An interior stylist has shared her back garden makeover, and we can’t believe how little it cost. Yasmin Fatollahy transformed her drab courtyard into a stylish and sociable space that welcomes plenty of wildlife, all for under £200.
Faced with a tired paved area that looks a little like something out of Billy Elliot, she came up with some brilliant budget garden ideas to turn things around. Speaking to Bloom & Wild (opens in new tab), the stylist, based in Gateshead, shared her key learnings on how to update a small outdoor space without spending a fortune.
Before, the courtyard housed a basic fold-out piece of garden furniture, some plant pots, and the bins. Despite being the definition of ‘lacklustre’, it was a good size with plenty of potential for becoming the serene space she and her dachshund Cyrus enjoy today.
Yasmin (who you can follow over on Instagram @homeatheathfield (opens in new tab)) bought stones in bulk from Cotswolds Stone Chippings. She says these pale-coloured stones are one of the design features that help to make the space feel larger. Covering a large expanse with stones in this way definitely contributes to the calm look.
If, on the other hand, she’d decided to zone the small area with patterned paving, artificial grass and so on, the small space may have started to feel too busy and crowded. Keeping the design simple doesn’t mean it has to be boring, though. ‘You can then bring out personality with plants, furniture and accessories,’ she explains.
‘Don’t be scared to get your hands dirty,’ when undertaking such a project, she advised. ‘You will have a real sense of achievement if you complete the work yourself.’
The cost breakdown
Yasmin didn’t have a set budget when she began the project, but she says that the transformation cost her around £200 (£103.80 for a bag of Cotswold Stone Chippings, £70 for plants and flowers, and roughly £45 on furniture from IKEA).
‘I spent around £70 on plants and flowers as I wanted a sense of having a garden where wildlife and insects could have a place to visit,’ she says. ‘I have so many bees and I’ve had a lot of sparrows coming to eat the seeds from my birdhouse.’
Updating any outdoor space you have with some paint, affordable furniture and planting will allow us to really make the most of the last of the summer and time outside. If you’re wondering what to do with leftover paint, Yasmin recommends upcycling plant pots by repainting them with paint from previous projects.
She says that the lockdowns of the last couple of years meant she has got to know her neighbours, with one even making her a large wooden planter box and gifting it for the space.