Published on May 29, 2020

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Photography by Cody Guilfoyle

It’s looking like our backyards are going to be our main source of respite this summer. So the big question is: Is yours up to the job? If the answer is no, now is the time to get a little crafty and make it happen. According to recent Google data, Americans have spent the past month on the hunt for DIYs—and creating a zen outdoor space is at the top of the list. 

A firepit is the little luxury people are craving the most, based on the top searches for projects in every state. Residents in Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island are interested in building their own s’mores station. Fortunately, you don’t need a ton of supplies to pull it off, just some gravel for drainage, stones, and masonry adhesive, as well as a shovel or similar digging tool, according to A Beautiful Mess’s handy four-step guide. There were plenty of other bright ideas that made the list, from water fountains to wine racks. Here are three popular projects we can’t wait to try.

For the Avid Gardener: A Greenhouse

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Photography by Kristin Guy

If building an entirely new structure from scratch scares you, start with a prefab kit, as did pro gardener Kristin Guy, who made it her own by powder coating the exterior matte black and cutting long wood boards to form two full-length worktables inside. 

For the Night Owl: A Headboard 

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Photography by Tessa Neustadt; Design by Brady Tolbert for Emily Henderson Design

Turn your bedroom into a sanctuary with a channel tufted headboard that spans the entire width of your wall à la designer Brady Tolbert, who constructed his out of wood planks, foam bolsters, and velvet fabric. Even simpler? Fake a headboard with paint, repurpose a vintage screen, or fill any openings of your existing bed frame with cane

For the Entertainer: A Patio Refresh 

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Courtesy of Sarah Sherman Samuel

Red walls, putter green Astroturf—this was the state of Sarah Sherman Samuel’s screened-in patio when she bought her Grand Rapids, Michigan, home. The designer spruced up the space with black paint and lavender-gray floor tiles, which she laid down directly on top of the decking using Liquid Nails (no grout necessary). Now it’s a pleasant place to host small gatherings and Zoom happy hours. 

It’s hammer time: Follow @reno_notebook for easy rental updates, clever DIYs, and tips to nail your next project.

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