How to Turn Your Backyard into an Outdoor Living Space

Making living space out of your backyardWith the hot days of summer upon us, the idea of spending time indoors becomes increasingly less appealing.

If you have a backyard, no matter how big or small, consider yourself lucky. Ultimately, a backyard is almost a luxury on these warm days.

With just a bit of effort and some cost-effective ideas, you can turn your backyard into an outdoor living space.

Keep reading to learn how to create your perfect backyard retreat.

Choose the style that suits you

Building a backyard retreat demands a bit of careful planning on your part beforehand. Ask yourself - do you want to add a garden room or instead turn your backyard into a more traditional outdoor relaxation area? Then, plan accordingly.

No matter your choice, some essentials stay the same. For example, most outdoor living spaces include a hot tub or a pool, a brick oven, a fire pit, or a barbeque grill.

Pick those elements that are the most important to you first and build your outdoor living space around those things and features.

Use lighting to your advantage

Use light strings in the backyardA bit of bright light can make all the difference in the world during hot summer nights. It can transform a gloomy backyard into an oasis of comfort and light.

Even if you don’t have an outdoor outlet or a structure to hang lights onto, you have ways to brighten your backyard. For example, use strategically placed battery-powered string lights to draw attention to an exciting corner of your yard or to brighten up the sitting and dining area.

If you want to go green, know that some places offer solar-powered string lights too. They store the sunlight during the day and use built-in sensors to sense when it is dark outside.  Once they do, these lights start shining bright.

As long as you have power available in the backyard, using string lights is one of the least expensive ways to illuminate your backyard.  String lights have a warm feel to them, and the lighting is perfect for a backyard.  You can install them in a few minutes and be ready for the evening's festivities.

Use proper furniture and equipment

When you are creating an outdoor living space, you are making an investment. Therefore, you will want all of the elements used to last you for as long as possible. 

Plastic furniture can withstand the rain and is comparatively cheap but can get brittle due to the extreme hot and cold weather over time.

Over time, the fabric becomes susceptible to tears and falling apart.

On the other hand, wicker furniture looks much nicer, but you must have a place to store it and protect it from the elements, such as a shed or a dedicated cabin. 

Furniture made out of steel can be very heavy to move, so the positioning of your furniture can be somewhat permanent, while things made from aluminum can be too light. 

It is a tricky choice to make but stick to your vision and see what works best for you and the ideal garden retreat you have envisioned.

Get a stock tank pool

If you have kids, you know what a hassle it is to get the above-ground pool in and out of storage every year. Add the mysterious holes that appear in the pool no matter how much you take care of it, and you’ll see why this type of pool is more trouble than it is worth.

If you want something much more durable and deep enough for the adults to enjoy themselves, get a stock tank. These tanks are made of steel and are typically used as giant water bowls for cattle and horses. 

With a bit of effort and the same stock of chemicals you would use for a kiddy pool, you can turn it into a plunge pool ideal for relaxing on those hot summer days. A standard stock tank is eight feet wide and two feet deep - ideal for a lazy cooling-off experience.

It is easy to fill it up by using a garden hose, and you’re ready to enjoy some nice time in a durable pool!

Set up a garden wall

Build a garden wall in your backyardEven if you do not have too much room for plants and flowers in your garden, that doesn’t mean that you are out of luck. What you can do is set up a vertical garden wall.

All you have to do is pick a wall and what you want to do with it. Of course, the easier option is to simply set up a set of specially designed flower pots on a wooden frame - a wooden palette or two will do the trick - and choose appropriate flowers. 

If you opt for this option, know that outdoor flowers need more water than their indoor cousins, so you will have to water them regularly.

With a bit more effort, you can even set up a garden for growing vegetables. This demands setting up an irrigation system and a fertilizer injector and a lot more action overall.

If you want to enjoy some home-grown organic veggies, this might be the way to go.

All that extra effort will be worth it in the long run.

Add a few flower boxes

If the available room is not an issue for you, instead of making a garden wall, you can simply make some flower boxes and use those as planters. No matter your choice, flowers add a bit of valuable color and life to your garden, so pick the option that suits your living area.

You can make flower boxes out of wooden crates and instantly make your garden that much greener.  These planters are versatile, so you can even use them to plant some summer vegetables.

Even if the rest of your garden is a concrete jungle, you can use this option to add some life to it.

And best of all, flower boxes made of wooden crates are stackable. This means you can pile them up and create a privacy wall, a valuable asset if you have nosy neighbors or simply value your privacy above anything else.

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