Are feeling inspired by beautiful summer weather? A good way to perpetuate that feeling is by sprucing up your outdoor spaces. Thanks to the internet, creativity in this realm is off the charts. Decor ideas keep getting more and more beautiful… and more affordable. Adding some TLC to your outdoor space can be transformative.  Make your house the go-to for cookouts, pool parties, and game nights this summer. Here’s a comprehensive list of the easiest ways to DIY-ify your space.

1.   Fire

No outdoor space is complete without a fire pit…or bowl… or table.  In summer you don’t necessarily need the added heat factor. But they still serve a purpose other than warmth or good looks… they’re a natural bug deterrent. A mosquito-free yard always elevates your outdoor lounging experience.

Fire pits aren’t a trend… they are timeless addition. But there are so many different types of vessels to choose from, each with its own aesthetic. Digging a hole in the ground and lining it with rocks is always an affordable DIY option. But here’s a few other impressive new products:

The Cowboy Cauldron

This piece comes in all sorts of different sizes and weights. But they can all be used for chilling or grilling. The cast iron tripod-and-chain design is reminiscent of pioneer-era cooking… and yet it’s so dang sleek! It’s also portable so it can be transported with you if you move… or if you’re a camping fiend.

Solo Stove

Have you heard about these smokeless firepits? They’re kind of genius. They still use logs and biofuel to burn, but the ventilation system within the pit is designed so that you get low (or no!) smoke while burning your fire. Unlike a typical wood fire, you don’t have to commit to a 10-hour burn or dousing your logs in the water. You also don’t have to keep feeding the fire like you would with a traditional stove.

Fire Tables

If you prefer propane, fire tables are a gorgeous choice. There are so many high-class designs to choose from. You can pick stone, rock, or granite tables. Lava rocks or glass. Square, Rectangular, or circle. The options for customization are endless. And they’re all so classy.

2.   Get Creative With Your Lawn

One of the best ideas to come out of the last year is grass-for-grout walkways. While it does require some upkeep (hope you have a weed wacker!) the effect is gorgeous. It’s a great way to create a pathway in your yard without having to worry about grouting, pebbling, or other methods.

I also love the no-grass movement! I mean, think about the time you’d save without having to mow! Rock and pebble gardens are timeless. Zen gardens are renowned throughout history for their simplicity. There is a sense of calm that comes with minimalism. And this is the minimalist’s perfect yard.  Add some cactus and succulents to complete the look. You could even create a labyrinth.

3.   Grow up, already! Plant a Vertical Garden

This is a great option for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of space in their outdoor areas. I’m looking at you, apartment and condo owners! But this technique looks great in any kind of space, big or small. There are a couple of different ways you can plan out your vertical garden.

Ladder Planters

This is a great way to pack a punch of greenery in a small space. You can buy one on Amazon, or build your own and customize it to be as tall as you’d like. Just plant your garden like normal with high nutrient soil, herbs, or flowers.

Garden Wall

There are a couple of different ways you can do this (and all are budget-friendly!). You can use recycled pallets to build a wall, then simply attach your pots of choice. Paint or stain the pallets if you’d like!

You can also use cedar posts, hex wire, and terra cotta pots to create a farmhouse-chic option. The hex wire makes it easy to attach pots and planters and doesn’t inhibit a breeze.


Building a hydroponic tower is about a twenty-step process. But afterward… you’ll have a towering garden that can be maintained with minimal effort. You can keep it in a sunny place on your patio or rooftop during the summer months. Move it indoors during the winter months and harvest fresh produce year-round.

4.   Mood Lighting

You can’t mention backyard makeovers without bringing up mood lighting. When it comes to ambiance and decor, lighting is everything. String lights are amazing, yes. But in this backyard overhaul, consider blending different types of lighting. Mix string lights and globes, for example. Or lining your walkways with post lights and tiki torches. Set out large burning candles that you can re-light throughout the summer. Consider solar options to save you money on your electric bill.

5.   Comfort at every turn

Let’s be real… if your two options were to hang out outside on a nice night… but you have to sit on a hard, plastic chair. Or hanging out inside on the couch with your favorite pillow… which would you choose? I’m guessing you’d probably choose the couch. It’s not fun to spend downtime in places that aren’t comfortable. So you gotta add the comfort! Add plush, weather-resistant pillows to your outdoor furniture. If it’s in the budget, consider outdoor loungers or a rattan couch. If guests are around, drape some blankets around too.

6.   Affordable Pools

For so long, the options for having a pool have been this:

  • Spend a ton of money on pool installation and upkeep
  • Buy an above-ground pool that’s an eyesore, and makes your neighbors think you’re a redneck.

Thank god stock pools are giving us a third option. The total cost is about $350, plus the cost of an $89 pump. And they are CUTE. They were originally used as troughs for livestock. Now they’re sweeping the nation as an outlet for summer fun. It’ll keep the kids entertained on a hot afternoon too.

The galvanized metal look looks great on its own (and it fits right into the Wisconsin dairyland mood). But some pool owners choose to outfit their pool with stone, tile, or wood decking.

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