Has the warmer weather got you itching to sit outside again? If your patio area has seen better days you’re probably yearning for an affordable way to turn it into an attractive, relaxing arena in which to enjoy those balmy spring and summer evenings. With a little bit of footwork and creative resourcefulness, you can assemble a lovely outdoor living space for your family and friends to gather.
Get Furniture for a Steal
If you check your area’s trash pickup schedule you can often find discarded patio furniture that people don’t want to take with them when they move or keep around after they’ve done their spring cleaning. You may need to do a little repair work or painting but you can’t beat the price.
Check out flea markets and estate sales. Many times, an estate sale is getting rid of goods that belonged to an older, well-established individual who possessed solid, long-lasting pieces. Again, a little paint may be in order to bring the furniture up to date but this is a minimally challenging task.
Shop “scratch and dent” or off-season. Oftentimes, stores are getting rid of warm weather merchandise before the season has hardly begun (we’ve all exclaimed at seeing Halloween products on store shelves in August!). Check for floor models and pieces that may have a small flaw, and speak directly to the manager to inquire about a discount.
Check the website – a little known fact is that big box stores typically match their own online prices, and this can pay off big because their online sales are frequently better than their in-store versions. Target is one good place to use this trick – simply take your smartphone to the service counter so you can show the clerk the online ad.
“Shop” inside your own home. That table and mismatched chairs that’s been shoved to the farthest reaches of the basement can easily be converted into a patio set by adding sealant and maybe a colorful coat of paint. Unless a piece of furniture has upholstery that’s not removable, it’s fair game for backyard use.
If you’ve got a pesky tree stump in your yard, you’ve got the ideal rustic patio table waiting to happen. Hunt down a slab of reclaimed wood from an architectural salvage or a discarded dining room table and fasten it to the top (just make sure to shave the stump down level first!).
Now that you have a place for you and your guests to kick up your feet, you’ll want to illuminate your evening celebrations with some creative lighting. These simple solutions will have your visitors wondering just how you did it:
- An expansive tree branch with many offshoots makes a great chandelier – wrap it in white Christmas lights for a mesmerizing, romantic glow.
- String colorful holiday lights along a row of beer bottles, sticking a length of the lights inside each one. This picnic tablescape is sure to attract plenty of comments!
- Paint large outdoor planters with glow-in-the-dark paint. The ethereal effect is simply stunning.
- String tea lights on fun, colorful ribbons and hang them from tree branches for a sweet, whimsical outdoor lighting solution.
Fill in forlorn, empty corners with lush greenery planted in large thrifted pots. Plants, especially flowers, draw the eye and add a pop of color to your outdoor living area.
Add the element of surprise – your guests may expect a drab gray or wood-tone deck when they enter your outdoor entertaining area, but what they won’t expect is a vibrant orange, or bright teal under their feet. You can even paint a cement patio, as long as you clean it thoroughly before and after painting (with exterior paint, of course) and apply a sealer. All you need to do then is add placemats, candles, and other accessories that complement the floor color and you’ve got a fun, interesting unified outdoor décor theme.
Think outside the box and get started creating your own outdoor living space. Not only do these ideas set you apart from the crowd, they’re sure to be ice-breakers and get your guests talking about your ingenuity and exterior decorating talent. Share your favorite budget-friendly outdoor décor ideas with us!
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.bigstock.com and www.dreamstime.com