8 Cozy Backyard Ideas for Every Budget

Evelyn Long

Feb 19, 2023


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Updating your backyard to create a cozier environment can be a costly and time-consuming project. 

Fortunately, there are simple ways to enhance your backyard and turn it into a relaxing space that you love — all while staying within your budget. 

Although you might want to splurge in some areas of your outdoor upgrade, you can get by trying these eight less-expensive, cozy backyard ideas. 

1. Build a Fire Pit

Is anything more relaxing than sitting around a backyard fire pit on a summer night? Fire pits might seem like a luxury for a few lucky ones, but just about any homeowner can DIY a setup without breaking the bank. 

While there are several ways to approach constructing a backyard fire pit, you’ll most likely need angled pavers and gravel to start. Other times, homeowners might purchase a prefabricated fire pit kit or construct a custom-built fireplace on their patios.

Homeowners can expect to spend between $200 and $3,000 on a fire feature, but the cost increases with labor and special electric or gas requirements. 

Before you rush to install a fire pit, check with your town or HOA to ensure you meet their regulations and standards.

2. Add Comfortable Furniture

The right outdoor furniture can make a difference in the utmost comfort, making your backyard a place everyone can enjoy.

An oversized wooden coffee table is the perfect addition for shmoozing and grazing on snacks while maintaining your outdoor surroundings’ rustic and natural aesthetic. You should also consider an outdoor sofa or Adirondack chairs if you enjoy hosting visitors.

Those who aren’t ready to invest in new backyard patio furniture can work with what they have by spray-painting and repairing pieces to make them look new.

3. String Lights

Outdoor lighting can take your backyard from drab to cozy-chic — and there’s something particularly romantic about strung lights. 

Stringing lights in your backyard deliver a warm, soft glow that illuminates your patio from above with little distraction from glares.

Drape your lights across surrounding trees or on your patio ceiling if you have one. You might even place them on a coffee table, in bushes or in glass containers for a more enchanting, sparkling style.

4. Integrate Textiles

It’s unlikely that you’ll need a blanket during the heat of the summer, but there are other ways to include textiles for a cozier backyard escape.

For example, add an outdoor rug to your patio and choose soothing colors for outdoor sofa fabrics and decorative pillows.

You can also carry your textile design vertically by hanging jute or macrame wall art. Just ensure it’s safe from the elements. 

5. Plant Perennials

Perennials might be a little more costly than annuals and usually take a while to grow, but they’re an excellent long-term investment in your garden.

Perennial plants return yearly for sometimes 20 years or more. Mixing perennials in a garden bed with other flowers or planting them in an assortment of pots will help create a beautiful, lush backyard. 

Depending on where you live, you might consider the coneflower that grows upward of four feet. Likewise, catmints have long blooms and can withstand prolonged droughts.

6. Add Shading

Shading can boost your backyard’s “snug department” and increase your privacy from nosy neighbors. 

For instance, a pergola will generate a more defined seating area. Likewise, a few shading trees can enhance the natural beauty of the surrounding environment.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the air could be 25° Fahrenheit cooler directly underneath tree coverage, resulting from cooler air settling low to the ground. 

7. DIY a Living Wall

Take your gardening game to new heights with a vertical living wall. 

Greenery infuses coziness to any space, and a DIY living wall will make you feel as if you’re hiding away in the woods.

Hang a trellis on your patio wall and screw in flower pots. You might select various sizes and colors, depending on your tastes.

Fill each flower pot with potting soil and your plants of choice. Herbs are always excellent options for living walls and allow you to grab fresh ingredients from your backyard for cooking. 

8. Include Hardscaping

Those with a bigger budget might want to include hardscaping in their cozy backyard. 

Some ideas might include walkways, stone retaining walls or garden bed borders. Otherwise, you also could use gravel with contrasting colors to create a unique design in a smaller space. 

Larger-scale projects are another possibility, such as stunning cobble, composite and travertine pavers — then soften the edges of your hardscaping with low-growing plants and flowers.

Escape Hectic Days in a Cozy Backyard

Unwind after a busy day in a relaxing escape right at home. By incorporating these cozy backyard ideas, you can create a space you’ll never want to leave.

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