Custom elements easily increase a budget for backyard landscaping, but creative recasting can get you the same function at a much lower cost. Ordinary blocks elevate lengths of decking for a bar-meets-cooking-meets-seating backyard space. The same materials in a different configuration can also be used to create a dining table, coffee table, or side table.
To make a hidden outdoor room, start with elements that create privacy: arbors woven with vines, walls of hedges and beds of towering flowers. Add decorative outdoor carpets and furniture. Include a rug featuring a traditional damask pattern with furniture composed of whimsical scrollwork. Complete the feeling of refuge and intimacy with partially hidden bird baths, weathervanes, and fountains.