Look for Ideas that inspire you. There are so many places to find ideas for spaces that inspire you. Check out instagram, pinterest, home shows, HGTV and blogs that show visuals of the kind of space that is in your dreams.
Decide the purpose of the space. Ask yourself questions like these: What ages will be using this space? Young and active or older and quiet? Will hard surfaces or soft be the best? Grass may be best for children, and hard patio space for entertaining. What kind of seating would be most useful? Sets of tables and chairs or lounging furniture. Are pets sharing the space? Does it need to be doggy proof or be fenced? How much maintanence will it take and how much do you have to spend? What will you be doing in the space? Eating, playing soccer, growing vegetables, resting, entertaining friends and family. Knowing the purpose of the space will guide your other decisions.
Figure out the hard spaces first. Choosing a patio of deck is a good place to start. Decks of course can range in size, price and materials and your choices will determine future upkeep and maintenance. A wooden deck will need a new coat of stain every couple years. A patio would create a lasting surface and years of use with little care. Choose from brick pavers, concrete, or even pea gravel and tile.
Plants can make a big difference. One of the most affordable ways to add beauty to your space is with plants and flowers. Potted ones can often be expensive but a row of marigolds or petunisa a s a backdrop can be very hardy and also repel insects. A vegetable garden can also be a fun family project as well as a way for kids to learn about food sources
Whatever your choices, be sure to take the time to sketch out your plan on paper to get a picture of how it will all work together.