‘Tis the season for backyard living, am I right? Whether you have a huge outdoor space or not, spending time in your own backyard is such a joy! so I’m here today to share with you how you can spruce up your deck and patio without breaking the bank and make the most of the space you have!
5 Easy Ways to Update Your Backyard (on a Budget)
1. A little stain can go a LONG way!
It’s amazing what paint can do for the inside of a house, right? Well the same is true of what stain can do for your deck. It may seem like a daunting task, but it’s a few days of effort for many years of reward. Our deck started out looking a little something like this:
After removing the old shed, pressure washing everything and letting the deck dry for a few days, it was time for some fresh stain. It took about two days to stain all 360 square feet of this bad boy!
I used one gallon of grey stain (Pewter from Behr) and about half a gallon of pure white stain for the rails. This stain was the real deal – one coat and the whole deck was completely covered! We also stained some lattice to go underneath the deck. The stuff that was there before was falling apart! Here’s what we ended up with:
Now let’s move on to the next part of this makeover – the fun stuff, of course: decorating!
To help set the mood in the backyard and, of course, provide some much needed light at night, I picked up some string lights on clearance and strung them from the house to one of the fence poles, this way the lights go over both the deck and our patio area.
I found the lights at Target, where I also picked up some lanterns to spread around the deck and patio.
This was a really easy way to create a cozy atmosphere at night, and because we had such poor lighting, it means we can actually see out there now!
3. Create a place for warmth
The first cozy spot I wanted to make sure we had was a fire pit. It’s just about the perfect way to end a Summer or Fall evening! The fire pit we have was a gift from my parents, and it has a cover on it, so it can just be used as a table when there’s no fire. Furniture that pulls double duty is key, and this particular piece wasn’t very expensive either (about $100 from The Home Depot a few years ago), so you don’t have to spend a lot to achieve your goals!
The adirondack chairs were another bargain! $15 each from The Home Depot and they are super comfortable. To make the space a little cozier, I added in some pillows and a blanket for the chilly evenings. Keeping the firewood close to the fire pit also adds some texture to the space, and it’s definitely handy!
4. Bring the indoors out
In addition to the blanket in the fire pit area, I wanted a cozy reading nook for those times when we’re not entertaining, but just enjoying the yard on our own. I used another adirondack chair, blankets, pillows and even a pouf to make this outdoor space feel like a space that could easily exist indoors.
Making sure there’s a little table on the side for snacks and drinks also makes the space easy to use, and gives you the convenience of the indoors, once again.
Again, these were not expensive items, and many of these are things I already had at home that I could simply move from the living room to the deck, so they pull double duty!
5. Use plants to your advantage
Certain herbs not only have delicious smells, but can also act as insect repellents, so let your plants work for you! I used a strawberry planter next to the fire pit with oregano, basil, thyme and lavender, so this corner smells amazing, and the plants help keep the mosquitoes away!
I also added some mint to a small pot (since mint tends to spread like a weed) to add a touch of green to the deck.
Again, an inexpensive way to bring a little life to your deck and you get to use the yummy herbs for cooking!
Overall, this entire makeover was completed on a major budget (about $300 for everything) and we use this space so much more now that it not only looks good, but also functions so well both for some alone time or for entertaining.
Have you given your backyard a makeover? Let us know in the comments how you did it!
More backyard ideas:
Thalita is a mom of twins, teacher, and blogger over at The Learner Observer. She is a frugal DIY-er and avid lover of thrift store scores with a passion for making over spaces with pieces that are both meaningful and beautiful. Favourite colour? White. Favourite food? Ice Cream. Favourite Pastime? Instagram, where she shares an abundance of pictures of her twin boys along with her latest home reno and decorating adventures!