Transform Your Space: Ultimate Guide to a Backyard Makeover in 2024

by Drew Henry

Is your outdoor space ready for the season? Whether you have a blank slate, an overgrown jungle, or a pretty nice patio you want to spruce up, the LiLi Tile Team is here to help you transform your outdoor space with some inspiration. Dive into our Ultimate Guide to a Backyard Makeover and learn everything you need to design your own backyard oasis.

Hexagon Terracotta Tile

How to Create a Budget for a Backyard Makeover

Revamping your backyard is an exciting home project. Just think of all the summer BBQs and relaxing evenings ahead of you. While it’s fun to dream of your new backyard oasis, creating a budget to keep your backyard makeover on track is just as important. After all, backyard expenses can add up quickly — even when you have a large budget! A comprehensive budget will ensure your backyard project doesn't turn into a money pit. Creating the budget for your backyard makeover involves assessing a few key factors. 


First, make a list of your desired upgrades and their costs. Consider the cost of materials, such as weather-resistant cement tiles, and labor if you want to hire professional assistance. A DIY project can save you money, but only if you are willing to master the skills and put in the work! Otherwise, it can turn into a DIY nightmare. 


Water Resistant Tile | Tiffany Series 5" x 10"

It can be tempting to overload your wishlist with items like patios, pools, outdoor showers & kitchens, and other high-ticket items. Be meticulous in listing out what you'd like versus what you need in your revamped yard space. We’d recommend making a “must-have” and “nice-to-have” list so you can prioritize which upgrades are the most important and keep the budget on track. 


For instance, while adding an outdoor shower might seem appealing during those scorching summer months, it may not be very practical if you don’t have a pool, live close to a beach, or do much outdoor yard work. 


When budgeting, remember to consider the long-term costs of maintenance. Your new backyard will require consistent care and upkeep, which will be affected by your choice of upgrades and materials. Whether this includes routine professional landscaping services or investing time doing it yourself, these are all aspects that should be part of your financial plan. 


A backyard makeover will require a significant investment (both time and money). However, with wise planning and careful execution, transforming your ordinary backyard into something extraordinary is well within reach!

How to Do a Backyard Makeover

Embarking on a backyard makeover can seem daunting, but with careful planning and creativity, it can be an exciting journey. There’s one question first-timers ask again and again, “Where do you start?” Here’s our advice on how to do a backyard makeover.

Olga Cement Tile 

First, assess your space and decide what elements you want to incorporate into your new outdoor haven. Maybe you've been dreaming of having a little corner for a vegetable garden or making a splash in a giant pool. Use this as an opportunity to let your imagination run wild.


After deciding which elements you want in your backyard space, sketch a plan to see where they’d best fit. This doesn't have to be anything professional or technical; even a simple sketch would do. Be sure to take note of areas that get more sun and ones that are shaded most of the time, as that could determine where you might want certain features or plants. Keep in mind that it's also important to account for the backyard makeover cost at this stage. The planning phase is your opportunity to cut features you don’t really need or have the space for. 


Once you've developed your plan, it's time for the fun part—creating the design! First, consider which design style you want for your backyard. You could reference your favorite travel destination and embrace the Mediterranean style, or you could mirror the architectural style of your home with a more contemporary design. Then, move on to choosing material selections that reflect your desired style. 


Nora Cement Tile 6x6

If you're considering outdoor tiles for part of your backyard makeover, look to durable options like cement tile. Cement tiles are particularly great if you plan to add features like an outdoor dining area or even an outdoor shower because they are resistant to water, sun, and other outdoor elements. Plus, they come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and styles. For example, our Nora tile has a classic Mediterranean feel, while our Vegas tile offers a more contemporary geometric pattern. Both would make a big impact in your backyard! So whether you decide to tile a whole area or just add a few as accents in between your greenery, they are an excellent addition to any backyard makeover.


Of course, you can’t forget about the landscaping and outdoor accessories! A few well-placed planters full of colorful blooms, an enchanting fire pit for those lovely summer nights, or even some fairy lights strung around your fence can work wonders. Remember, do-it-yourself backyard makeovers aren't just about making huge changes. They're also about adding little touches here and there that reflect you.


While budgeting and planning are key to embarking on your backyard makeover journey, so is letting your creativity shine. Whether through cement tiles for that Mediterranean vibe or an outdoor shower for some tropical flair, the possibilities are endless!


Outdoor Tiles for the Backyard

We’ve mentioned tile a few times so far, but as you may have been able to tell, we are passionate about cement tiles here at LiLi! Don’t underestimate the power of outdoor tiles in your backyard makeover. They add a touch of sophistication to any garden, instantly elevating the aesthetics while enhancing functionality. 


So, what types of tile should you use in your backyard? Well, it really depends on where you’re using them. Outdoor cement tiles are notably durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions without losing their luster. Their wide array of bright colors and patterns make them great options for patio decks and wall accents.


Picture this—a beautifully tiled patio serving as the focal point of your backyard makeover. Here, you could host summer dinner parties or simply enjoy a quiet evening under the stars with loved ones. Another idea would be to add an outdoor shower with a cement wall tile — combining practicality and style in one stroke!

While cement tiles are water resistant, it is important to note that they cannot be used in submerged water applications like pools due to their porous nature. For pool and fountain tiles, consider glazed porcelain. These tiles will not only reflect the shimmer of the water, but their strong sealed finish will ensure they last for years to come. 


Tiles are more than just decorative—they’re key components in creating durable and attractive spaces to relax and entertain. Whether you’re aiming for an easy backyard makeover or a grander project complete with an alfresco living area, remember there's no better way of grounding all those amazing ideas than using beautiful yet practical flooring solutions like outdoor tiles!


Backyard Makeover Ideas

Are you feeling boxed in when it comes to dreaming up backyard makeover ideas? Or should we say, fenced in? There's a world of backyard design beyond the conventional lawn-and-fence setup waiting to be discovered. Diving headfirst into an assortment of backyard makeover ideas can be the most exhilarating part of the whole endeavor. Here are some of our favorite backyard makeover ideas to help spark inspiration.

1. Tile Your Patio

While slabs are a practical patio surface, they’re not particularly stylish. Tiling your patio with cement tiles is an excellent way to bring color and pattern to your backyard without sacrificing durability. Cement tiles can be installed outdoors and indoors because of their construction. Using your favorite design for interiors and exteriors will help connect the two spaces for the ultimate indoor-outdoor living experience. 


2. Build a Pergola 

If your backyard doesn’t have a clear space for gathering, consider building a pergola. This will create a focal point and provide shade, giving you and your guests a defined spot for lounging and dining. Add panels of fabric or climbing vines to a pergola for extra style and cool shade. 


3. Plant New Flower Beds 

Your flower beds probably need a refresh after the winter freeze. New flowers add instant color and vibrancy to your backyard and can be completed in one short weekend. Consider pulling design inspiration from the flowers you choose, using the color palette in patio tiles, furniture, and accessories. 


4. Install a Water Feature 

If you want to create a backyard space that induces relaxation, consider installing a water feature. Nothing says “zen vibes” like the sound of peacefully flowing water. When building a water feature, you must select materials approved for use around water lines. Our LiLi glaze tiles are approved for use in pools, bathrooms, kitchens, and fountains! 


5. Construct a Privacy Wall 

Take a dose of inspiration from Mediterranean villas, and construct a privacy wall to create your own secluded courtyard retreat. Privacy walls are a great option when your backyard views are less than ideal or if you need a little more separation from the neighbors. Choose a vibrant wall tile pattern to add interest and create a backdrop to your backyard oasis. 


6. Add an Outdoor Shower 

Outdoor showers are both practical and relaxing. These backyard additions are great when you need to rinse off from swimming, working out, or gardening. However, if you design a stylish outdoor shower, you may want to ditch your indoor shower altogether. Choose a private space near the house or off an existing bathroom. Outfit your outdoor shower with a luxurious shower head, stylish cement tiles, and plantings to create a spa-like retreat in your own backyard. 


7. Lay a Pathway

Laying a pathway through your garden creates an opportunity for you and your guests to stroll through your flower beds or simply get from the house to the patio without tracking in mud. Use stone or cement tile pavers to build your pathway. Remember, adding curves to the path creates a more peaceful, meandering feel. Life is about the journey, after all! 


8. Hang Twinkle Lights 

Café or twinkle lights strung above your patio or in your backyard trees add a bit of whimsy and magic to your space. They are the perfect addition to your yard whether you are having a party or a romantic al fresco dinner for two. 


9. Create an Outdoor Kitchen 

Level up your grilling game with a decked-out outdoor kitchen. Place your outdoor kitchen close to your house, but ensure the space is well-ventilated. Close proximity to the main kitchen allows for easier prep when it comes to stocking ingredients. Outfit your outdoor kitchen space with a grill, sink, mini fridge, and even a kegerator to cook up the best burgers on the block. Finish the design with a cement tile backsplash to tie it all together. 


10. Upgrade Your Patio Furniture 

If you really want to spend your summer days outside, then you should upgrade your patio furniture. Old metal or plastic furniture can be uncomfortable. Instead, opt for pieces with plush cushions so you can curl up for a few hours. 


11. Design a She-shed

Our friend and DIY pro, Rachel Metz, recently built her own she-shed and tiny home. While this is an adventurous project for the DIY novice, she created her own tutorial to help first-timers get through the process step-by-step. A she-shed is the perfect addition to maximize your backyard space. Use it for a craft room, home office, or quiet lounge zone away from the rest of the house. Upgrade your she-shed with luxurious finishes, like plush furniture, a media center, artwork, and a durable cement tile floor.  


Backyard Budget Hacks 

Balancing what you want in your backyard with your project budget can be difficult. However, a backyard makeover doesn't mean you must burn holes in your pocket. There are many ways to create significant change without splurging on high-cost items or professional services.


You can opt for a do-it-yourself backyard makeover and get hands-on with changing things around yourself, from building planters out of reclaimed wood for eco-friendly appeal, setting up hammocks for lazy afternoon naps, or turning unused corners into cozy firepit areas perfect for evening get-togethers. 


There's no end to what you can achieve! No matter what path you tread when planning your backyard transformation, remember that the best backyard makeover ideas marry beauty with practicality and create a space where you can relish the outdoors in comfort and style.

Become a Backyard Baller

Any one of our backyard makeover ideas is sure to transform your yard into the coolest summer hangout spot on the block. Whichever project you choose, remember to plan ahead, coordinate your colors, and have fun. 

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