Backyard Design: 12 Tips for Creating a Backyard Retreat on a Budget
A massive 86 percent of U.S. households have some type of outdoor living space which includes a full backyard, a terrace, or even a balcony. However, a large portion is at a loss with what to do with it.
Oftentimes the area isn’t properly utilized. More often than not, the reason for this is a combination of lack of time, backyard design inspiration, and the all-important funds to do anything substantial.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to realize your backyard design idea. In this article, we give you twelve fun and achievable outdoor living space ideas for every budget.
Find out some simple backyard design techniques here in this guide.
1. Make DIY Planters
Plant containers can be an affordable way to add interest, shape, and color to your backyard as well as layers, which is particularly useful if you only have a small space.
Large outdoor planters can be expensive, and decorating a whole outdoor space can add up quickly. To save cash, create your own planters. There are numerous tutorials online that show easy-to-make containers often made from affordable materials.
Using planters also works well to update backyard pool designs and give them a fresh look in an inexpensive way.
2. Sew Your Own Cushions and Bunting
If you’re a dab hand on the sewing machine, then one of the most affordable backyard design ideas is to create your own decorative cushions, bunting, and soft furnishing for your garden.
Bunting can be created from offcuts of material used on other projects, and larger items can be upcycled from things like old curtains. Rather than make chair cushion pads from scratch, you could also give old ones a new lease of life and create a cover for them.
3. DIY Backyard Fire Pit
Extend the use of your backyard into the winter months by creating a DIY fire pit. You can easily build your own, using large concrete blocks or bricks. You might even have some leftovers from previous projects and some gravel for the base.
Before you start building, check that its far enough away from any other buildings and trees and that you’re following any other local regulations regarding fire pits.
This is an easy project that can be completed in less than a weekend and enjoyed by all your family for years to come.
4. Plant Inexpensive & Low-Maintenance Perennials
Perennials are a great choice for a great value plant as if you’ve looked after them, come back year after year. This means you’ll save money on planting and landscaping in the long run.
Use these types of plants to fill your backyard flower beds. Choose colorful ones to add a focal point. Before planting, be sure to do proper prep work which will help ensure the longevity of your plants.
5. Create a Herb Wall
Creating a herb garden can be an easy and affordable way to not only add color and aroma to your garden, but if you’re a foodie, then you’ll have a constant supply of herbs for your kitchen.
A herb wall can be made in even the smallest of spaces, so is ideal if you only have access to a balcony or small terrace.
Some of the most affordable ways to create a walled garden are by using old pallets, or drainage pipes.
6. Upcycle Old Furniture
Upcycling has been a firm favorite of backyard designers for years, and its clear to see why. You can pick up old furniture for a few dollars from yard sales and thrift stores which can then be given a new lease of life.
Although indoor furniture generally isn’t made to resist the elements, if you’re in a climate where there is little rain or fall, there’s no reason why It can not be used outside for the dry summer months and then brought in for storage in the fall or winter.
Old and dull wooden chairs can be transformed into something chic with a little bit of time and effort. Add a new color using spray paint, and make a new cushion and you have yourself some beautiful and affordable garden furniture.
7. DIY Outdoor Seating
There are several great ways to create outdoor seating in an affordable way. If you read the previous point, you could upcycle.
This budget idea is great if you’re looking to create more seating, for use around a fire pit for example. An easy-budget backyard idea utilizes low-cost concrete blocks. These can be dry-stacked and then covered with a foam pad. Make a cover for the foam pad or paint the blocks a more attractive color to give them a more finished look.
This simple DIY bench gives you lots of seating and can be quickly made if you’re planning on hosting an event with lots of guests.
8. Make Garden Lanterns
Homemade lanterns are a budget-friendly way to add interest to your garden. You’ll need a selection of jam jars, old tin cans, some wire, and a bag of tea lights for this.
For the jam jars, clean off any labels and glue before wrapping the write around the neck and creating a loop to hang them up with. You could leave the jars plain, or use an etching spray or glass paint to create a design on them. Place them around the garden or hang them (be sure its not near anything flammable).
For the tin cans, use a block of wood (a small log also works), inside to support the can, and then use a hammer and nail to piece a decorative pattern into the edges. Make two holes at the top and attach a piece of wire to hang it from.
Use tealights in both to illuminate your outdoor space in an affordable way.
9. Create Your Own Decorative Paving Slabs
Decorative paving slabs can be expensive, so create these homemade stepping stone paving slabs instead to add pathways across your lawn or between your flower beds.
To create your tiles, this method is basically a take on sand casting. You’ll need sand to create a mold and concrete to make your slabs. Create a negative shape of the slab in the sand before pouring it into the concrete mix. Wait for it to set before removing it. Repeat the process until you’ve created as many as you need.
10. Recycle Old Hardscaping
Hardscaping includes anything type of hard material – rocks, pebbles, gravel that is used in a backyard. To buy these new can be quite expensive. Frequently these items get discarded during large backyard landscape design projects.
If you’ve seen any building work going on locally, then ask if you can collect the large rocks. These can then be used to build attractive-looking stone walls, and create water features, or steps in your garden without having to buy the materials from scratch. ,
11. Create A Budget Home Cinema
Creating an outdoor home cinema works well for parties and family gatherings, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
If you have a large blank wall in your garden, then you can use this as a screen to project movies onto, if you don’t have a wall, then use a large white sheet instead.
Find somewhere secure where you can mount a projector and make the space cozy by laying out a large camping mat and cushions or beanbags. To give a warm ambiance, place some small jam jar lanterns or garden lights around the edges to create an inviting home cinema.
12. Paint a Garden Mural
If you have an artistic streak, then painting a mural can be an affordable way to add a focal point to your garden. Even if you’re not great at drawing, you can still create a beautiful piece of garden artwork based on blocks of color.
This is also a good use for any leftover paint you may have around the house. You can also pick up small tester pots of pain at your local hardware store, or pick up partial tins from local garage sales.
Which of These Backyard Design Ideas Are You Going to Use?
Which of these budget backyard design ideas inspired you the most? If you’re looking for more ideas and solutions to improve your outdoor space on a limited budget, then speak to Your Great Outdoors.
Weve been handcrafting outdoor living designs to a client’s specified budget since 2008.
Find out how our experienced team of designers can turn your dream into a reality. To get started either visit our outdoor showroom or speak to one of our professional team to discuss your project.