Hello, Curb Appeal: 9 Ways to Quickly Spruce Up Your Landscaping

Mariel Loveland
Written by Mariel Loveland
Updated March 7, 2022
Garden furniture set on a wooden terrace
Photo: photographee.eu / Adobe Stock

With these simple tips, the grass will always be greener on your side of the fence

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Is your backyard landscaping looking worse for wear? It happens. Grass and shrubs can quickly become overgrown. Patio furniture wears down in the elements. Weeds always manage to find a way.

Luckily, it doesn’t take much to give your outdoor space a facelift—and add some instant curb appeal. From simple yard maintenance to outdoor lighting, these easy backyard ideas can refresh your tired space. Here’s how to spruce up your yard, fast. 

1. Do Your Regular Yard Maintenance

Just like you have to tidy up your bedroom, you also need to tidy up your yard. One of the best ways to spruce up your landscape is regular yard maintenance and lawn care. These tasks will only take an afternoon, but they’ll make a big difference when it comes to curb appeal:

  • Mow your grass

  • Prune your shrubs

  • Blow away leaves and debris

  • Weed your garden

  • Sweep your hardscaping

  • Rise off your outdoor furniture

  • Lay down new grass seed in patchy lawn areas

  • Put your garden tools back in your garage or shed

If you don’t feel like taking on the job yourself, hire a local landscaper.

2. Accessorize With Garden Accents

Looking for an easy garden idea that will add a little spice to your outdoor space? Accessorize your backyard landscaping with a garden accent. A few well-placed garden accents can completely revamp your backyard’s theme. For example, channel a classic English garden with birdbaths, garden statues, and gazing globes. If you prefer a midcentury modern feel, go for pink flamingos and artificial grass. Want a rustic vibe? Choose some antique outdoor mirrors and farmhouse accents.

3. Build a Deck or Patio

A paver walkway in the backyard
Photo: Todd Ryburn Photography / Moment / Getty Images

You might not be able to build a patio or deck in an afternoon, but one of the most effective ways to spruce up your landscaping is to define a seating area. It visually breaks up space in your yard, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. If you have the DIY know-how, you can build a platform deck in about a week with a few supplies from a big-box home improvement store. Don’t want to deal with the hassle? Hire a local top-rated patio paver.

4. Buy New Patio Furniture

If you already have a patio, try giving it a quick refresh with some brand new outdoor furniture. In a few clicks on an online store (or a trip to your local hardware store), your old yard can become an entirely new outdoor living space. For some ideas, try adding:

  • A storage bench to hide clutter

  • An outdoor dining set for entertaining

  • A couple couches to create an outdoor living room

  • A cafe table and chairs 

  • A hammock 

  • A rocking chair or porch swing

5. Use Large Flower Pots to Make a Big Impact

If you don’t have the green thumb or the time to maintain lush flower beds, try using large flower pots instead. These add instant curb appeal. For a low-maintenance touch, layer your decorative planters with low-maintenance plants like ornamental grass or drought-resistant shrubs. For the biggest impact, arrange your flowers in the pots using the thriller, filler, spiller method. This involves:

  • Choosing a thriller plant as the focal point

  • Putting a filler plant around your thriller

  • Planting a spiller plant that trails out of the pot

6. Create an Outdoor Living Space With a Firepit

If you like to entertain, a seating area is a backyard landscaping must-have. You don’t have to do anything fancy, either. A freestanding firepit surrounded by outdoor chairs can be a fun addition that lets you use your outdoor living space when temperatures dip. You can build your own firepit with a campfire ring or purchase one at your local outdoor store. Just make sure to place it 10 to 20 feet from a building or overhang and follow proper fire safety protocols

7. Lay Down Some Mulch For a Crisp Look

Got a messy garden? Clean up your flower beds with some fresh mulch. This garden idea cuts down on weeds, adds some color to your landscaping, and gives your outdoor space an instant, crisp, put-together feel. Choose a color that helps your existing plants stand out and goes well with the exterior of your home.

8. Brighten Your Outdoor Space with Solar Lights

A few well-placed solar lights can make your outdoor living space functional (and fancy) after dark. String up some bistro lights to channel a trendy outdoor cafe. Use fairy lights to create the delicate feeling of a secret garden. Add some lanterns along a walkway for a classic, elevated look. This is one of the few cheap landscaping ideas that only takes a trip to a hardware store. If you want to get technical and expand your budget, hire a local landscape lighting company.

9. Install a Water Feature

Water features don’t just spruce up your yard. They literally change your whole landscape -- from a small patch of grass to a lush, flowing river. Adding a pond or built-in fountain might take some time and a budget, but some water feature ideas only take an afternoon. For the quickest solution, head to your local outdoor store and pick up a removable garden fountain (or make your own).

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