DIY home improvement projects have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, with exterior renovations some of the most impactful for DIY homeowners. Everything from basic landscaping to more ambitious deck additions is fair game for homeowners looking to make their exteriors more comfortable and inviting. If you have caught the home improvement itch, keep reading for some trending outdoor Design tips for the DIY homeowner!

DIY Outdoor Living Design Tips

Outdoor Living DIY Design Tips

Create a Focal Point

Creating a focal point in your backyard is a straightforward–yet important–step in creating an outdoor oasis. A focal point is a central feature that draws the eye and provides a sense of unity to the space. It can be anything from a gazebo to a patio with a picnic table or a firepit. A focal point serves several functions. 

First, it helps to define the space and give it a purpose. It also creates a sense of balance and harmony, making the backyard feel more inviting and relaxing. Finally, a focal point can provide a place for entertaining and gathering with friends and family, making the backyard more functional.

When building a focal point, it is important to consider the aesthetics of the space. This means thinking about the materials, colors, and textures used in the design. It is also important to consider how the focal point will fit in with the surrounding landscape and the overall style of the home.

No matter what type of focal point you choose, it’s important to make sure it’s properly maintained. Stay up-to-date on how to clean concrete patio foundations and perform regular upkeep to ensure that your focal point remains a beautiful and inviting part of your outdoor living design.

Add Some String Lighting

String lighting is a versatile and affordable way to add ambiance and light to your outdoor oasis. It can be hung from trees, along fences, or draped over pergolas and gazebos. String lighting can also be used to enhance the aforementioned focal point in your yard, perhaps via a lighted pathway or a cozy seating area.

There are many different types of string lighting to choose from including LED, solar, and Edison bulbs. LED lights are energy-efficient and long-lasting, while solar lights are a great option for areas that don’t have access to an outlet. Edison bulbs provide a warm, vintage look.

No matter what type of string lighting you choose, it’s sure to add a touch of magic to your outdoor oasis.

Improve the Functionality of the Deck

Installing a deck is among the most popular outdoor DIY projects, but many decks end up falling short of oasis status. They turn into unattractive slabs attached to the house that takes some serious gumption to endure. Therefore, improving the functionality of your deck is key to creating an enjoyable outdoor oasis.

First, consider adding a DIY pergola kit to provide shade and protection from the elements. Pergolas are relatively easy to install and can be customized to fit your deck’s size and style.

Next, consider upgrading your decking and railing. Composite boards are a low-maintenance option that won’t rot, warp, or splinter. Low-profile railing will provide unobstructed views and a sleek, modern look, making the deck feel much less confined than bulkier railing options. 

Finally, add furniture that won’t get blown around in the wind. Heavy-duty patio furniture or pieces made from durable materials like teak or aluminum will withstand the elements and provide a comfortable place to relax and enjoy your outdoor space without requiring constant retrieval whenever a wind gust arrives. 

Explore Low Water Features

Low water features are an essential component of a great outdoor living design. They can add beauty and tranquility to any yard, while also helping to conserve water. 

Adding low-water plants, such as succulents and cacti, can help to create a lush and colorful landscape without consuming a lot of resources. Stone sections of the lawn can also be used to create pathways and seating areas, providing a low-maintenance alternative to traditional grass. 

Artificial turf is also a great option for those looking to create a low-maintenance, low-water outdoor oasis. Artificial turf is durable and won’t get damaged by pets or kids playing, making it a great choice for families. 

Finally, creating walkways with durable pavers can help to promote drainage and prevent water from pooling in one area. Pavers are also more durable than traditional grass, making them a great choice for areas that receive a lot of foot traffic. While many homeowners compare porcelain pavers vs concrete pavers when creating their walkways, innovative composite pavers are arguably the best option thanks to their wide variety of styles and elite durability. 

Add Some Flowering Plants

Flowering plants are a great way to add color and beauty to an outdoor living design. They can be used to create a variety of effects, from a cottage garden to a modern, sleek design. Flowering plants can also provide important benefits to the environment, such as attracting pollinators and controlling erosion.

When incorporating flowering plants into an outdoor living design, it’s important to consider the amount of maintenance required. Some of the lowest-maintenance flowering plants include perennials such as daylilies, hostas, and coneflowers, as well as annuals like petunias, geraniums, and marigolds. These plants are easy to care for and can be planted in various combinations to create a stunning display.

Get Started Today on Your Outdoor Living Design

Every homeowner wants an exterior living environment that creates an inviting retreat. To help you create an outdoor living design of your own, any of the simple DIY projects listed above can be a great place to start. For more on how to make your property stand out, explore the resources at Dig This Design today for ideas and inspiration!

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Andrea Erickson is a freelance writer that loves sharing her knowledge and expertise in renovation and landscaping. She lives in her hometown of Austin, Texas where she enjoys spending time with her husband and decorating with her children. Andrea’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a new construction industry resource site.

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About the Author: Patricia Davis Brown

Patricia, like her blog, is not a one-dimensional designer, which is evident in her accolades of 17 national design awards. Over a 38-year career in the industry, she has carved a niche in several areas of design. Licensed in interior design and certified in kitchen and bath design, she offers a full menu of design services ranging from whole house interior design, kitchen and bath design, lighting design, full remodels, commercial design and universal (ADA) design. Patricia is a sought-after speaker in the industry and has been published in many publications as seen on her interior design firm’s website, She writes for such publications as QuinStreetinc, Relaxed Remodeler, and talent offering design tips.