This is the summer of just staying home, so why not invest some of the money you’re saving by not traveling, not hitting the bars or dinners out, skipping movies, ballgames, museums, stores…
Alright, that’s getting depressing. Let’s try it again.
If you search for “ideas to turn backyard into oasis” you’ll find dozens of articles featuring “ideas” like getting a hot tub, installing an outdoor kitchen, or laying a patio (or all three). If you want to go ahead and spend 10 or 15 grand on your backyard makeover, more power to you. On the other hand, with the addition of a few new features and a few fine products, you can turn your yard into your own private oasis without spending thousands of dollars and without major construction projects required.
Today, we’re assuming you have at least a few hundred square feet of level outdoor space and we’re assuming you don’t want to do any major demolition, building, or renovation. Aside from that, all you need to do is clean the space up, then add a few (or all) of these fine outdoor products.
Create an Instant Patio with Interlocking Deck Tiles
UltraShield Naturale Composite 12″ x 12″ Interlocking Deck Tile
If you have an existing patio that’s in rough shape, you can cover it up with a brand-new patio in the matter of an hour or two using click-together deck tiles. With next to no prep needed before covering any flat, hard outdoor surface, you can get to work building your new patio the moment these tiles arrive, and no tools even required. To create a unique space, consider getting contrasting colors or even contrasting materials — think faux wood and faux grass panels in checkerboard style. (You can even lay the tiles on the ground, but you’ll want to lay some gravel and sand and compact it first. Note tiles can be cut to shape as needed.)
Enjoy Shade, Style, and Some Added Privacy with a DIY Pergola
Backyard Discover Cedar Pergola
The only real high price item on the rundown today, this pergola arrives pre-cut, pre-stained, and ready to assemble. As long as you have a good ladder, a good buddy, and a decent set of basic tools, you should be able to get this thing built in an afternoon. It’s large enough for a decent dining table or outdoor seating set, and you can also use it to put up privacy screens, hang lighting, or grow your own mini vineyard. And hey, that will add more shade, privacy, and grapes.
Add Privacy and Style to Any Existing Fence with Bamboo Reeds
6- by 16-Foot Rollnatural Reed Garden Fencing
Privacy is a must for proper outdoor relaxation. If you have any existing fence that does not block a neighbor’s view, such as a slatted picket or chain link fence, this roll of closely-packed bamboo reeds will easily adhere with a bit of wrapped wire and will block the view into your little oasis. It can also be used simply to add style and character, such as when you attach it to the wall of a house or garage.
Center the Space with an Outdoor Rug
Star Moroccan Rug
You know what The Dude said about the rug in his home? Right, it tied the room together. This handsome outdoor rug will serve as the center of your seating area or as a great accent point under an outdoor dining table. It’s rugged despite its refined looks, and when dirty, it can be cleaned with a hose and hung up to air dry.
An Outdoor Furniture Set That Works Just About Anywhere
Wisteria Lane 5-Piece Set
This set is an amazingly good price considering it comes with a love seat, two arm chairs, a little coffee table, and even cushions. Perch everything under your new pergola and atop your new rug and your space just went up a notch or three. Just bring the cushions inside when it rains if you want them to last.
Sling Chairs Can be Moved Around with Ease and Stored Hanging or Flat
Society 6 Sling Chair
For a smaller space or to add a bit more seating to your outdoor oasis, these lightweight but comfortable sling chairs will make a perfect addition. They come with fabrics of all different prints and colors and when not in use they can lie flat on a shelf or under a bed or hang on a wall.
These Hanging Lanterns Don’t Require AC Outlets
SiteLight XL Fabric Lantern
Being as they were designed for the campsite, these handsome Japanese-style hanging lanterns are more than suitable for use in your yard. You can purchase several and attach them to one another daisy-chain style, and they will glow for hours with a soft but bright light when connected to a battery pack via USB.
Keep It Cool with an Affordable Misting System
Misty Mate Cool Patio 20 Low Pressure Misting System
Got a hose in your backyard? Great. Got 25 bucks to spare? Excellent, because you can then get this easy DIY misting system that can lower ambient outdoor temperatures by as much as 30 degrees F in areas with dry, hot days. The system installs with small brad nails and will be perfect when attached to a pergola (ey!), a fence, or any other elevated outdoor structure.
Hangout with a Classy Hammock That Adds Style and a Spot to Laze
Yellow Leafs Signature Hammock
Yeah, you could get a cheaper camping-style hammock made of parachute material and call it a day, but these genuinely hand-made hammocks from Yellow Leaf look better, last longer, and are much more comfortable, too. So consider spending the bucks on a top-quality outdoor oasis must-have. They come in colors ranging from the chilled out and neutral to the bold and bright, and there are hanging strap options and installation kits that allow for hanging just about anywhere.
A Fire Pit Brightens Your Nights. And Warms Them Up
Solo Stove Yukon Fire Pit
This is another case where you can go a lot cheaper to be sure (and even Solo Stove offers smaller, more affordable fire pits) but you won’t regret your investment, especially if you have tighter outdoor quarters. This is a wood-burning fire pit so you’ll get the warmth and the crackle, but its superb design ensures maximum safety and minimal smoke. Air holes at the bottom of the unit keep the fire well-fed and burning hot and clean, so all the wood burns and minimal smoke is produced, while a lower ash pan allows for easy cleaning later while also keeping the heat raised well above the ground during a burn, which means less risk of an accidental fire outside the pit.
An Outdoor Bar You Can Roll Into the Kitchen for Restocking
Best Choice Products Outdoor Rolling Wicker Bar Car
From bottle storage to an ice bucket to a stable countertop for cutting lemons and limes and perching glasses while you shake up drinks, this little cart has everything you need to make a mobile bar, and it’s an ideal work space for when you’re grilling up a feast.
A Grab and Go Cocktail Caddy
Keepr Cocktail Caddy
Part soft-walled cooler (as the whole KeepR can be filled with ice), part mobile organization system, and all unique way to have cold drinks at the ready anywhere, the KeepR is perfect for those with limited outdoor space where a bar cart just doesn’t make sense. You can use its movable dividers to section off bottles, glassware, bar tools, and mixers, and use the central ice bucket for … ice.
A Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker That Can Jam for 24 Hours
Anker Soundcore 2
This affordable little speaker may be smaller than a brick but it will fill your patio party with plenty of sound, cranking out 12 watts worth of tunes and impressive base for up to a full day at full charge. And not that you would, but you can leave it sitting in the rain.
Extend Your Wi-Fi Outside with an Outdoor Wi-Fi Extender
Netgear Obi Outdoor Satellite Extender
Let’s face it, if your signal sucks outdoors, you’re probably going to spend less time in the yard. An extender like this can be hooked up to an outdoor outlet (or plugged in indoors near the yard) and greatly boost your signal outside, letting you enjoy the same access to this world wide web thing as you’d get inside. (Note you need to get an extender compatible with your system, this is but one of many and works with Netgear products, but it’s the one this author uses and trusts.)