Side yards are the worst, aren't they? It's very first-world-problems of me to say, but the sliver of yard between your house and your neighbor's is the kind of cramped, forgotten space that's impossible to decorate with any gusto — to say nothing of doing it cheaply and elegantly, with a DIY project that doesn't require any maintenance.
That's why I love what Ashley of Sugar & Cloth did with her compact backyard in Houston. In the process of making over her whole outdoor space, Ashley gave her back terrace a little color and texture with concrete stepping stones covered in fake astroturf.
Her space is lovely, and the terrace area where the stepping stones are is surely much less awkward than some side yards, but this DIY (combined with some pebble gravel) is the perfect way to fill any unused space in a compact yard or patio. The best part is that the faux turf doesn't require any upkeep — so you can go back to forgetting about your side yard if you want to.
→ Tutorial: Sugar and Cloth