The beautiful thing about creating a coastal outdoor space in your own backyard is that you can forgo all the planning, tedious packing and large crowds. Instead, your dream destination is just a few steps away and always ready for you to indulge in the comfort of your own private space. Follow our tips and you’ll soon be relaxing in an outdoor beachy paradise you can call your own.

#1. Start With the Basics

It’s easy to get carried away shopping for the little decor pieces you love, but you’ll make the most out of your space if you choose the large core furniture items first. To create an outdoor space that speaks to you, think about how you plan to use it. If you love entertaining, a sofa set with a fire pit table offers plenty of room to gather ‘round and enjoy the crackling flames. If you’re more of a low-key weekender, a small patio chat set or hammock might work best for you. Regardless of the style or size, resin wicker is a classic beach-inspired choice you can’t go wrong with.

#2. Add Vibrant Colors

To evoke a seaside vibe, pair classy neutrals with pops of fresh color. Navy blue, turquoise, teal, coral and minty green are gorgeous hues for a coastal chic space. No matter your furniture choices, it’s easy to add color with outdoor throw pillows or low-maintenance indoor/outdoor area rugs. If you really want to go bold, consider painting an exterior wall in a coordinating color with your decorative pieces.

#3. Stand Out With a Shiplap Wall

Shiplap has risen in popularity for a reason—it exudes a cozy, beach-cottage feel that’s perfect for your coastal-themed patio space. While you can get away with a faux shiplap wall for interior spaces, we recommend using real shiplap for exterior walls. And as for color? You can never go wrong with white. Or consider a soft beige or a soothing blue for that extra-special touch.

#4. Set the Mood with Lighting

Lighting can make or break a space, so don’t leave ambient lighting out of the equation. String lights are a popular choice for their nostalgic feel and affordability. You can drape one or two lines over your seating area, or cover your entire patio ceiling—either way, the results are pretty magical come night time. If you’re not a fan of string lights, consider LED light strips you can adhere flush to the ceiling, or add an outdoor ceiling fan to make hot summers more enjoyable.

#5. Accessorize, Accessorize

Is it really a full ensemble without a few accent pieces? Give your outdoor space some love with accessories that serve equal parts style and function. Wicker style baskets have a beachy feel, all while neatly compartmentalizing loose items like outdoor throws and children’s toys. If extra storage is a priority, consider a bar cart to hold drinks for happy hour. Decor like faux window frames, surfboards or wall art give your space a personal touch.

#6. Perfect it with Plants

And finally, make sure to create a picture-perfect finish by adding a natural element. Fresh greenery will make your outdoor area look like a lush paradise, and they can do wonders for lifting your mood. To tie it all back to a beachy theme, consider pairing your plants with clear vials filled with sand and collected seashells from past beach outings.

So, did we hit the mark on coastal chic style? As always, we’d love to see your ideas and creations. Make sure to snap a picture of your outdoor space and share it with the hashtag #MyAshleyHome for a chance to be featured.