The art of finding

Create a Backyard Where Summer Dreams are Made with JoAnna Garcia Swisher

May 13, 2019
by HG Guest

Outdoor Living Seasonal Decor

Hey there! JoAnna Garcia Swisher here! When I’m not filming and out of the spotlight, I love spending time in my backyard with family and friends. It’s truly the heart of our home, so I wanted to give it a refresh that my friends, husband, two girls and (even) my dog Romeo could enjoy. My tips on turning your HomeGoods obsession into inspiration for hosting the ultimate backyard party are below  – just in time for summer!

1. Shop at multiple HomeGoods stores – I love exploring the aisles of HomeGoods when I’m deciding what my next party theme should be. It’s like a treasure hunt and the items are always changing, which is why I explore multiple locations when I’m preparing to host. On a recent shopping trip, I found an adorable watermelon basket that sparked the idea for a watermelon picnic party area for my girls!

2. Don’t skimp on accessories – When I have guests over, we immediately gravitate towards the covered pergola (it feels like an outdoor living room)! When I saw a four-piece wicker set that included a love seat, two chairs and a coffee table, I knew I couldn’t leave it behind. I accessorized with yellow and pink pillows, a blue patterned outdoor rug, stylish wooden lanterns and faux ceramic planters. The best part? I created the entire look for under $2,000.

3. Make small swaps for big impact – My friends and family love relaxing by the pool. The easiest way to make your existing chairs feel new is by swapping your current cushions for outdoor decorative pillows! I found these geometric ones last time I went shopping; they’re perfect with my teak lounge chairs and totally changed the vibe of the space!

4. Create a central location for snacks & drinks – We all know that lounging by the pool isn’t complete without a drink and snack in-hand, which is why I love the addition of this seven-piece bar set to my backyard! It’s perfect for entertaining and was under $1,000! I turned it into a self-serve station with big, durable drink dispensers and snack dishes that are both beautiful and practical.

5. Create a kid-proof table with melamine – Nothing is more meaningful than enjoying a meal with your loved ones! That’s why I’m obsessed with making my table beautiful with the help of these pastel melamine plates that look like real ceramic dishes. I don’t have to worry about them breaking, which means they’ll last for many memorable dinners with family and friends.

Do you have an outdoor space that could use a little love ahead of the summer? Then Go Finding at your local HomeGoods!

JoAnna Garcia Swisher is an actress and designer. She is also co-founder of The Happy Place, her design and lifestyle digital destination, where she shares tips on creating spaces, places and moments with intention in hopes of creating your happy place. 

PHOTOS by: Michael Simon/


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