Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
“It’s the quintessential summer escape. The minute you get there, your body unbuckles, and you become at ease. It’s so easy to unwind,” says JJ Martin about the gorgeous Amalfi Coast. “It’s something in the air, for sure. But it’s also [about] the color and the quality of the water and then all those smells and visual cues.”
Los Angeles-born journalist and avid vintage collector JJ Martin made Milano her home about 16 years ago. In 2015, she founded her wildly successful lifestyle brand La Double J first as a shoppable magazine selling vintage apparel and jewelry. But it quickly took off and she expanded it to include a full range of ready-to-wear and homeware items made with bold archival prints that she uncovered in Italy. Most recently, she collaborated with iconic Italian brand Acqua di Parma on a line of beauty and lifestyle products all inspired by historical Italian fabric patterns.
And while La Double J keeps JJ pretty busy in Milan, when she has some time off, she heads south to the stunning Amalfi Coast or the Island of Capri. So we asked her to share her best tips on bringing that unique laid back Amalfi Coast vibe to your backyard this summer.
“The first thing you need to do is buy a lemon tree. That's number one. You can even get a small one actually, pot it, and put it on your table,” she says right off the bat. “Otherwise, if you can start planting lemons in your backyard that is very Amalfitano, and so is fresh rosemary.
She continues: Everything in the Amalfi Coast is about the senses—the beautiful colors and the beautiful smells. So you have walls of fuchsia bougainvillea, walls of mint, rosemary, and you just get that visual delight. And you get all the smells of the herbs. It’s really fantastic.”
And don’t worry about having everything perfectly landscaped.
“Italian gardens are very wild. You want the vines growing, the jasmine climbing, the wisteria going everywhere,” she added.
Of course, in Italy, just like JJ said, color plays a major role. And we mean bold color. Nature has been pretty generous with the Amalfi Coast—from the clear turquoise waters and brightly hued blooms and ripe fruit, there’s plenty of color inspiration to lead you in your design.
If you’re not completely sure that this bright aesthetic is for you, you can simply give a nod to it by incorporating a few printed napkins or placemats on your tabletop.
JJ suggests picking your favorite color—for example, blue—and working around it.
“So maybe do blue and white plates. Then maybe you have a yellow, white, and blue tablecloth, and you have yellow and blue napkins, and then navy blue Murano glasses,” she adds. “When you’re doing color, the important thing is not to mix too many. But what is important is to have one that is a stronger influence and then you can use the more subtle ones as accents.”
Blue, white, and yellow, according to her, are extremely popular in this part of Italy.
When it comes to furniture, stick to weather-resistant natural materials such as bamboo and rattan. Steel is also a great option. Avoid too modern-looking angular shapes and go for a more rounded, feminine look. And don’t worry about doing everything all at once. JJ suggests taking your time decorating your back yard.
“Start with a table which you absolutely have to have and some chairs. And then live out there and then say, Oh maybe striped towels would be really cute out here. And maybe we should have striped placemats, too. And then maybe I'll have something floral. It's really nice to mix geometrics with florals. Go slowly, slowly, slowly. Live with it,” she suggests.
And finally, don’t buy too much stuff.
“The thing about Italians is that it’s all about quality, not quantity,” JJ says. Make this your motto when you start decorating your garden.
Now check out a few decor and furniture items that will make you feel like you’re in Positano next time you step out in your backyard.
Emporio Sirenuse Poppy Flower Power Square Pillow in Red
Le Sirenuse, one of Positano’s most iconic hotels, has launched a beautiful homeware line with items that the hotel is decorated with.
This pillowcase features an intricate poppy flower-inspired embroidery reminiscent of traditional prints found in Central Asia.
To buy: $325, emporiosirenuse.com
Pagoda Patio Umbrella in Orange
Protect yourself from the sun and add a pop of color to your patio with this striped pagoda-style umbrella in white and orange.
The frame is crafted from sturdy aluminum and stainless steel that will resist even the strongest of summer breezes while the canopy is made from weather-resistant acrylic.
To buy: $545, onekinglane.com
Rosemary 'Tuscan Blue' Live Plant
No Amalfi-coast inspired garden will be complete without a fragrant rosemary shrub. This particular perennial variety, the Tuscan Blue, is not only edible but it also blooms in the spring sporting gorgeous blue flowers.
To buy: $25, thegreenhousepnw.com
La Double J Set of 8 Rainbow Glasses
These colorful Murano glasses are reminiscent of the brightly hued houses perched above the Tyrrhenian Sea along the Amalfi Coast. They are made in Italy, have a capacity of 8.5 oz and have a contrast rim for an extra pop of color.
To buy: $1,000, ladoublej.com
EliteTile Avaricon 8" x 8" Ceramic Tile
The reason why beautifully painted ceramic tiles can be spotted in homes across the Amalfi Coast is that the soil is rich in clay and limestone, which is perfect for ceramic production.
You can recreate the vibe by incorporating these high-sheen tiles into your garden’s decor. And there are so many ways to do that. You can: pave parts of your outdoor steps, line an outdoor shower area with them, or cover your entire floor with them.
To buy: $6/per sq ft, wayfair.com
Serena & Lily Gardener Dining Chair
Wrought iron chairs can be so elegant. This one by Serena & Lily sports gently swoop arms and a grid back.
The weather-resistant pillow ensures all-day comfort and you can choose between 15 fabric options (our personal favorite is the one in Coastal Blue).
To buy: $798, serenaandlily.com
Serena & Lilly Beach House Expandable Dining Table
Whether you’re having an intimate family dinner or have people over for a party, this rustic wooden table has plenty of seating for everyone. It is crafted from solid oak with a salt-washed finish that will age beautifully.
The table also has a drawer perfect to store napkins or utensils.
To buy: $2,998, serenaandlily.com
Meyer Lemon Tree
First brought centuries ago by sailors from the Middle East, lemon trees are now a constant part of the Amalfi Coast landscape. And while the type that is omnipresent there is special (it’s called “Sfusato Amalfitano”), you can try growing a Meyer lemon tree that is better suited for the climate in the US.
It will not only add pops of vibrant yellow to your garden but its slightly sweet fruit is also perfect for lemonade, or, even better, limoncello.
To buy: $70, springhillnursery.com
Bayouo Breeze Jimena Bar Cart
A bar cart is such a stylish addition to any space. If your backyard is not big enough to have a separate bar island, this bamboo bar cart will do a great job during aperitivo hour.
It has plenty of space for bottles and glassware, and the top tray is actually removable so you can also use it to serve drinks at the table.
To buy: $340, onekingslane.com
Ashlar Outdoor Side Table
This beautiful ceramic side table reminds us of the turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea that washes the shore of the Amalfi Coast.
It will add a coastal vibe to your garden as well as serve as additional countertop space, which is also a plus. Alternatively, you can use it as an extra seat—just top it off with a comfy cushion.
To buy: $625, onekinglane.com
West Elm Tabla Glass Hurricanes Candle Holders
Turn your Amalfi Coast-inspired Al fresco dinners into a whimsical affair with these elegant candle holders. They feature a brass base placed within a mouth-blown glass vessel that results in a dreamy sea-like ripple-effect when there’s a lit candle inside.
To buy: from $30, westelm.com
Amalfi Adjustable Chain Back Sofa
Create a relaxing spot for lounging (and napping) with this elegant outdoor sofa. Similar to a chaise lounge, its back adjusts with the help of a chain. The sofa is crafted from rust-resistant stainless steel that comes in three finishes.
To buy: Price Upon Request, amalfiliving.com
La Double J Dessert Plate Set of 2 Mosaico
These gorgeous Mosaico dessert plates are a chic way to freshen up your dinner tabletop. They come in a variety of bold vintage prints and were made in collaboration with the Italian dinnerware manufacturer Ancap.
To buy: $130/set of 2, ladoublej.com
La Double J Confetti Blu Placemat Set of 2 in Linen
These placemats will bring an array of vibrant hues so often associated with the Amalfi Coast to your table.
They are cut from 100 percent linen and of course, are made in Italy.
To buy: $80/set of 2, ladoublej.com