Backyard Living – Transform Your Yard with these Creative Budget Friendly Outdoor Ideas

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Backyard Living - Budget Friendly Outdoor Ideas
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I love being outside in warmer weather, and our backyard living space is something we have poured a lot of time into. Today I want to share the different budget-friendly upgrades we have incorporated into our outdoors space to make it our own family backyard oasis. 

To watch the entire video click here.

Last week I shared with you different backyard landscaping ideas with stone. All of these projects are definitely a special part of our outdoor living space, but there are a few more features I want to talk about today that have really made this space special to us. 

Backyard Living White Picket Fence
DIY Pea Gravel Patio Summer Tour
Tickled Pink Veronica works well in our raised flower beds

As soon as the weather gets warmer in Michigan, we are outside as much as possible. From gardening, meals on the patio, bonfires in our diy fire pit, and playing on the swings, it is just something that is very special to us and something we enjoy as a family. 

We have poured so much into our home exterior. Not just our backyard, but our front yard as well. But today I want to focus on our backyard makeover, since it’s where we spend most of our time. 

The main elements that helped to create a backyard living space we love are a DIY patio, DIY swingset, raised garden beds, firepit area, hammock stand, white picket fence and all of the beautiful flowers and plants we have throughout the entire space. 

Backyard Living – DIY Patio

I have shared so much about our DIY pea gravel patio in multiple posts, but if you are new here, this is definitely a very special space for us. We built the patio beginning at our backdoor and it has outdoor furniture in a dining area, seating area, and a grilling area. For backyard patio ideas, you can read all about our patio furniture and how we built this here

Summer Patio Tour Seating Ideas
Outdoor comfortable seating summer patio ideas

Since this patio is built with pea gravel and bordered with field stone we scored at garage sales, it is set apart from the rest of the backyard. I love the stone elements and how much they remind me of an English Cottage setting. We have since added string lights for extra ambiance on summer evenings. This project was so simple and much easier to achieve than concrete patios. We have enjoyed this space for so many years, and it’s a great addition for large and small backyards alike. 

Pea Gravel Patio in backyard that adds charm and character

Simple Backyard Ideas – DIY Swingset

I have never shared a blog post on our DIY swingset in the backyard, but if you follow me on Instagram I am sure you have seen it here and there. Whether in the background of stories, or even bits of it in the background of photos. 

Outside play as a boy mom balancing homeschool and blogging

If you peek closely, you can see it in the back of this photo, to the left of our shed under the shade of my favorite tree. My husband built this completely on his own, only purchasing swings to add to it. He built a little fort area with a roof and a ladder, a sandbox with a lid on bottom and a bar that has three swings for the boys.

DIY back patio area in backyard of english cottage influenced yard and garden tour

Our boys have made so many incredible memories on this playhouse and play on it almost daily using their imaginations in ways I never even predicted they would which is one reason I love it so much.

DIY Outside Swingset

Having this fun space for our boys to play is so important to us. Seeing their laughter and smiles makes me absolutely love this special DIY backyard swingset. 

DIY Backyard Ideas – Raised Flower Beds Around Fence

A few years ago, I really wanted vegetable gardens in our backyard. My husband built me raised garden beds out of reclaimed wood, however, the wood was treated and I learned the chemicals could get into the soil we would grow vegetables in. 

Tickled Pink Veronica works well in our raised flower beds

I still dreamed of having a separate garden area in our backyard, so I decided to fill the raised garden beds around my fence with perennials. This has been a labor of love every season as I prepare the gardens, but once everything is in bloom, it is absolutely stunning. 

raised flower beds along fence backyard living

I used white rocks to landscape around the raised beds and this is such a beautiful feature in our backyard living space. 

Backyard on a Budget – Firepit Ideas

Our own fire pit area is also such a special part of our backyard. We have fires all of the time throughout the warmer season, and s’mores are a big part of our memories. 

How to add charm and character to your shed!

We didn’t create an elaborate fire pit area, just something very simple with a fire ring surrounded by pavers. We added beautiful, very comfortable white Adirondack chairs around it and it is the perfect space to enjoy a fire. 

I don’t have many photos of this area at all, but I do share the space briefly in this YouTube video if you’d like to see how we put this firepit area together. 

Cozy Backyard Ideas – DIY Hammock Stand 

I absolutely love having a giant cozy hammock in our backyard! I have swung in it with each of my sweet boys and it is such a peaceful way to escape the day. 

Outdoor seating including a hammock swing in our backyard!

To put this up in our yard, we simply attached one end to a tree already a part of our backyard landscape and attached the other end to a post we anchored in the ground. 

Rustic cottage style patio inspiration

We take down the actual hammock in harsher weather conditions to protect it, but for the most part it is always up in our backyard. This is a must in a backyard living space in my opinion. Simply grab an ice cold drink, book, pillow and throw blanket and before you know it, you are enjoying a relaxing getaway in your own backyard.

Home Backyard Ideas – White Picket Fence

Originally when we first started shopping for fencing, I wanted a tall privacy fence that I planned to eventually hide with landscaping. Unfortunately, this wasn’t allowed in our neighborhood, but I still wanted something to protect our kids from cars on the road. 

Perennials for a cottage garden

We ended up with a white picket fence, and I have fallen in love with how it looks around our property. It makes our backyard space feel so cozy and even though it doesn’t provide the privacy I had originally hoped for, it brings the space together beautifully. 

Backyard Living White Picket Fence

I love the raised garden beds against the fence, and I plan to add more landscape each year across it little by little helping to make our space even cozier. 

Cottage garden inspiration

Backyard Living – Budget Landscaping Ideas

Another feature in our backyard that I love is all of the plants I have scattered throughout. We didn’t do this all at once, but little by little we add more, or split larger plants into separate smaller ones. All of these planted in different areas, around our trees, in planters, and along the fence line add so much color to our backyard and really bring so much beauty. 

Low maintenance pea gravel that is so charming

This can be so budget friendly as well! Hostas for example can be split so many times, and there are so many varieties of them too. They are very resilient and come back each year. Catmint is another favorite of mine that can be split as well. I love having pops of color in my planters with different perennials too. 

Pea Gravel patio tips

I can elaborate so much more on each of these topics, but all in all, this list is what I feel really makes our backyard living space perfect for our family. I love this time of year when we get to be outside cleaning and preparing one of our favorite spaces for the warmer season. 

I realize I only have DIY in front of a few of these bullets, however all of these projects were DIY and so budget friendly as well. As long as you are patient and you don’t try to tackle everything at once, little by little you can create a backyard space of your dreams.

DIY Outdoor Patio
Gorgeous flower bushes growing around home exterior
Tickled Pink Veronica works well in our raised flower beds



As I always try to encourage you, be sure to be thrifty as well. Look for ways to save money. Some of these items can be found gently used on Facebook Marketplace, and others you may find just asking around. 

Plants and stones are a great example. If you know someone with a beautiful garden space, don’t be scared to ask them for hostas, or other plants they may want to split up. Then simply transplant them to your own backyard and add character and charm to your outside space! 

Backyard Living 

  • DIY Patio
  • Family Swingset
  • Raised Flowerbeds around Fence
  • Firepit
  • Hammock Stand
  • White Picket Fence 

I am sure by now you can tell I love being in and sharing all about our backyard living space. Do you have these elements in our space? What other ideas have you incorporated to make your outdoor space special? I would love to know in the comments. Thank you, friends! 

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Backyard Living - Budget Friendly Outdoor Ideas

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2 Comments

  1. the picture of your little boy laughing with his eyes closed makes me cry!! he’s so beautiful, and this picture is pure gold! It truly makes me happy when I see it. I can’t really explain it, but I just want to eat him up 🙂

  2. My friend is planning to use his backyard as a relaxing oasis where he can destress during the weekends. I like your idea to invest in lawn hammocks that can complement the relaxing theme of his backyard. I should talk to him about finding a store that sells these so he can try them out.

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