycled at the end of its life

Give tired patio paving an instant update with this graphic sunshine yellow outdoor rug, or eliminate the damp by laying over grass so you can picnic on still-not-quite-dry turf.

The water-resistant design is made from 100% polypropylene so it can be fully recycled at the end of its life. 

Colourful garden furniture - bright green and pink outdoor bench seat - Caribe

(Image credit: Ames)

The tropical bench seat made from recycled plastic

Reasons to buy
+Support traditional crafts+Eco-conscious recycled plastic

Travel to more tropical climes in your imagination, if not in body, with Sebastian Herkner’s collection for Ames. 

Inspired by the creative exuberance of South America, this high-backed outdoor bench is woven by hand by local craftspeople in Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast. 

Using the ‘momposino’ weaving technique traditional to the area, threads of brightly coloured recycled plastic are braided to create a vibrant, eco-conscious design. 

Colourful garden furniture - colourful garden planters - Jennifer Newman 1

(Image credit: Jennifer Newman)

The easy-to-move outdoor planters

Reasons to buy
+Move your plants wherever you want+Use indoors and out+Unlimited colour options

Switch up your planting whenever you feel like it with these versatile indoor/outdoor wheeled planters.

Perfect for manoeuvring this month's best specimen into prime position on the patio - without any heavy lifting - the lightweight powder-coated aluminium planter has lockable castors, so your pride and joy will stay where you left it, even on a slope.

Even better, unlimited options of RAL paint colours allow you to opt for as much colour as you like, adding cheer to the garden even when the flowers aren't blooming.

Colourful garden furniture - bright red garden chair - Raviolo

(Image credit: Magis)

The contemporary garden seat in vibrant shades

Reasons to buy
+Multiple colour options

Choose from all the colours of the rainbow in the fluid curving lines of the Raviolo armchair. 

Conceptualised by architect and designer Ron Arad, the chair is typical of his fascination with the balance between sculpture and function.  

Exploring the possibilities of materials and technology, the chair's form is crafted from one continuous piece of rotational moulded polyethylene, contrasting a ridged outer surface with smooth inner.

Colourful garden accessories - colourful outdoor seat cushions - Graham and Green

(Image credit: Graham & Green)

The colourful outdoor seat cushion

Reasons to buy
+Add comfort to your favourite garden chair+Quirky design

Inspired by vintage matchbox designs, this quirky collection of brightly coloured seat cushions is perfect for throwing onto a bistro set or outdoor seating to add comfort and colour. 

Choose from a range of graphically illustrated bird designs, from a vibrant parrot to lively lovebirds and a spirited cockerel. 

Colourful garden furniture - colourful garden chair - Caribe

(Image credit: Ames)

The graphic garden chair dyed with plant power

Reasons to buy
+Naturally-dyed cotton+Supports traditional crafts

The happiness-inducing Maraca lounge chair celebrates the traditional skills of the indigenous Zenús women from Columbian Bolivar. 

Hand-dyed with seeds, leaves, nuts and roots, that are fixed with salt and natural starch to create the vibrant colours, the chair's cotton sling-back seats are adapted from the womens' traditionally woven hammocks.

Bright, beautiful and breathing new life into traditional craftsmanship, the collection will uplift even the dullest of days.

Find more Happy Homes ideas in our dedicated round-up, from Kelly Wearstler's top tips for painting your home happy, to Yinka Ilori's exuberant home decorating advice and Oliver Heath's biophilic design ideas to make your home a happier place to be.

Amy Lockwood
Amy Lockwood

Amy’s eye for colour, form and composition was honed in the design studio, creating prints for the interiors industry whilst studying textile design at Winchester School of Art. Here she developed her knowledge of key design principles and gained a deeper understanding of how a space can influence our sense of wellbeing, the ways we respond to our environment, and what we deem to be of value.

Amy’s own style is considered, contemporary and timeless, with a strong interest in contemporary craft and homewares that champion collaboration between traditional makers and innovative technologies. A belief that design must exist in balance with the natural world fuels her interest in exploring sustainable, circular, and regenerative design processes and underpins her passion for natural materials and responsible craftsmanship.

When she’s not writing about interior design or sourcing the latest homewares for Livingetc, Amy is most often found deliberating over the perfect shade of white paint, adding to her ever-growing plant collection, or printmaking in her home studio.