Best Ways to Renovate Your Yard (Without Calling a Professional)

by Amalie DrurySeptember 12, 2017

Sure, your yard would be amazing with a total overhaul – regrading, reseeding, landscaping, the works. But if you’re looking to improve your little patch of paradise without calling in the pros, here are some easy things you can do to upgrade and maximize your space.

First, Tidy Up

You’d be surprised at how different your yard can look after a day of tidying up. Get everyone in the house involved, buy some yard waste bags approved by your town and roll up your sleeves. Pull every weed in sight, rake dead leaves out of beds, pick up twigs and branches, and prune and shape out-of-control trees and bushes (check to make sure it’s the right season to prune in your area). Rent a power washer and clean dingy walls or siding that overlooks the yard, along with fences and dirty paved walkways. Put away the little things that can add up to a big eyesore of a yard: faded furniture cushions, unused plastic bins, assorted tools and watering cans. Now you have a clean slate.
yard renovation outdoor plants on a patio

Fill Planters and Beds

Not all landscaping needs to go in the ground. With an assortment of well-designed planters grouped in a variety of heights, you can add lots of dimension and style to your space. Use them to break up the bare, blank look of a garage wall or privacy fence, arrange them around a seating area to create “boundaries” for your outdoor room, or stagger them on various levels of your deck to create a finished, filled-in look. Get ideas for what to plant in your planters at your local garden center. When you see an example you like, snap a photo so you’ll remember how to recreate it at home. Remember, more is more. A lush planter filled with different colors and textures is much more appealing than one with a single plant growing in the middle.

A profusion of bright annual flowers is the easiest instant update for any yard. The color and cheer they add can completely transform the look of the space with very little effort. And if your yard contains mulched beds, take a look at the existing mulch and refresh it if it looks dried out, sparse or ragged.

Arrange Outdoor Furniture

An arrangement of comfortable outdoor furniture will make your yard look much more inviting and encourage you to spend more time enjoying the space and entertaining friends. Look for furniture built to withstand the elements with weather-resistant frames, stainless steel hardware, and UV and fade-resistant qualities. Cushions and upholstery should be made from a quick-drying and mildew-resistant materials and fabric like Sunbrella©.

To mimic the feel of your favorite indoor rooms, set aside separate areas of the yard for lounging and dining. Make sure there are plenty of convenient table surfaces for drinks and food, and add large outdoor umbrellas if your yard is short on natural shade.

With these updates, your yard can go from underutilized to your new favorite getaway in the span of a weekend.

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About The Author
Amalie Drury
Amalie Drury is an expert on home design and furniture trends, writing on behalf of Crate and Barrel. She has covered related topics as a senior editor for magazine publisher Modern Luxury and as a city editor for women’s lifestyle site PureWow. She has also written for Time Out, the Chicago Tribune and Sophisticated Living.

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