7 Easy DIY Backyard Ideas to Try Now

Create your culinary garden by adding your favorite ingredients like rosemary or sage. Barclay says their garden is full of tomatoes because they grace their summer menus well into October. But don’t feel forced to do big-ticket items that might need more work. “If all you can muster from the garden are fresh herbs, that in itself can lend to a fun, easy way to elevate the overall backyard experience,” she says. There is always a place on the menu—or perhaps in your glass—for fresh herbs. “Using a sprig of rosemary to season your meats or vegetables on the grill, or adding it to your gin and tonic, is a simple, delightful touch.”

Patio and outdoor spaces


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Lighting makes all the difference when it comes to making your patio more inviting.

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Usher in romance to your space with outdoor lighting such as string lights, lanterns, candles, or luminaires. “The soft glow of your chosen lighting not only increases the cozy atmosphere of your space but provides visibility for safety after sunset,” says Amanda Cimaglia, vice president at TimberTech. This hack will make your outdoor patio space safe and inviting to summer guests.

The best part is that these types of lighting ideas are easy to find in stores. “I always find a great selection at Target and HomeGoods, including battery-operated and solar-powered waterproof options, often with timers,” she says. Mix and match sizes and designs for a lived-in, eclectic feel. If your patio has rails, consider exploring lights built into their railing for an elevated look.

Platform deck

Platform decks, also called floating decks, are low-lying structures that are detached from the house and can be built anywhere in the yard. “They’re typically simple rectangular designs that can save time and money on installation, and they’re easily customized to your preferred size, color, and decor,” says Cimaglia. Of all the materials to choose from for this deck idea, composite decking can be easier to install, so it’s a good choice if you’re working with a speedy summer deadline. “It also lasts longer with less maintenance than traditional lumber, saving you time year after year. Find a thorough guide to building a platform deck to determine what exact materials and tools you’ll need.

Patio style

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A few decorative details, like throw pillows or an outdoor rug, can transform your patio or porch.

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Make your patio pretty. “Try rearranging existing furniture and playing up your style with decorative throws, outdoor pillows, battery-powered table lamps, and some fresh vases,” says Nick Valley. All of these add a feeling of warmth and comfort to the backyard. You don’t even need that many items. If you are limited on time and money, opt for a rug. “A good outdoor rug can introduce patterns into an outdoor entertaining space and provide depth and interest,” he says. It’s also a feature that can last well into fall and winter because it adds so much coziness.

Or, if you are thinking about bigger DIY backyard ideas, consider painting your porch floor. According to Kristina Phillips of Kristina Phillips Interior Design, “A simple checkerboard pattern is a relatively simple and inexpensive way to transform a covered porch.” Just be sure to tape it out properly before dipping into paint. “Painting an area should be first mapped out on paper, then taped out. It is not as simple as creating squares, as the corners need to touch.”

Fruit trees

Adding a fruit tree is a great weekend project that doesn’t cost a lot. Plus, they are relatively inexpensive. “Fruit trees start around $30 and go up from there based on size,” says Lara Hermanson, cofounder at Farmscape, California’s largest urban gardening company. “Start by heading to your local nursery to find out what grows best in your region. Then select a 5- or 15-gallon plant.” A larger, more expensive plant will bore fruit sooner, but be sure to pick the size that is right for your outdoor space.

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