Save or Splurge : Backyard

Save or Splurge : Backyard - roomfortuesday.comIt’s been a bit since I’ve shared a ‘Save or Splurge’ post… you might remember the living room edition from a couple months ago. This time I’m back with a space that is perfectly suited for summertime- the backyard! I feel like since we’ve lived with a renovated backyard for over a year now, I can speak intelligently on things I’d save money on, as well as the items in which I’d feel comfortable splurging for. Click through to see how I’d divvy up the budget…

Save or Splurge : Backyard -

S A V E    O R    S P L U R G E
  • outdoor furniture // SPLURGE . . . Trust me me when I say, you want comfortable outdoor furniture that lasts. If you’re expecting to use your furniture season after season, splurge on wet-rated, well-made outdoor furniture that is constructed of quality materials.
  • outdoor textiles // SPLURGE . . . Again, when textiles live outside, it’s a totally different ballgame. Unless you don’t mind fading, mold, and mildew, saving is fine… but I’m convinced outdoor engineered fabrics are well worth the cost! They’re easy to clean and withstand the test of time- even in the elements.
  • landscaping & plants // SAVE . . . I always save on plants and landscaping when possible. I shop my local big box garden center (Lowes), and often peruse the sale section. I have no shame in buying at odds times after the summer rush. I’d also rather take the DIY landscaping route as opposed to hiring a professional. We’re totally capable and I think my money is better spent elsewhere.
  • shade structure or pergola // SAVE . . . I love our backyard pergola and it was very reasonably priced. It came in a kit from Lowes, was easy to assemble, and looks just as good as custom options our neighbors spent tons of money on.
  • landscape & outdoor lighting // SAVE . . . There is some great outdoor lighting on the market that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg! My string lights have held up so well and if you’re interested in outdoor sconces or porch lights, this post is a must-read. Everything is under $150.
  • sod // SPLURGE . . . If you’re spending time on a nice backyard, you probably would like to have a nice lawn as well. In our scenario, sod was 100% worth it. It was also easier than trying to revive what little grass we had left.
  • irrigation or sprinkler system // SPLURGE . . . Again, if you care about a green lawn and saving water, efficient irrigation is worth splurging on. Ours syncs to an app and allows us to monitor how much we use. It even sends an alert or automatically stops the system if it rains that day and isn’t needed.
  • outdoor materials (paver bricks, etc) // SAVE . . . Similar to most of my answers, I resort to finding building materials at my local home improvement store. Our paver patio and the materials needed for building it all came from Lowes. We did the work ourselves and saved on labor. I’d rather splurge on furniture!
  • fire pit // SAVE . . . There are a bunch of cool fire pits on the market that are visually pleasing and have the right price tag. I’d save here! Check out this post.
  • styling accessories // SAVE . . . I don’t leave a ton of accessories sitting outside 24/7, but H&M Home and TJ Maxx HomeGoods are my go-to resources for easy trays, vases, planters, etc.
  • yard games // SAVE . . . I like making my own- not only am I saving money, but I’m getting the exact look I want. There are way too many ugly lawn games on the market- unless you’re willing to splurge for vintage bocce or badminton. Get my DIY here.
  • pool or spa // SPLURGE . . . This is one thing you don’t want to f-up. Seriously. Splurge! Pools and spas can be U-G-L-Y… they’re also a lot of maintenance. Make sure you hire a pro and implement a well-designed option that is super functional and easy to care for.
  • trees // SPLURGE . . . Emmett and I will always spend more for a mature tree. Most of the time they’re slow growing and who knows if we’ll be in a home long enough to see it mature. We’d rather just buy the big guy from the start and enjoy it.

Save or Splurge : Backyard -

L O O K    A L I K E    S T E A L

I love teak in an outdoor setting. It wears wonderfully and fades to a beautiful gray tone. My general rule for outdoor seating is that every seat should have a place to sit a drink. Therefore, I’m always on the hunt for good side tables. Whether they’re centered between two lounge chairs or capping the end of a sofa, they’re really functional indoors and out.

Save or Splurge : Backyard -

sources : save // splurge

Where do you save and splurge when it comes to your outdoor living space? Do you have a similar mindset? I’d love your thoughts in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Marty Oravetz says:

    I agree with your choices for save or splurge. We have so much to do in our backyard still, but you have the right ideas for where to spend your money.

    1. It all takes time, Marty :) xo

  2. Great post! Another component of a back yard is fencing/gates – property parameter and pool (safety).

    1. Thanks, Karen! Definitely!! We love having our privacy fence.

  3. Sorry if you have posted this somewhere but where did you get the base/back cushions for the concrete sofa? Did you make or buy them? They look really great-I have a concrete sofa but have never found the right base cushions to go on mine!

    1. Hi Karen! We bought the cushions… you can find them here: . They’re actually on sale right now, if you’re planning for spring! xo

  4. Love, Love all your ideas. You are so talented! Can I ask where you found your rattan chairs on your patio? Thank you.

  5. it looks like you have some sort of roof on your pergola…what material did use?

    1. We do! It’s a shade fabric that staples to the top of it. You can find it at Lowe’s in the Garden Center.

      1. Hi Sarah what happens when it rains. If you have material on top of pergola roof? I love this look but what happens when it’s not a.sunny day etc

        1. The material on top is just a shade fabric- it’s perforated and not waterproof. We don’t use the space on a rainy day. All of the furniture is outdoor / wet-rated.

  6. Hi Sarah… I”m glad i stumbled into your blog. Looking to do our backyard on a budget. Excellent suggestions. How did you attach the ceiling fan? Thank you!

  7. Do you know what color the stain is on your pergola??

    1. It actually came stained! Sorry- I wish I had a swatch to give you, Jenna.

  8. Hey! Do you have a post on how you did your pergola?