So, after spending too many days sick on the sofa, watching hours of Yard Crashers, I thought to myself, what if I was stuck with one of these backyards? And I didn’t run into a design angel at the hardware store to save me from the boring patch of grass I called a backyard? I found some fun and frugal ways to spice up your backyard, and make it the envy of the neighborhood.
Look familiar? A blank canvas of backyards.
First, think of your blank space like a livingroom, but outside. What do you want to take place? Backyard Camping? Play area for kids? Parties with tons of good food and beer, and a spot for the grill? Establish an idea for the space, and go from there. Everyone will be different on where they want to place items in the backyard.
Add a Deck: Who doesn’t want a firm little platform in their backyard to put their table and chairs, umbrella stand, and create a place to lay out and get some sun while having a margarita. (Hey. It’s my dream deck after all.) Using composite materials can create a wood look, and won’t rot or be eaten by termites. You can also lay pavers or pour a concrete deck as well, if your door is at ground level.
(Photo courtesy of Yard Crashers, on the DIY network.) This stone patio is easy to do and only takes a day.
This may seem simple, but a deck turns a backyard from a plain grassy patch to an outdoor room. Don’t forget to landscape. Image credit to Pinterest.
Lights: There are many ways you can light up a backyard. You can use clear Christmas lights, hung from trees or fences, and tucked in bushes to will illuminate your yard and make it a cozy night spot to entertain guests. Solar lights are another way to save money on electricity, and guide guests through the back yard.
Check out this Real Simple article on ways to creatively light up your back yard.
Candles: Not only will citronella candles keep bugs at bay, but they are a great way to add warmth to any space. You can place them in inexpensive jelly jars, put glass votives in paper bags, or just set out tea lights on tables, and voila, instant ambiance. Afraid of fire? Get the battery operated candles. You can set them on a timer to go off after 6 or 8 hours so the battery doesn’t die.
These candles in jelly jars hung from the tree are gorgeous.
These mason jars have dried beans in them to hold up the candles.
These votive candles placed in white paper bags are a great way to greet guests.
Tiki Torches: No these just aren’t for college frat parties and luaus. These torches keep away bugs while setting perimeter for the party too.
Fire Pit: Fire pits are easy to make, are a great place to roast s’mores while hanging out. You can stay up late telling secrets, warm toasty hands, and cook food on a stick. What’s not to love? Just make sure you are far enough from the house, bushes, and trees so it’s not a fire hazard.
Games: Think of fun, easy ways to entertain guests. A badminton net, bocce balls, ring toss, and horseshoe poles are easy to bring out, and put away.
Grill Space: Pavers are cheap, and a great way to create a little space for your grill. You will only need enough to create almost a “rug” for your grill, and you will have a neat little place to easily roll your portable cooking station out to.
This shows patio pavers under a grill, and into a little sitting area. Perfect for any meal of the day.
Landscaping: Whatever you do, don’t forget to add plants! Plants will make your backyard come alive. Add some flowers, bushes, trees, and you can turn a desolate space into a gorgeous, lush haven. Using pavers or simple plastic edging you can create a border to fill with mulch, stones, or little rocks. And flowers are a great way to add color. Ask your local garden center expert what’s best for your climate and yard. It doesn’t hurt to take pictures of your yard to show them, they can lend some great advice!
Garden: Why not consider planting some fruits, veggies, and herbs? Fresh food that’s ready to go will always taste better than something that is sprayed with pesticides and besides, less expensive food is always a good thing.
This photo is also a finished product of a Yard Crashers episode!
Ta Da! You went from a boring back yard to an awesome hangout spot in no time, and with little money. Aren’t you glad? Happy Outdoor Living!