With spring blooms at last gracing us, many of us are feeling the itch to get outside and into our outdoor living spaces. Here are some cost-effective, eye-pleasing DIY tasks that can really make an impact on your property.
Revamp your outdoor living spaces
When the temperature starts to rise and the sun comes out, outdoor living is where we want to be. A great patio and welcoming backyard has us dreaming of lazy evenings in the yard, watching the kids play and enjoying the music of the outdoors.
Cost-effective ways to bring life to your outdoor living space can start with your outdoor furniture. Giving it a good clean and ridding it of all the dust, dirt and scuffs is a great beginning. Consider a fresh coat of paint or stain to freshen it up, and then accessorize with new cushions. You can also add a free-standing patio umbrella which provides both form and function to the space.
Strategically place outdoor pots so as not to disturb the flow, but rather define the space and provide some eye candy to your outdoor “room.” Keep your eyes peeled for good value annuals or bigger tropical plants, or ready-to-go drop-in arrangements that can bring colour, life and beauty to your outdoor space.
Day to night: Install exterior lighting
You want your home to look good during the day, dusk and night. Exterior lighting, when done well, can help create a beautiful look and transform your home when going from day to night.
Often, exterior lighting is one of the most sought-after outdoor features. Adding spotlights to highlight a garden feature like a bush or tree, sidewalk lights to invite and guide company, pendant lights at your front or back door, or a strand of bulb lights can add drama in all the right places.
If you have exterior fixtures, but over time they have become dull looking or chipped, consider applying a fresh coat of paint to spruce them up.
Make it sparkle: Pressure wash
A good cleaning can make your patio, deck or siding look brand new. If you own a pressure washer, you are ready to go. If not, rent one. Most home improvement stores have this option to rent for the day. Pressure washing is a cost-effective way to make your outdoors sparkle. While you’re at it, do your driveway and walkways. You’ll be amazed how fresh your property looks.
Spruce up your flower beds
Even with low-maintenance flower beds, they still need some attention. Start with a walk around. Trim back any dead or dying branches on shrubs and trees while maintaining a good shape. Pull any weeds and turn over your garden soil. Just turning over the soil from the winter snow melt can liven up your garden bed. Adding a fresh layer of mulch is also a welcome addition. It provides weed control and gives your flower beds a finished and polished look.
A relatively inexpensive way to give instant pop and summer-long enjoyment is to plant annuals like impatiens, petunias or begonias. Ideally your flower beds will show some kind of colour during three of the four seasons out of the year. This can be shown through your shrubs or trees with colour or interesting foliage, or blooming flowers will give that instant lift to any exterior.
Flower pots filled with tropical plants, small and large, can also add visual interest to your patio, deck, backyard or front door. Similarly, flower boxes with eye-popping flowers will add instantly to the display.
Down to the basics
- Do the small repairs that you have been putting off. Burnt outdoor light bulbs, screen repairs, paint touch-ups – walk around outside looking high and low. Make a note of all the quick fixes. You likely have what you need in the basement or garage to get the job done, so it’s worth taking the time for these small repairs.
- Clean out the gutters inside and out. Get rid of all the debris collected throughout the winter; then give the outside of the eves a good scrub to look like new.
- Hide your trash bins. Household trash and recycling is part of life, but we don’t want to have to see our garbage bins other than on garbage day. If space is an issue, be creative. Consider putting up some inexpensive lattice or fencing, or use greenery like planting bushes or shrubs to conceal them.
We could all use a breath of fresh air. Why not take it outside and do some DIY projects for your outdoor living space!