2023 Yardzen Design Awards
What are the Yardzen Design Awards?
Yardzen’s annual Design Awards are here, and this year, we’re celebrating the best in outdoor furniture, decor, building materials, and wellness elements. Selection criteria includes designer expertise and data from tens of thousands of Yardzen projects. This year’s list is a long one, covering everything from tables to tools to pavers to cold plunges. One through line across several categories is Yardzen’s top style trend of 2023: Organic. This style comes to life in furniture, decor, and materials that are timeless, refined, and antique-inspired, making use of wood, stone, canvas, and textured fabrics in whites and blues. Here are our top selections for 2023.
These hand-selected furniture pieces, tested by Yardzen staffers and clients alike, are investments in your backyard bliss. This year’s selections are notable in their use of texture, from weathered teak to wicker, tailored lines and rounded shapes, and their invocation to gather with those you love.
Best Lounge Chair
Why We Love It: Conversation chairs are a key component of many Yardzen yards, and Outer’s armless teak set is a designer favorite. We love the look, feel, and easy-to-use OuterShell, which protects the chairs from the elements.
Best Dining Table
Why We Love It: Crate&Barrel craftsmanship comes to life in this elegant outdoor table. In long-lasting weathered teak, we love the classic details– a slatted top and tapered legs–and size, seating up to eight for alfresco entertaining.
Why We Love It: The star of Neighbor’s newest line, Terra, is the thoughtfully designed cushion. Overstuffed in a custom, canvas-inspired Sunbrella fabric, the flanges add an elevated organic feel to this cozy couch.
Best Accent Chair
Why We Love It: This quintessentially #organicmodern chair in all-weather wicker looks as good as it feels. The gentle slope offers ample support, making it the most comfortable outdoor accent chair you will find.
Best Fire Pit (Wood)
Why We Love It: Solo Stove delivers on its high-design, low-smoke promise with the Yukon. Loved by Yardzen staffers and clients alike, this wood-burning fire pit emits an amazing amount of heat, encouraging long evenings under the stars.
Best Fire Pit (Gas)
Why We Love It: There is much to love about the gas Saum Fire Bowl– shape, size, style, weight (it’s glass-fiber concrete), color, and cost. The adjustable flame output allows you to control the heat and flame, making for the perfect s’more.
Why We Love It: Outdoor fireplaces are a top trend of 2023, and this chiminea fits the bill beautifully, serving as stylistic focal point, space definer, and vibe creator. Plus, the patina of both the rust and black will age wonderfully.
Why We Love It: The Pacifica Bench sits elegantly in several Yardzen yards, adding organic color and texture to any outdoor room. We love to use it as a dining bench, to define a seating area, or as the setting of a quiet reading nook.
Why We Love It: Umbrellas are an expensive, but necessary, investment in outdoor enjoyment. We love this large, rectangular option– it’s elegant, creates ample shade, and performs exceptionally well against the elements.
Best Bistro Set
Why We Love It: A bistro table works beautifully in both small yards and to define an outdoor room in a larger space. This set’s matte aluminum framework comes in multiple colors and stands up beautifully to the elements.
Best Coffee Table
Why We Love It: We love this circular coffee table for its function and form. The round shape encourages gathering and the lightweight, all-weather fiber cement creates a stone-like finish that is perfect for any organically styled yard.
We’re all-in on classic decor that looks beautiful in any style of yard. Influenced by this year’s top outdoor style, Organic, we’re gravitating toward textured, antique-influenced, and nautically inspired teak, stripes, and canvas that will look great for years.
Why We Love It: Poufs are one of our go-to pieces for bringing a yard to life, adding color, texture, and height, plus a comfortable place to sit. We’re all-in on nautical stripes this year, making this pouf our go-to for the summer.
Why We Love It: These outdoor pillows are a classic. In a range of organic colors to mix and match, including navy, natural, and mustard, we love how the stripes add personality to these textured jute pillows that always hold their shape.
Best Beach Chair
Why We Love It: These beach chairs are our favorite way to add a seasonal decor punch and additional seating to your yard – plus, they are light enough to bring to the beach or a soccer game.
Why We Love It: We love all things Flamingo Estate, and this candle doesn’t with its garden-inspired, Rosemary scent – perfect for setting your alfresco table or bringing the outdoors in.
Why We Love It: A modern take on the classic camping lantern, adding functional charm to any yard. Plus, this rechargeable LED lamp lasts up to 50 hours!
Why We Love It: Add warmth, texture, and pattern to your outdoor space with this stonewashed striped throw.
Best Picnic Blanket
Why We Love It: Set the scene for a picnic in your own backyard with this classic blue quilt inspired by vintage weaving from the early nineteenth century.
Outdoor Kitchen & Tabletop
This year we’re opting for unfussy, camp-inspired tabletop decor, like gingham and enamelware, recalling the “good old-fashioned” days of backyard barbecues and classic summer campouts.
Why We Love It: This classic flatware elevates any outdoor dining table with white, acrylic handles that stand up to the elements.
Why We Love It: The Jenni Kayne x Crow Canyon enamelware collaboration is a repeat award winner. We love the shape, colorway, and craftsmanship of this line, which performs beautifully outside.
Best Table Linens
Why We Love It: Heather Taylor Home makes classic, heirloom quality linens that work beautifully both inside and out. We especially love the gingham for its classic, camp-inspired feel.
Best Tabletop Decor
Why We Love It: Elevate any tabletop with Terrain’s genius Over-The-Table Rod, which we love to adorn with seasonal flowers, paper crafts, and lights.
Best Pizza Oven
Why We Love It: There are several backyard pizza ovens on the market that we love, including great options from Solo and Gozney, but the Ooni consistently gets the highest marks in independent testing.
Yardzen works with best-in-class materials companies to create yards that withstand the elements and the test of time. Between Yardzen’s in-house build team and our Pro Network, we have tested every option out there, and these are our top selections for craftsmanship and style.
Why We Love It: You can’t beat TimberTech’s style, performance, or sustainability mission. Their collections do an exceptional job of achieving the look of premium wood, but the depth and warmth of Weathered Teak makes it our favorite.
Why We Love It: Belgard’s Dimensions line of pavers come in several classic shapes and sizes, making it easy to achieve any look–from cottage cobblestones to modern concrete pavers.
Best Landscape Lighting
Why We Love It: The scalloped edges of this energy-efficient pathway light add dimension and texture to the fixture, making it the perfect light for any organically styled yard (our top trend of 2023).
Best Exterior Lighting
Why We Love It: We love how Schoolhouse reimagines classic light styles with a modern, industrial twist. Assembled in their Portland factory, this exterior light will illuminate your home and look great doing it!
For the Garden
These gorgeous garden gadgets make yard work even more fun and beautiful.
Best Raised Beds
Why We Love It: Vego garden beds are the easiest option for adding raised beds of any size to your yard. They are modular, which means they ship directly to you and are a breeze to set up. We especially love the “Yardzen” green and kids sizes!
Best Garden Tools
Why We Love It: Barebones, creators of time-tested tools in premium materials, makes some of our favorite handheld gardening tools, loved by several of the gardeners on the Yardzen team.
Best Gardening Hose
Why We Love It: Make a statement with an often-overlooked garden essential: your hose! Terrain’s heritage hose comes in several colors, and it is remarkably resistant to kinks, cracks, and leaks.
Why We Love It: This hand-forged spade will last for generations – and look cute to boot. Made from a single piece of steel by Bulldog, an English craftsmen brand that’s been around since 1780.
Best Plant Care
Why We Love It: Arber sets the standard for planet- and pollinator-safe plant care with their innovative plant wellness line. We especially love their Organic Plant Food, which promotes healthy roots, foliage, and flowers.
Best Shoes & Clothes
Why We Love It: Any gardener needs a pair of gardening clogs, and this supportive pair from Hunter in classic green is not only incredibly comfortable and convenient, they are the most attractive option we’ve tested.
Transform your outdoor space into a spa with elements for relaxation and rejuvenation, including sauna, soaking tubs, and cold plunges.
Best Plunge Pool
Why We Love It: Plunge pools are a top request amongst Yardzen clients, and we’ve been on the hunt for the best precast option out there. We found that in Soake, which is handmade by artisans and can function as both a pool and a hot tub.
Why We Love It: Wellness yards are a top outdoor trend of 2023, and the cedar sauna is a key feature. Redwood Outdoors makes easy-to-assemble cabins and barrels that will turn your yard into a spa.
Best Hot Tub
Why We Love It: Forest Cooperage handcrafts Japanese-inspired cedar soaking tubs in the Pacific Northwest. Their small, one or two person tubs can be heated electrically or with wood fire, and they double as a cold plunge!
Best Cold Plunge
Why We Love It: Cold plunges are everywhere these days, and for the backyard plunger, we recommend the Portal Cold Plunge. We especially like the look of the silver stock tank, which uses an electric chiller to reach frigid temperatures.
For Families (Kids & Pets)
These outdoor toys, furniture, and decor inspire us to get outside with our two-legged and four-legged kids!
Best Kid’s Funiture
Why We Love It: Polywood has made outdoor kids furniture both functional and attractive with their picnic table, which comes in a variety of colors. Perfect for enjoying a meal or as a low-maintenance, easily washable craft table.
Best Toys & Games
Why We Love It: Gone are the days of pinched toes and broken arms – Springfree has made America’s safest trampoline, guaranteeing endless hours of safe outdoor playtime for your whole family.
Best Toys & Games
Why We Love It: Inspire outdoor adventuring in your little ones with this adorable plush campfire set for imaginative play.
Best Toys & Games
Why We Love It: Both beautiful and functional, tree swings are a Yardzen favorite for encouraging time outside and adding visual intrigue by playing with heights in your landscape.
Why We Love It: Get the whole family out of their house and off their phones with an outdoor movie screen for movie nights under the stars. (Or, grill and watch the game with friends!)
Best Furniture & Decor
Why We Love It: There are endless uses for The Get Out’s Bell Tent – a backyard campout, a she-shed, guest quarters, or a play fort. Plus, the beautiful canvas construction adds an elevated bohemian vibe to your yard.
Best Toys & Games
Why We Love It: Made of 100% solid wood and protected with a UV stain, this playhouse will hold up to the elements. With several nooks and crannies for play, like a pass-through window, the possibilities for imaginative play are endless.
Best Dog Products
Why We Love It: Animals Matter handcrafts their pet supplies in the US, and they donate part of their proceeds to No-Kill initiatives. The fade, stain, and water-resistant futon is perfect for spending quality time outside with your pup.
Best Toys & Games
Why We Love It: Getting your kids involved in the garden is one of the best ways to foster their love for fruits, vegetables, and the planet. This gardening set serves as an adorable introduction to getting their hands dirty.
Best Toys & Games
Why We Love It: With the 6-Piece Hexa Fort Set, all your kids need is a couple of sticks and a lot of imagination to build an endless array of outdoor structures.
Best Toys & Games
Why We Love It: Four-in-a-row is our go-to family lawn at Yardzen, and this set by Grandin Road comes in attractive colors that serve as both an activity and decor.
Best Toys & Games
Why We Love It: A classic A-frame tent with flap doors and windows for the little creatures in your life (great for kids and pets alike!).