rock-patio with outdoor furniture

5 Backyard Ideas to Improve Your Outdoor Space

Who doesn’t love spending some quality time with family in the beautiful greenery of a backyard? Having the chance to admire a beautiful garden through a window or a sliding glass door is an option that not many people have. If you’re among those fortunate few, don’t waste your opportunity for a beautiful view by – leaving your patio unkempt or abandoned, full of all kinds of grasses growing wild over rotting furniture and rusty pipes. A nicely furnished backyard is a wonderful place to spend some time with your children… if it doesn’t look like a junkyard, at least.

Even if you worked hard to buy a house large enough to fit a nice patio or a beautiful, lush garden, finding the right time to take care of it properly can be difficult if you have a busy schedule. Don’t hire a gardener though: there’s a lot you can do to make your garden look better on your own, and we can assure you that doing it is a self-rewarding experience on its own.

Buying new backyard furniture can often be a bit expensive as well, if you want quality. Companies that sell patio furniture sometimes ask fairly steep prices, even for the most basic wooden bench or garden edging, as it is often regarded as some form of “luxury”. However building your own furniture is much simpler than you can imagine, and DIY (do-it-yourself) is also a great way to involve your loved ones in a family activity everybody is going to enjoy. In this guide, we will provide you with a few simple tips on how to build some simple ideas that you can accomplish in a weekend.

1. Build a Comfortable Outdoor Kitchen

A great backyard isn’t something many people have, but it is definitely something many people would love to have. For this reason, if you enjoy the luck of having a nice garden, you can be sure that a lot of friends would love to spend some time in it if given the opportunity. And nothing speaks more of fun and friendship like a nice backyard barbecue!

Enjoying a beer with friends, and sitting on a plastic chair while you smell the smoke of freshly roasted meat is a great way to spend a weekend, an outdoor kitchen is a much better way to enjoy your backyard. The good thing about this idea, is that you can always ask your friends to help you out with building the necessary furniture. It’s in their best interest, after all: they’re going to enjoy your backyard for an indefinite amount of time.

Buy some river rocks and use them to decorate a concrete or marble countertop you will use for food prep. Add a fancy grill and a closed storage, and you’ve  got everything you need to get your outdoor cooking station going. If you got more time (and money) at your disposal, you can also add a refrigerator and sink, and a separate side burner.

2. Create Cozy Shady Spots

Imagine how much charm can be added to your deck and patios with just a few umbrellas, pergolas and retractable awnings. Adding some shade here and there will allow your exhausted guests to take a break when they’re done with helping you build your outdoor kitchen. And it’s also a great way to spend your lazy afternoons enjoying a soft drink or cocktail. Just look out for the most colorful ones, and match their colors to your backyard furniture to make it look even more stylish.

3. Build a simple wooden gazebo

A simple DIY gazebo is a great way to add a “luxurious villa” feeling to your backyard. If it’s large enough it can provide a rightful new room (albeit a small one) in your garden where you can sit down, change your clothes before diving into your pool or just relax yourself while enjoying your own garden view. Many prefabricated gazebos can be bought for cheap on eBay or Amazon, and with the right tools it’s fairly simple to assemble and install them, even if you’re alone.

4. Carefully place outdoor lighting

How much cozier your patio could became by just adding a few lighting sconces to it? A couple of properly placed porch lights to illuminate your house’s entrance can create the perfect intimate atmosphere. Choosing the right wall-mounted downlights and low-voltage lights can make your garden look much more hospitable, especially in the evening. You can also drape overhead spaces with string lights to add some fun to your nicer garden spots.

5. Build Your Own Trellis

Building your own trellis is incredibly easy and cheap: all you need is lumber, a hammer, and some nails. Decorate it with a nice collection of miniature plants, bonsais, or flowerpots to add a playful charm to your backyard.

These are just a few ideas to make your backyard look nicer and feel cozier. But feel free to use your own imagination and creativity to invent new unique solutions.


Contributed by: Brent Szotak foremost expert in backyard design and landscaping