Designing Your Backyard On The Cheap

Outdoor Patio
Image Courtesy of Brian Gregory VIA FLICKR

Let’s face it – we could all stand to save a bit of money these days. If you’ve just used Exodus Moving and Storage to get your belongings to your new home, you’re probably in agreement. Moving entails so very many hidden expenses you’ve probably not even considered. Once you’re settled, you’re probably ready to relax a bit. What better way than to hang in your backyard, enjoying the warm summer nights, and getting to know new neighbors?

You don’t have to spend a fortune on fancy furniture and other backyard accessories, although it can be tempting. Let’s look at many different ways you can transform your backyard into the hottest spot on the block this summer, putting the power of Pinterest and/or the internet to work.

  • Seating. Numerous tutorials exist on the Web in order to give your guests a unique and stylish place to sit. Why head out to your local home and garden store to purchase chairs that could be found in anyone’s backyard when you can create something uniquely yours? The best part is that there are different ideas for different skill levels. You don’t need to be an expert crafter in order to make them all work! It can be as simple as a milk crate transformed into a stool with wood added to the top, spray painted to match whatever color scheme you’re going for, or this fun idea using old dining chairs you can find at a yard sale, transforming them into a bench seat for multiple guests. Pinterest is full of ideas to turn pallets into benches and tables, so chances are if you can dream it, Google can show you how to make it a reality!

    Of course, sometimes you just don’t want to DIY. Whether time constraints prevent you from having the time, or you just don’t feel like you are handy when it comes to making stuff, there are ways to save some money while furnishing your backyard space. Think outside the box store, and hit up your local thrift shops, yard sales, and flea markets. You’ll be surprised at the bargains you’ll find! If second hand just isn’t your style, Target is always an option for the style-conscious, or you can check out companies like West Elm, Terrain (outdoor company associated with Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie), CB2, and of course, IKEA. Don’t forget about your local Lowe’s and Home Depot – check fliers often for sale prices.

  • Gather ’round the fire. You don’t have to spend a fortune to build a spot to toast marshmallows for s’mores, nor do you need an average, ordinary fire bowl, a common choice for those looking to light a fire on the cheap. It can be as simple as gathering rocks from around your property or elsewhere (construction sites are a good place to look for these) and stacking them up wall-style. You can build it in any size you want, in any shape. Sound like too much work? Even simpler – use a large, heavy-duty galvanized bucket or tub. No work involved – just plop the bucket down, fill with wood, and get burning! For a cleaner look, purchase concrete pavers and stack into a circular ring. For a fire pit with maximum interest, check out this repurposed washing machine basin, removed from the machine, turned on its side, and made into a fire pit. Numerous options abound on the internet, you’re sure to find an idea that’s just right for you!
  • Planters. You don’t have to go crazy purchasing giant, expensive planters and filling them with different plants. If your budget doesn’t allow for that, all you need is simple terra cotta pots. There are many tutorials relying on simple metal stakes and a drill to put holes in the pots – then you just stack the pots in a unique way, fill with dirt, and enjoy the fun arrangement all summer long! You can also choose to use concrete blocks, stacking in interesting ways, filling with soil, and planting. If even plants are out of your budget, it isn’t tough to start your own from seed, much cheaper than purchasing the already grown plants.
  • Lighting. You can find fun lantern-style string lighting at Target or even your favorite dollar store. If that just won’t do, place some fun mason jars or even regular old glasses on your table and put tea lights inside. You can even dig out the Christmas lights – there are no rules!
  • Concrete decor. I mentioned cinder blocks before, and let me tell you, these humble workhorses can be just about anything you could imagine. There are numerous tutorials featuring this surprising little gem – tables, seating, raised bed border, fire pit, and even décor. Give a quick search and you’ll see that your every backyard element could be designed from these little wonders. Not into the drab gray look? Paint them any color of the rainbow, or have your kids make original designs for a whimsical look.

If you can dream it, you can do it! It’s probably been done before, so prior to starting any DIY project, head to the internet to find out exactly how it’s done. This will save you time on trial and error in the long run.

Exodus Moving and Storage helped get your belongings to your new house, now it’s time to make it yours. You chose Exodus Moving and Storage because we’re professionals without the hefty price tag. Now it’s time to use that thriftiness in your own backyard!