With winter behind us and warmer temperatures more consistently sticking around, your family is likely spending more and more time outside. And if you have a yard, a patio, or even a small balcony, it might feel weathered after the long winter. Now is a great time to spruce up your outdoor space and bring it back to life for the spring and summer.
It is healthy for both the mind and the body to be outdoors. This is true any time, but may be especially important right now if you’ve been cooped up inside, due to the combination of less-than-ideal weather and staying at home. Make your outdoor space more inviting, and you’ll be more likely to head out there for quality family time. And your kids will hopefully follow suit, opting to step away from screens in favor of fresh air.
Small updates to your outdoor space can make a big impact, and it doesn’t require a lot of effort or money. Spend a little time DIY-ing out in the yard, add some lights, and you’ve got a whole new space that your family will happily spend their time in. We’re not sure if traveling this summer will happen, but at least you’ll know that with a brightly updated yard, you have your own personal staycation oasis.
Here are eight simple ways to give your outdoor space an upgrade, plus our favorite items to help you do it, all under $100.
1. Brighten it up with lights
Adding string lights will give your space an instant glow and will make your outdoor space a spot you’ll want to hang out in, even after the sun sets. Classic bistro lights, small twinkly lights, or a couple of lanterns will help to set a calming atmosphere.
2. Add more plants
If your outdoor space is already lush, more plants aren’t a necessity, but if you live in a city or have a blank slate balcony or terrace, adding green will bring your outdoor space to life. Use fun pots to make your plants stand out.
3. Include a statement outdoor rug
There’s something about a rug that can really pull a space together. Durable indoor/outdoor rugs are a great choice to instantly give your outdoor space a cohesive and inviting look.
4. Update your current outdoor seating
If you already have patio furniture but it’s looking a little sad, you can easily give it a new life. Depending on the material of your furniture, you may be able to give your chairs and table a fresh coat of paint, and they will look totally new. This is a fun DIY family project that can be done outside and your little helpers will be proud of their contribution to the yard. Adding new dining chairs or comfy cushions is also a worthwhile upgrade.
5. Add extra comfy seating options
And if you’re looking for new seating options, add a couple of poufs or relaxing lounge chairs to your current set up. If you have the means, there are high-quality outdoor sets that will really upgrade your space and will last for years. If you are instead looking for more of a quick fix, there are plenty of seating option for under $100.
6. Toss in a few pillows
Comfort is an ongoing theme here. Buy a couple of outdoor pillows for the coziness factor and as another colorful element. Even if they are labeled as outdoor pillows, it’s best to store them inside or in a covered area to keep them in good shape for the long haul.
7. Bring in unbreakable dishes and serving items
And if you’re dining outside, have a separate set of outdoor dishes and serve-wear on hand. Look for shatterproof options. Dishes made of melamine are a great choice; they look ceramic but won’t break when dropped.
8. Keep the kids entertained with games
Lawn games are hit with kids and adults. Add a few classic games to your outdoor space—sure to be a crowd-pleaser. And for hotter weather, blow up a cute kiddie pool for a quick cool down (or as a place to keep your drinks cold!).
This article was originally published on April 30, 2020, and has been updated for timeliness.