Tammy Nikou July’21

Easy Ways to Update Your Backyard for Summer!

By Tammy Nikou

Summer officially arrives this month, but with the weather we’ve been having lately it feels like it’s already here. Is your backyard ready for outdoor living and this summer’s staycation?

Over the last few years and particularly with the pandemic, the backyard has become an extension of the inside of our home and has also become our very own vacation getaway. Many of us spend so much time out there, entertaining, dining, playing and just relaxing it makes sense that we naturally want to make it as comfortable and beautiful as possible. Especially this year, where many of us are spending most or all of our time at home due to social distancing, the backyard has become even more important. It’s now our home, place of entertainment for us and the kids, and possibly even our staycation getaway! Here are some easy updates to help you transform your backyard into your very own backyard oasis and retreat.

What is Your Ideal OutdoorSpace?

Before you make any changes, think about what your ideal backyard space should look like and what it needs to have so that you can really make it your own. Think about how much space you have to work with, how you want to use your space and when you think you will be out there. Consider who lives in your home with you (kids, pets, etc.) and how they would use the space too. Create distinct areas for outdoor dining, lounging and relaxing, cooking, a bar area, storage, and even play areas for the kids if needed. Also consider any hobbies you may have, like gardening or cooking, so that you create the ultimate outdoor retreat that’s perfect for you.

Refresh Your Flooring

Start with your outdoor flooring. A quick and easy update is to give your current deck or patio a good power wash. You can also make a big impact to your outdoor living area by just adding in a new outdoor rug that can add some warmth, style, and colour to your space. The good news is that outdoor rugs are fairly inexpensive, so it will feel like a really big change without having to spend a lot!

Update Your Patio Furniture

Let’s start with furniture. Take a look at your current patio furniture and consider whether it meets the goals for your space. Do you have enough chairs for a cozy sitting area? Do you have a dining table that fits the whole family? Is your patio furniture in good condition? If the answer is no, consider investing in some new patio furniture like a nice outdoor sofa, sectional, and even dining set if you plan to eat outdoors.

If your existing patio furniture is in good condition, you can take on a DIY project and refinish it. There’s so much you can do with a can of spray paint! I highly recommend painting old metal patio furniture. Did you know you can even paint plastic furniture too? It’s such a great way to make your patio furniture look new again, and even modernize it a bit with different colours. Finally, you can even take a look at re-upholstering or updating your patio cushions.

Add Some New Accessories

An easy way to refresh your outdoor space is by adding in some new accessories like cushions, pillows, lanterns, and trays. Before you go out and start buying things, think about the look and feeling you are after. Do you want a coastal look? A modern lounge? Maybe something more tropical, or even a Bohemian Getaway? Think of some new colours and patterns you can add in and carry it through your space to make it feel pulled together.

Get Creative with Your
Landscaping and Planters

For an easy update, add in some new planters to your outdoor living space with some lush greenery and vibrant colours. If you don’t have much of a green thumb, try using ferns, palm trees, and other green plants that will last all summer long and are low maintenance.
If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, landscaping can make a huge impact on your outdoor space. What’s great about landscaping is that you don’t need to do it all at once, and if you have a plan you can add on every year. Think about your privacy needs in the backyard, your fencing, and how you could use landscaping to help with that.

Add Some Shade

If your backyard is in full sun, you will want to create some areas with shade so you can enjoy yourselves out there all summer long. You can add shade to your space in a variety of ways including installing a new umbrella, pergola, or a modern awning.

Add Lighting

Look up and look around – do you have enough light? Aside from creating ambience, lighting is a great way to extend your time in your outdoor space into the evenings. You can add lighting through garden lighting, string lights, lanterns and even a natural gas or propane fire pit.

I hope this was helpful in giving you some tips and ideas to help your transform your backyard into your very own outdoor oasis which you can enjoy all summer long!


~ You can see Tammy’s work at nikoudesign.com