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4 Ways to Design Your Backyard on a Budget

Patio Dining Set

The lure of sunny skies and warm weather is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the backyard. Upgrading your outdoor oasis is always fun, but a major renovation can be costly. Fortunately, with a little planning and some budget-friendly ideas, you can easily recreate your patio and beautify the area without breaking the bank. Here are some cost-effective backyard design ideas you should consider.

1. Find Patio Furniture That Suits Your Style

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to upgrade the look and function of your backyard is with outdoor furnishings. Patio furniture doesn’t need to be limited to an outdoor dining set. For example, a bar or bistro table with chairs offers a smaller profile and ideal function in tight spaces. If you’re looking to save even more space, consider furniture that serves two functions, such as an ottoman that doubles as a table or a bench that also offers storage.

Patio seating is essential in any yard. Aside from standard chairs and lounges, consider a cozy bench or an affordable porch swing or glider. In addition to seating, a smaller side table or two gives easy access to reading materials, a cell phone or beverages. If your budget is very tight, an easy way to give existing furniture more character is to repaint them. Try finding a color that compliments the existing elements in your backyard.

2. Change or Clean Your Patio Furniture Cushions

Swap out the cushions to change the look of your existing patio furniture and create a new level of comfort. There are a wide variety of fabric styles, colors and materials available for different types and sizes of outdoor furniture. Look for waterproof, washable and fade-resistant materials to withstand regular use. Furniture covers help extend the life of your cushions, especially during inclement weather. You can also protect each piece during the off season by storing them in a storage bench, shed or garage.

Add a Bird Bath & Other Decor

3. Beautify the Space with Planters

New planters can add instant color and character to any backyard. Use these portable containers to showcase everything from herbs and ornamental grasses to flowers and perennials. You should be able to find a wide variety of styles in colors and patterns that perfectly fit your yard's theme.

When it comes to planters, you can even think outside the box. For instance, turn a wooden tool caddy, an old wagon, a worn wheelbarrow or a leaky bird bath into a creative container for plants. If your planter has seen better days, revive it with a colorful paint, or transform it into a sculptural night light with paint that glows in the dark.

4. Top it Off with Some Stylish Outdoor Decor

Artful objects and colorful outdoor decor bring character to your backyard along with a sense of style and dimensional interest that enlivens your space. Decorations can be ready-made pieces or personal treasures.

Start with something simple like a sundial or bird bath surrounded by colorful flowers or fragrant herbs. Feature a colorful collection of bird houses or melodic wind chimes. Recycle mirrors to create the illusion of more space, or make a divider out of picture frames. Maybe you’d like a fountain, stone pillar or statue. If you want something more unique, consider making a sculpture piece from painted watering cans, old dishes or even bowling balls.

Regardless of the artful accents you choose, an easy-to-clean outdoor area rug will help ground the space, giving definition to your decor and creating a unified look. Once the area is set, use waterproof rope lighting to outline your space to create an enchanting border that lights up the area at night.