Backyard ideas to make the most of your outdoor space

Summer renovations: creating an outdoor space that reflects your style

It’s (finally) time to stretch your legs and enjoy warmer weather with family and friends. But since most of our socializing this summer will be happening close to home, many of us are on the lookout for unique ways to create an outdoor space that’s fit for relaxation as well as play. From a lush vertical garden to a space for outdoor games or an outdoor bed, these DIY backyard ideas will help you make the most of your yard, whether it’s big or small. Get ready for some unforgettable summer moments in your own private oasis!


Idea 1: spruce up the yard with DIY vertical garden planters

What would any yard be without flowers or greenery? Plants are a must-have, adding life to your outdoor space. As well as providing an attractive view, these horticultural touches can also be useful. Herbs, lettuce, tomatoes, and beans are all as nice to look at as to eat. No matter the size of your space, here are some ideas to up your yard’s garden potential.

Small spaces

Embellish every corner of your balcony or patio using all kinds of different containers. It’s a great way to spread plants out and add floral touches throughout your space. Of course, you can’t forget herbs, which add a delightful fragrance and fresh touch to your summer dishes all while cutting your grocery bill.

DIY vertical garden

Go tall and opt for a vertical garden setup. Go scouting for an old ladder, keeping your eyes peeled at garage sales. Once you find one, use it to hang potted plants. Or, a wooden pallet will do double duty, acting as a privacy screen and vertical planter wall allowing you to hang planters at different heights along the gaps — creating a lovely effect.

Along the balcony railing

Save balcony space by hanging all kinds of plants along the railing. Be it a rectangular planter or individual pots, shops offer all types of planter hangers. You can also customize a DIY planter specifically for your space; secure a wooden shelf to the rail or suspend plants using twine. Pro tip: this is an especially good idea for herbs as they’ll be easily accessible whenever you’re ready to cut them for cooking. Just be sure it’s a spot that gets sun.

One-of-a-kind flower pots

Lower your ecological footprint by looking at what you’ve already got on hand. Have some old candles in jars? Unused lanterns? Too many mason jars? Often, all it takes to find a new planter for your new sprouts and seedlings is a good wash and peeling off a label.  There are all sorts of jars that can be used for new cuttings or herbal shoots!

Did you know that potted plants are also considered a fire hazard? Here’s how you can enjoy your outdoor space in peace!

 

Idea 2: design a relaxation area in your own backyard

Although the urge to be out and about will be felt more than ever this summer, the comfort of your home still remains an absolute pleasure. Whether it’s used for reading, entertaining friends, having a drink or simply relaxing, a beautiful and inviting layout makes all the difference! Here’s how to put relaxation at the heart of your outdoor space this summer.

Hammock guide

Nothing says relaxation like a hammock! Several choices, whether they are used or new options, are available on the market today.  The classic hammock that hangs between two trees or two walls is very accessible. Be sure to anchor it on something solid to avoid accidents. If no point of support is within your reach, hammocks with integrated bases are your best alternative.

Custom hammock

Looking to do it yourself? Choosing the right materials is essential when making your own hammock. Choose a fabric that is both water and weather resistant, a good example is canvas. You will also need a few eyelets and a sturdy piece of rope. Trim your fabric, add the eyelets to each end, then thread the rope through each of them. All that remains is to find the trees, posts or sturdy walls to mount your masterpiece. If you are embarking on building your own base, remember: the secret is in the weight! Otherwise, the whole thing will collapse, and you could end up on your back within seconds.

 

Outdoor bed

Relaxing or napping in the sun is the ultimate state of Zen, right? If you already have outdoor couches, feel free to reposition them to form a outside bed. Are you in the middle of shopping for garden furniture? Ensure the durability of the structure, the comfort of the cushions and above all, think of a storage space or a cover for waterproofing. Lack of space in the yard? Lounge chairs are a great alternative to the sectional sofa.

Wood, screws, and pallets

Whether it’s to save money or because you’d like to design a piece of furniture to your own dimensions, building your daybed can be advantageous. A simple coat of oil or varnish can be applied to wooden pallets once you have completed construction. Add cozy cushions and blankets, and presto, it’s nap time! Find a convenient winter storage space for your creation, so it will look and feel ready come next summer!

 

Idea 3: Outdoor games to entertain the whole family

The summer season is all about laughter and fun! Nothing better than a game of horseshoes, croquet, or Finnish bowling to start a family reunion or with friends, with a drink in hand, of course! Is your backyard well equipped for an entertaining afternoon? With these do-it-yourself ideas, you can improve the fun factor of your gatherings, for young and old alike.

A dedicated space for lawn games

When designing your backyard, it is important to consider a safe space for these activities if they are part of your regular roster of activities. Most outdoor games are played on a flat surface, ideally on grass or even sand. Be sure to keep a small portion of the ground in the open, free of plants or furnishings, long enough for the distance often required between two teams. Tip: We often forget that the side of the house is ideal for these types of games.  Before starting, remember to talk about safety with your children to avoid any accidents in the play area.

A place to draw for everyone: outdoor chalk board

Almost everyone has a favourite memory of an evening of playing Pictionary. A simple blackboard and chalk are all it takes to get a game going. Not to mention it’s perfect for tic-tac-toe with toddlers, and hangman with youngsters. For those who would like to integrate the drawing space right into their decor, there is special black chalk paint that can be used to create a chalkboard. First choose an unused section of an exterior wall or build a structure out of wooden pallets. Then apply the paint as directed while taking the time to calculate the desired dimensions. Once your project is dry, add crown molding or simply fall under the charm of its rustic look!

 

Make a giant Jenga game

How’s your balance? Remember those famous wooden blocks stacked in a tower, always on the verge of crashing to the ground? Reproduce the concept (and the excitement) on a larger scale. Young and old alike will have fun deconstructing the tower block by block … who will fail? To create the giant game, you will need seven 2×4 planks of wood, cut into 10 ½” pieces. This will give you 54 pieces to stack in threes. If Jenga isn’t so popular at your house, a domino game or a bean bag toss are just as easy to make!


Curious to know how renovations to your outdoor space can affect the value of your home? Wondering what other things to consider? Speak to our insurance agents before undertaking any project to obtain all the relevant information. Be sure to share your tips for optimizing your outdoor space in the comments below!