Everyone wants to make the most of their outdoor living space — a place where we relax with family, host events and create gardens. We’ll walk you through some of our favorite outdoor DIY ideas to inspire your own summer improvement projects.

BBQ Grill Enclosure

For many of us, gathering around the backyard BBQ grill is a summer tradition. Yet as the centerpiece of your outdoor space, clunky grills aren’t always pleasing to the eye. Building a handsome enclosure that functions as a full-on grilling station can transform your outdoor space.

Custom-built for an Australian homeowner, the enclosure shown here is a perfect example. The large structure sits at the edge of the patio, aligned with a support column to give it a built-in look. A pop-up door rises to provide shade and shelter during grilling, and latches closed to fully conceal the grill when it’s not in use.

If you want to recreate this enclosure, be sure to select fireproof materials with high heat resistance. You can obtain aluminum or ceramic slats that sport a wood-look finish. Use metal beams and posts for the frame, add on the slats after and make sure your structure includes overhead ventilation.

Painted Porch Steps

Concrete steps may be practical and low-maintenance, but they can look a little drab. Liven them up with decorative paint. It’s one of the fastest and easiest ways to give your porch or patio a welcoming, unique look.

This homeowner chose a subtle but clean color scheme for their porch step design. Painter’s tape and stencils were used to create the stripes, and lighter colored planters add pleasant contrast to the dark steps.

Wraparound Wall

Make your backyard feel like an outdoor living room by creating a chic wall that wraps around the space. You can do this by augmenting your fencing or by adding a new surface material to any part of your home’s exterior that faces the yard.

The great thing is that you can pick from a wide variety of materials to get the look and quality that suits you best. Options include engineered wood flooring planks or steel siding in a bold color. Just bear in mind that siding installations are best handled by expert installers, so you may need to recruit some professional help.

Mood Lights

Creating an inviting backyard space can be as simple as adding mood lighting. Fortunately, there’s no need for installing complicated outdoor electrical systems or expensive fixtures. You can just DIY your own candle lanterns.

This example shows simple mason jars suspended from garden hooks. A small amount of water is placed in the jars, and then tiny candles are added to create floating votives. You can hang these lanterns wherever you can mount the hooks and in whatever composition you like. Arrange them along the fencing to line your yard, or cluster them in one area to make a cozy place for gathering.

These lanterns are inexpensive and easy to make. The basic materials include mason jars with bands, chains, garden hooks and tea light candles. For tools, you’ll need a drill and a pair of pliers. Full instructions can be found here.

Privacy Screen

Adding a privacy screen to your yard can serve many purposes. You can block the view of your neighbors, create designated spaces in your yard or even hide unsightly features, such as an old A/C unit or your garbage bins.

Thankfully, it doesn’t take much work to build a privacy screen that is both functional and stylish. Anchor support posts in the ground with concrete, then nail on wood decking planks all the way up to the top. Finish it off by coating it with a striking wood stain. You can get the full instructions here.

If you prefer not to build your screen from scratch, you can opt to use wood pallets or trellises.

Gaps between the wood planks will provide you with countless decorating opportunities. In the example shown, simple pots were hung from the rows of planks. Add your own planters, or create a green wall by adding a climbing plant species like ivy.

Get Your Yard Ready for Summer

This summer, make your yard a place where you enjoy spending your time. By using these ideas for inspiration, you’ll be well on your way to planning a delightful backyard transformation.

Looking for more exterior design ideas?

Check out these bold color trends or take a look at some of our favorite remodeling ideas this year.