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Our love for HomeGoods runs deep. It’s affordable, available nationwide, and always has such a huge array of products. What may be surprising to some, however, is the quality of said products. The retailer just rolled out its summer collection, and you’d be forgiven for thinking the outdoor pieces were straight from little boutiques in Positano.

Every item, from the garden stools to the vibrant melamine dishes, carries HomeGoods’s signature low price tag. Pick up a buffet table, complete with built-in cabinetry for much-needed patio storage, for $399.99. Smaller items, such as the faux greenery or throw blankets and pillows, range from $5.99-$39.99 to $14.99-$19.99, respectively. Updating your outdoor space just got a lot more affordable.

Feeling like a weekend (or mid-week, or mid-day, even) jaunt to dig through the offerings at your nearest HomeGoods? Before you accidentally end up with the whole store in your shopping cart, press pause. Budget decor is great, but you want to be sure you’re making your money matter and being intentional in your purchases—which is why we asked Marcy Blum to jump in.


Blum is a destination party planner, entertaining expert, and all around stylist extraordinaire responsible for creating the gorgeous, Italian-inspired set-up shown here to announce the launch of HomeGoods’s newest offerings.

We spoke to her to get her tips on how to create an uber stylish outdoor space that won’t break the bank. From the must-have pieces worth investing in to easy hacks that make cutting corners look chic, here are the style tricks to steal for getting your dream backyard on a budget.

Shop Smart

The best way to find bargains is by ensuring you’ve weighed all your options, so take your time. “Take a tour around the whole store at once,” says Blum. “Walk through everything before you get a shopping cart. Otherwise, you run the danger of being all over the place, and that’s when you spend more than you had in mind.”

Start Big

It’s a lot easier to create a space around one focal point. Blum recommends finding one bigger piece—a large sofa or statement swing, like the below option from HomeGoods—and building around that. “That centers the space,” she says. “Get a lot of different colored throws and blankets, and toss them over the furniture for some color. You can mix and match; decide you’re going to make it all white one day, blue and white the next day… it’s a little more whimsical.”



Bring the Indoors Out

“Get a rug. It grounds the space and gives it a sense of being casual, like it could be your living room,” advises Blum. She also is an advocate for looking at more unexpected places to source your outdoor goods: the bathroom aisle. “We found some tables and stools [at HomeGoods] that we used as outdoor seating—they look great, but they were meant for the shower,” she shares. “And giant terrycloth towels are great to use as throws. They work for all weathers.”

Try Unexpected Materials

We love the look of ceramics and the convenience of paper as much as the next person, but the trendiest materials for summer entertaining are a little different. “I was at a show in Paris in January, and they were showing tons of acrylic and melamine. HomeGoods has a lotof it, and it’s gorgeous—it looks like Baccarat!” says Blum.

Alternatively, you don’t have to splurge to find more timeless pieces. Blum’s favorite items—”the giant pottery pieces with lemons on them”—from the new outdoor collection only look expensive. “I had just schlepped lemon pieces from Amalfi back [to the US] for a zillion dollars, and here they were at HomeGoods for half the price!”


Nix the Traditional Centerpiece

According to Blum, the biggest mistake people decorating on a budget make is going all out with a big floral arrangement. Instead, try something a little more unique. “Use leafy greens or wildflowers as accents, and do more with candles and giant bowls and pretty pottery instead of flowers, which have become crazy expensive,” she recommends.


Feign Expensive Elegance, Italian-Style

It’s easy to look put together and high-end when you follow a specific style aesthetic, and replicating the casual elegance of the Amalfi Coast is a sure-fire way to create an impressive space. “There’s an Italian word ‘sprezzatura,’ and that’s what you’re looking for: offhand, but not sloppy, and whimsical,” offers Blum. Stick to a color palette of mediterranean blues and lemon yellows, opt for dish towels wrapped in twine rather than formal napkins, and use bowls of citrus as summery centerpieces that are both budget-friendly and fun.

See more budget decorating ideas:

How to Get Your Dream Kitchen at Your Dream Cost Where Interior Designers Shop for Affordable Decor We Scoured the Internet to Find the Best Flatware for Every Budget

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