Backyard Paradise… On A Budget. A backyard paradise, really? Most articles that I have seen lately would have you spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on lap pools and pergolas and outdoor kitchens, complete with a sous chef. While that might be a most-lovely backyard to have, I would think it’s fair to say that it’s out of reach for a lot of us, especially in today’s economy. As I have spoken of often, Bruce and I live in a small, two-bedroom condo, with a tiny patio and a bit of garden. We do think of it as our little slice of paradise though and we have neither a 10-person hot tub nor a 12-burner outdoor stove. We’ve added some solar-powered lighting, planted a few flowers, assembled a little patio set, straight from the discount section of The Christmas Tree Shop and…presto… paradise. Little, inexpensive touches can go a long way in the backyard and can give you a paradise-feeling on a Motel 6-kind of budget. Your own paradise awaits you too… just consider the following…
“Here is an unspeakable secret: paradise is all around us and we do not understand.”Thomas Merton
String A Hammock
One of the first things we did after arriving at our hotel in Maui on our first big trip together, was to run down to the beach and hop right in to one of the hammocks and just listen to the waves (it was already dark, LOL). It felt so luxurious and so much like paradise, because it was. The hammock was one of the things that made it so. You can buy a camping hammock for your backyard starting at around $20 or a canvas one, with it’s own stand for under $200 (see some of the variety available at Amazon and other retailers like LL Bean). A hammock is specifically made for lounging, reading a book, taking a nap; now THAT is starting to sound like paradise, isn’t it?
Add String Lights
String lights, once only available at the Christmas holidays are now available almost everywhere and all year long. There are so many varieties to choose from and most have fixed that “one goes out, they all go out!” problem of Christmas Vacation fame. Many styles are also available in solar options. Whether you traverse your patio top with them (as shown above) or wrap your bushes in them, some lovely white lights add a sense of whimsy and playfulness to your backyard. I love the Edison bulb option (looks like a bunch of clear, incandescent lightbulbs on a string), but there are so many options that you can have fun with. Try it… paradise awaits.
Create An Outdoor Bar
An outdoor bar can be a very expense backyard addition, which, in warmer climates, may be justified. But here in the Northeast, where I live, I don’t think it’s necessary to spend an arm-and-a-leg on what you can only use for a few months out of the year. You can create an outdoor bar using pallets; Pinterest is filled with ideas and construction plans for these. You can also create a bar from a potting table, like the one above; these are available at most garden centers, as well as places like Walmart and Target. If your space is limited, like ours is, simply spray paint an old, metal utility or tea cart; these work great for bars and are available in a lot of thrift and consignment stores. A martini… outside… whilst the family plays cornhole…paradise.
Fashion A Water Feature or A Fire Pit
The sounds of crackling fire or gurgling water speak to rest, relaxation and ease from the stresses of the day. Adding a firepit or a backyard fountain can give this to your outdoor space. Fountains can be made easily out of ceramic pots or galvanized tubs and a pump kit. Fire pits come in so many varieties – from the clay chiminea to the stainless steel vessel that works on propane – that it’s hard not to find one to love that’s in budget. Just think about the peace and serenity the sound of the moving water will bring… and then, of course… the s’mores! If that’s not paradise, I don’t know what is.
Hungry For More? Check Out These Other Great Backyard Ideas:
- One of Life’s Little Luxuries…The Outdoor Shower
- The Fire Pit… At Home, Outdoor Fun
- Got Curb Appeal? The Magnet That Draws You Home
And Now For A Little Music Before We Go…
“To live in a peaceful home is to experience paradise on earth.”Radhe Maa