We all love our backyards and we want them to be our peaceful retreat from the everyday noise of life. For families, it’s important to create an oasis that everyone can enjoy, whether it’s just for reading a book or entertaining family and friends.
If things have gotten a bit neglected in your backyard or it no longer serves its purpose properly, it’s time for a makeover. It sounds exciting unless you’re a bit limited in budget and short on creative ideas. Fortunately, here’s a list of 6 fabulous summer ideas to makeover your backyard this year, ranging from simple inexpensive tweaks to more pricey additions.
A Lounging Spot
To make your backyard a truly relaxing place for lounging, you need a designated spot but as different people like to relax in different ways, it makes sense to break up your yard in several separate lounging areas with a variety of seating options. It will add diversity to your yard instead of having one area that might look like a parking spot.
The idea is to create a main living area with a comfy garden sofa, a few chic, weather-resistant chairs and for extra comfort and pop of colour, a graphic outdoor rug. It will be a striking contrast to the background which might be your back brick wall or a bamboo screen. In other spots, just add a different rug, several outdoor pillows and floor cushions and lazy bags. Such a piled-up look will make your backyard look less formal and more laid-back.
If there’s an unused narrow space just off your kitchen, it’s a perfect place for another lounging spot. It can be an easily accessible cosy family nook with a couple of comfy armchairs, a small table and a neutral rug to define and anchor the space. If it’s facing the east, it’ll be an ideal place for a morning cup of coffee, and if it’s in the west, a great spot for an evening glass of wine.
A Green Garden
Nothing beats the sight of beautiful and colourful flowers in the summer so don’t pass on the opportunity to dress up your backyard with colour. Do your research and find out what types of flowers you can find in your area and make a planting plan. You can use different types of outdoor planters and even create your own from recycled cans, bins and tyres. You’ll be giving them a new life and a quick makeover to your yard without almost spending a buck.
To make it interesting and playful, mix and match your planters using both recycled planters and the elegant urn-like terracotta ones. Place them in clusters and it’ll distract the eye from the pavers in your yard and boring flat surfaces. Add a few raised vegetable garden patches to aid your spouse with a passion for cooking. Moreover, to keep that relaxed vibe, let it appear a bit overgrown.
A Playful Twist
Summer pulls us all outside for fun and joy in the sun so having a great outdoor space is a must. It might be more challenging to create one in smaller and sloped terrain but it can still be amazing if you consider making it a multi-layered area. It will bring your entertaining game to a whole new level!
Even in a smaller yard, various levels created by retaining walls and steps allow you to have more green surfaces so it all appears bigger and more spacious. It also leaves room for additions such as a fun slide through the levels and a sandbox for the kids.
There are many ideas you can incorporate – an elevated deck with a lounging spot and a hot tub, stone steps that lead to built-in seating around a fire pit, a dining area and even a water feature as a focal point in one area. Having your small yard divided into such sub-areas will give the space more functionality and aesthetic appeal.
A Haven for Kids and Pets
The best family fun is always with your kids and pets, playing together, and with just a few simple additions, you can completely transform your boring backyard into a haven for them all.
One way to go about creating a fun spot for your kids is to make a camping area. Map out a corner, preferably close to your house, for emergency runs to the bathroom and for quick snacks and roll out sleeping bags. Put up some string lights and stretch out a cover above for shade. Another great option can involve building a tiny treehouse deck so your kids can enjoy having fun from a higher altitude. Add a sandbox at the bottom of the tree with some basic supplies you can find cheaply at the local hardware store and to get them moving set down a hopscotch board made out of colourful pavers.
With the kids taken care of, you need to give some attention to your pets as well. Luckily, all they need to enjoy their time outside is space and grass! If you have noticed some discolouration on your lawn or dry spots, consider laying some fresh turf down. Make sure you choose a lawn that can take a beating as families with kids and pets make for a lot of traffic in the backyard. Also, dogs can damage the lawn quite badly not just with their paws but also with nitrogen in their urine that can burn and discolour the grass. As such be mindful of the more pooch-friendly turf varieties, and if you’re unsure, consult with your local garden centre for help with your choice.
An Outdoor Gym
For families who live an active lifestyle, an outdoor gym is a perfect backyard addition. Working out in a home gym is great, but being able to do it outdoors in the fresh air and warm weather is even better! It also allows you to multitask as you prepare dinner, watch your kids or answer some business emails on your laptop.
It may be a more costly project, but if you build it to last, it’ll be a worthwhile investment. Some basic considerations are whether you’ll have it in a covered or uncovered space, what equipment you’ll use, what elements will be stationary and which pieces of equipment you’ll be able to bring in and take inside as you please. Another advantage of this project is that it can be for the entire family to use, including your kids and even the grandparents when they come to visit!
An Outdoor Kitchen
An essential part of outdoor entertaining is food, so the best solution for accommodating your big party of family and friends is by building an outdoor kitchen. Even with a limited budget, this project can be done so you have a lovely and practical outdoor space for cooking and having fun. Think in terms of a makeshift space with outdoor benches, chairs and an expandable table that can seat a large number of guests. Position them to face your outdoor living area so the entire space will feel open and connected. For added comfort, provide padded seats and cushions, hanging lanterns, candles and tiny potted flowers.
A modern home with all its comfort and amenities seems to be incomplete today without a great backyard, a personal haven where you can enjoy those precious moments with family and friends in the fresh air. Hopefully, the tips listed here will help bring you one step closer to that idyllic reality and make your backyard makeover project a joy to undertake!