This garden was transformed from a concrete jungle to a luxury boho space

Clever DIY and money-saving buys all helped bring this project in under budget

garden space with outdoor rug, dining table and parasol with bistro lights
(Image credit: Paving Superstore / Kelly Rowland)

Transforming your outdoor space from start to finish can be a pricey project, especially with the cost of materials rising, which is why many are taking on the DIY themselves. Whether you're looking to turn your garden into a great space for entertaining or fancy adding in some boho garden decor ideas, there's lots you can do to give it a revamp without it coming in at tens of thousands of pounds.

To avoid the hefty price tag, you could take some inspiration from this homeowner, who changed the look of her garden for under £3,000, creating a stunning outdoor space and coming in under budget.

Boho garden makeover

Kelly Rowland from Sheffield moved into her 1904 Edwardian home four years ago, with boyfriend Blake, and set about making few changes that have given the property a very different look to when they first bought it. 'The original garden was very plain and boring,' she told materials supplier Paving Superstore, 'with no plants at all.'

Keen to give the garden a makeover, Kelly decided to take on a lot of the work herself to keep costs down. 'Trying to do things myself is far more rewarding and satisfying,' she says. 'I like buying secondhand pieces of furniture too, and you can always upcycle them to match your decor.'


before shot of old patio

(Image credit: Paving Superstore / Kelly Rowland)

As you can see, there was a lot of blank surfaces in the existing garden and it was far from the pretty space it is today. 'The garden was a bit of a concrete jungle, which I wanted to change,' says Kelly. 'I'm all about budget DIY as I love crafting, upcycling and making a home unique – and I love to experiment with paint, whether that be on a wall or on a piece of furniture. We started the garden renovation during lockdown, though, so getting hold of some materials was quite tricky.'

Describing her interior style as 'boho, rustic and industrial with a splash of colour here and there', Kelly began planning what she was going to do, from adding in planters to choosing some great second-hand buys. 'I love textures and plants are my favourite accessory,' Kelly continues. 'I prefer to make spaces unique and not have them fit into a box.'


garden space with outdoor rug, dining table and parasol with bistro lights

(Image credit: Paving Superstore / Kelly Rowland)

The new-look patio is filled with plants and interesting features to look at, from the dining area, barbecue and handy log store. However, the biggest spend was on something completely different… 'We built our workshop and summer room during lockdown and it was an ongoing project,' says Kelly. 'It was a bit stop-start but we recently got it water tight with just a few more additions to do.'

Keen to disguise the concrete wall, Kelly scoured Pinterest and came across a tall slatted planter that she knew would be ideal. 

'Getting one in a size to cover the space we needed would have been rather expensive, so we decided to make one from scratch instead,' she says. 'To keep costs down, we recycled some wood (that we already had) to build a frame, then attached some thin pieces of wood to the fence to create a slatted look. We placed plastic troughs in the top of the frame and filled them with plants. Lastly, we sealed the wood with exterior varnish. This is the main part of the garden and I think it's made a big impact on the space.’

outdoor patio with tiled wall and log storage

(Image credit: Paving Superstore / Kelly Rowland)

On a mission to be money-savvy, Kelly decided to buy second-hand garden furniture and refurbish it herself. 'I also recycled a picket fence that we already had,' she says. 'We sanded the planks and cut them in half to make a log and bin store in the same slatted style as the planter.'

outdoor patio with stencilled wall and log storage

(Image credit: Paving Superstore / Kelly Rowland)

Having inherited a brick-built barbecue, Kelly knew she wanted it included in the design. 'It was looking a little tired,' she says, 'so we painted it and then stencilled around the brickwork of the wall behind to give it a tiled look. We later added a small outdoor kitchen at the side of this for storage and to prepare food.'

outdoor garden with bistro lights and wood dining table

(Image credit: Paving Superstore / Kelly Rowland)

So what was the budget breakdown in the end? 'The total cost of the renovation was £2,950,' says Kelly. 'The patio area cost around £450, including furniture and plants, and then the workshop build cost £2,500.’

Having done a great job of saving money, what would Kelly advise for others wanting to take on a garden makeover? 'When it comes to buying plants, try to find things that you can split to make more,' she says. 'They will always grow bigger and mature. Try and work with what you’ve already got by painting and stencilling. It helps keep cost down and you don’t to rip out the old.'

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at