Here in the Bay of Quinte (and anywhere in Canada really), the backyard is a sacred space. We cherish it, particularly in the warm months that just never seem to last long enough. If you’re looking for ways to maximize your outdoor living space, without breaking the bank, look no further! Here are some simple, inexpensive ways to create a backyard that is livable, lovable and kid friendly.
1. Thrift It!
If you know anything about me, this will come as no surprise. Before you start scouring the aisles of a department store, check out the secondhand community first. And don’t let a little ugly scare you away.
There is little that a couple cans of spray paint, or some new outdoor cushions can’t fix. In our backyard alone, I thrifted the kids’ play structure, the fire pit, the sofa, the lounge chairs, and the wicker dining chairs.
2. DIY It!
I was having a hard time finding a reasonably priced coffee table for our outdoor seating area, so I used a pallet we had left over from having our deck materials delivered, some new castors, and leftover black paint to create what I needed. You can easily find pallets at local businesses around town but be sure to ask if it is okay to take them. Some pallets are returned for a deposit.
3. Bring the Indoors Out!
I’m sure you’ve heard of bringing the outdoors in, but the opposite is true too. This includes your indoor plants. Most of your tropical plants will do just fine in our climate in the summer months and this can save you some dough when it comes to sprucing up your patio space, rather than filling those planters with new annuals every year.
If you just can’t find what you’re looking for in the patio section, check out what is available year-round for furniture and décor. As long as it is made of a material that can hold up to moisture, there’s no harm using it outside, even if that was not its intended purpose.
Our white dining chairs are meant for indoors, but they are made of polypropylene so I knew the elements wouldn’t harm them and they could be easily cleaned.
4. Let Nature Inspire You!
This might seem self-explanatory when talking about outdoor spaces, but it’s still worth mentioning. A log can easily become a side table or extra seating and branches and garden clippings make perfect centerpieces.
5. Let the Kids Be Kids!
If you share your backyard space with tiny humans like I do, then you probably already know that keeping them happy and busy is the best way for you to enjoy the space as well. Outdoor spaces (and kids) are meant to get dirty. I love a magazine-worthy space just as much as the next person, but if it can’t be hosed down, I try to avoid it.
How do you make the most of your outdoor space? Share your #exteriorsofquinte by posting your photos and tips on social media and using the hashtag!