Even if you’re a renter, there’s no doubt you still want to deck out your living spaces. This includes the outside. Whether it’s a balcony, deck, or yard, your rental can still have loads of design aesthetic without compromising your budget or violating your lease. Here are some budget-friendly tricks to transforming the yard in your rental into the perfect outdoor space. 

Consider Your Lease

Before doing any work on the outdoor area, consult your lease agreement. Are you allowed to plant vegetables, fruits, or flowers? Can you add natural stone pavers or install a fence? If there’s no specific information about it, call up your landlord. Talk about some of the things you want to add to the outdoor space and see what your landlord is okay with. The last thing you want is to lose your living space because you violated the terms of your lease. 

If you live in an apartment complex, chances are you are limited to your porch, deck or balcony. That’s okay! There’s still a lot you can do in that space that will make the area appear cozy and lived in. Make sure you know whether or not you can have a grill on your porch or what the policy for hanging string lights outside is. The most important thing prior to making any design changes in your rental is looking through your lease to ensure you don’t incur any additional charges when moving out!

Make a Plan

If you’re trying to remain budget-conscious, you’ll want to make a plan prior to any purchasing. Peruse some blogs or Pinterest to get some visual inspiration for what your rental outdoor area might look like – but understand that some of those spaces might have huge budgets. Consider ways that you might alter the photo inspiration areas to better suit your budget.

Your plan should also have a breakdown for the different types of items you want to incorporate into your new outdoor area, such as:

  • Tools
  • Furniture
  • Native Plants
    • Flowers
    • Greenery
    • Fruits/Vegetables
  • Lighting

Breaking down your budget into categories will help you determine which areas you want to spend more money on. Consider what matters most to you about your outdoor space – do you want more flowers or more seating? Understanding your priorities for transforming your yard will allow you to spend money with a purpose rather than because you like the way something looks in the store.

Measure, Measure, Measure!

Most rental outdoor spaces are not very big. Measure what you have access to, including the areas of your rental that might already have plants potted by your landlord, especially if you’re replacing them. Measuring your accessible outdoor space will ensure that you use the outdoor space efficiently. After measuring, make a small blueprint diagram of your outdoor space so you can visually layout your plan and place different products in different places. This way, when you start visiting stores to purchase products, you can have store associates help you determine whether the piece fits your space – and your budget. 

Go Shopping

After making your plan, you can move onto the best part of transforming your rental yard – shopping! Consider the following when shopping for outdoor items:

  • Environment: Your environment and climate will determine what plants and decor you purchase. If you live somewhere it rains often, you’ll want to make sure to find water-resistant furniture. If you live somewhere that has a dry climate and water-usage 
  • restrictions, consider decorating with natural elements, such as earthy garden stones. Respecting the natural climate of your outdoor space will actually save you money because you won’t be spending continuously to maintain the upkeep of plants and materials that don’t thrive in the natural environment. 
  • Foldable Furniture: Not all renters stay in their rental for long, so even if you plan to stay awhile, you should still consider foldable furniture. Not only does foldable furniture fit better in smaller spaces – such as the corner of a balcony – but you can also remove it and put it into storage much easier than heavier, bulkier stationary furniture. If you want your outdoor space to have some comfort, find seat cushions that you can tie around the edges and bars of the foldable seats. Try to find cushions that can be used indoors as well so that you can transfer them onto your couch during the autumn and winter months. 
  • Seasonal Decor: If you like to decorate for the different seasons, your rental’s yard doesn’t have to be left bare! Instead of looking for the huge blow-ups for each season, find smaller pieces: themed string lights, seasonal personalized yard signs or even the outdoor seat cushions. Your budget doesn’t have to restrict you from celebrating the seasons and their holidays! 

  • Think Vertical: Vertical garden walls are all the rage this year. You can create your own vertical garden in a few simple steps without breaking the bank this year. Plus, you can take it with you when you move! Vertical gardens are great ways to plant and grow herbs and spices without sacrificing any floor space. You’ll be able to save money while still incorporating fresh ingredients into your daily cooking!
  • Planters: Using planters in your rental’s outdoor space is a great way to stay budget-friendly. The planters can go with you when you move, plus you can fill them with different plants and don’t have to worry about breaking any ground to plant them. Organize your planters in different ways to show off different plants or even to hide areas of your outdoor space that might not have the most appeal. Looking for a budget-friendly planter project? Purchase some plain planters from your local dollar store, then paint them in different patterns to create unique planters for your outdoor decor!
  • Renting doesn’t mean that you have to neglect the outdoor space. You can still decorate your rental’s outdoor space, even on a budget. Transforming your rental’s yard can really go a long way into making your rental feel more like home.