13 Backyard Ideas That Will Make You Spend More Time Outdoors

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Your backyard should be an oasis: a peaceful, relaxing space where you can enjoy the fresh air and feel good about being at home. But you don't have to be a master gardener or expert designer to make some stellar additions to your lawn or patio. After a few do-it-yourself decor and furniture upgrades, you'll never want to go back inside.

(Image: eHow)

Paint Chic Pots for Your Blooms

One of the easiest ways to update your patio decor is to start with a smaller element, like a flower pot. Break out the spray paint to dress up some plain terra cotta pots. Your plants will thank you for the new look.

(Image: Carrie Waller)

Add Mood Lighting with Mason Jars

You're going to need some lights if you want to enjoy your backyard at night. Try using mason jars to illuminate a fence or patio with a pretty ambient glow.

(Image: Tim and Mary Vidra)

Upgrade Your Plants with Mosaic Clay Pots

Another way to up your flower pot game is to add mosaics using tiles you can find at your local hardware store. Break out your inner artist and experiment with different geometric designs and patterns.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Make the Birds Feel at Home

Hanging these gourd birdhouses in your trees will have birds chirping with happiness. Using bright paint to decorate the gourds is a great way to bring in unexpected pops of color, too.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Give Your Old Pots a New Look

Don't toss your old and broken gardening pots in the trash. Instead, use potting soil, succulents and moss to make a mini-garden fit for a fairy. This is a great way to add some magic and whimsy to your yard.

(Image: Jessica Begum)

Get Wind of These Chimes

Do you hear that? It's the sound of copper wind chimes gently swaying in the breeze. Plumb the pipe section of your local hardware store for supplies, and create a bold yard accessory without using a single power tool. Instead of hanging the chimes from an awning, tie them to the branches of a tree.

(Image: Sarah Hamilton)

Cultivate Your Green Thumb in Containers

Container gardening is the way to go if you want greenery but you don't have a big outdoor space. Using an array of pots can bring in some dimension and fill the space evenly. Pro tip: plant veggies you can use in your everyday cooking.

(Image: Mavis Butterfield)

Go Vertical with Your Gardening

Another micro-gardening option is a vertical garden, a hot trend in outdoor living. You can even attach these pallets to a fence to maximize space and put your favorite flowers right at eye level.

(Image: Matthew Ashman)

Give New Life to Your Patio Cushions

Recovering your patio furniture will guarantee its status as the best seat in the house. The fabric you use for your cushions is also a great way to establish an overall color scheme for your patio.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Grab a Seat on a Pallet Bench

If you're thinking about entertaining in your refreshed outdoor space, you'll need some extra seating. These benches, made out of wooden pallets, will come to your rescue.

Image: Sonya Nimri
Image: Sonya Nimri (Image: Sonya Nimri)

Get Woodsy with Your Side Table

To feel even closer to the great outdoors, consider incorporating natural elements into your decor. These tree trunk side tables repurpose a fallen tree with help from a chainsaw, and the more angular the sides are, the better.

(Image: Sarah Dorsey)

Cozy Up to a Paver Fire Pit

If you have a big yard and no idea how to fill it, this fire pit is a great addition. You can even arrange your patio furniture around the blaze and break out a s'mores kit for a snack.

(Image: Carrie Waller)

Save Space with This Patio Bar

Want an outdoor bar but have nowhere to put one? This is where a Murphy bar comes in. Sidle up for a cool drink and put it away when the night's fun is over.

(Image: Rachel Pereira)

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