Good design makes the difference between ho-hum and Wow! And good design doesn’t necessarily cost any more than boring cliches.
One way to see what I mean is to look at some before and after pictures. While a lot of the designs here don’t necessarily appeal to me (and I especially don’t know why they completely replaced that charming brick retaining wall with stucco), they do make the point that design can transform any garden.
It’s worth checking this out to pick up some design principle and to see if you get any ideas you might want to emulate.