Thanks to image-centric social sites like Pinterest and Tumblr, there’s no shortage of inspiration for unique but easy backyard ideas. From creative to classy to downright genius, homeowners and DIY artists all over the country have come up with simple ideas that can effectively spruce up any backyard. Here are six of our favorites:
1. Turn an Artificial Pond into a Modern Fountain
Instead of installing a plain, boring pond with some plastic ducks floating around, why not convert the man-made body of water into a fountain? They can cost as little as $150, depending on the size and materials, and can instantly act as an elegant centerpiece for any backyard. Use local fieldstones for a more scenic-looking fountain or go full modern and have a square- or rectangle-shaped piece made of black polished concrete.
2. Turn the Entertainment Area into a Relaxation Area
If you’ve got an outdoor kitchen or a patio purely for eating and entertainment purposes, take it a step further and transform it into an extension of your living room by adding a comfy daybed. It’s like a giant sofa, only cushier and with more pillows. The truly fancy ones can carry $300 price tags, but if you’re after comfort—not class—you can find a sturdy one at a lower price.
3. Hang Up Strings of Light
Hanging up strings of lights (like Christmas lights) is one of the easiest but most romantic backyard ideas that can utterly transform your yard at night. Also known as “faerie lights,” these simple, tiny light bulbs look absolutely gorgeous strung between pillars, around trees or archways, or wrapped around columns or window frames. Get ones that give off a soft white or yellow glow to really set the mood.
4. Line Walkways with LED Lights
Similar to hanging up strings of lights, you can transform regular stone or brick walkways into magical paths of light simply by lining the edges with small, faerie-light-like LED floor lights. Depending on length and style, small LED floor lights can cost between $30 and $100—well within a reasonable budget! Of course, finding the best way to connect the whole setup to a power source can be a bit tricky, so we highly recommend hiring a professional for this.
5. Add a Fire Pit
Fire pits are perfect for chilly nights with friends and family. Create a separate area in your backyard by forming and filling a circle with white pebbles. This will help protect your grass and prevent potential fire hazards. Place a fire pit in the center of the circle and surround it with lawn chairs and outdoor loveseats to create a cozy, comfortable lounge area. For a more modern twist, opt for a fire bowl design or a square-shaped pit.
6. Turn Your Pagoda into a Curtained Cabana
If you have a pagoda in your backyard, turn it into a luxurious curtained cabana by simply hanging rich, opaque curtains on three sides, leaving one side completely open. You can combine other backyard ideas with this one to create a truly stunning outside lounge area. For instance, place your daybed inside your curtained-off pagoda for a casual-chic look, or hang string lights on the front, un-curtained area to make it look more whimsical.