Decorate Your Patio on a Budget

Patio season is here, and as spring fades into summer, you may find yourself wanting to spend more time relaxing outdoors. If you want to spruce up your patio decor, but staring at patio furntiure prices has you feeling sticker shock, there’s hope!

Whether you want to jazz up last year’s furniture or start fresh, you can decorate your patio on a budget. With careful planning and simple purchases, you can transform your outdoor space into a cozy, relaxing oasis that will serve you for months to come.

Before you start plotting your design, you’ll first want to take measurements of your outdoor space so that you know what will and won’t fit. Once you’ve determined exactly how much space you’re working with, you can begin looking for the furniture, fixtures and finishing touches you need to make your space your own. Set a clear budget for how much you’re willing and able to spend, and then start the design process with these simple steps:

Furniture First
Before you dive off the deep end into color schemes, accents, chochtkes and more, you’ll want to determine what type of furniture you prefer to use on your patio. If you’ll be most comfortable with two chairs and one table, for example, then you know exactly what to look for when you head out shopping. If you have old chairs or a table you’d like to repurpose, your work is now to focus on painting or staining. Determine how you’d like to relax and kick back outdoors, and you’ll be ready to take the next step.

Shop Sales and Stay Thrifty
Now that you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to shop and save. Purchasing patio furniture at the beginning of spring and summer makes it harder to find deals on furniture, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Shop sales online, and look for deals on last year’s furniture. Visit your nearby hardware store, Home Goods or grocery store and look for quick sales on outdoor furniture. If you don’t find any luck, consider shopping for gently used items at your nearby thrift store or online at Craigslist. Remember that a can of paint or stain is inexpensive and can quickly transform a used table or chair into design chic. Keep an open mind and stick to your budget. You’ll find what you’re looking for.

Invest in a Rug and Pillows
Once you’ve found furniture to outfit your patio space, you’ll want to throw some color and texture into the mix. Do this simply and instantly with a small, outdoor throw rug and a couple of accent pillows or cushions. These can be purchased at Target, online (or even repurposed from items you aren’t using indoors), and will immediately transform your outdoor patio into a cozy space for lounging.

Plants, Plants, Plants
The easiest and fastest way to bring mojo to your outdoor space is to fill it with life, and by life, we mean plant life! Pick up a few inexpensive potted plants, flowers or hanging baskets and bring greenery, color and fresh air to your patio, instantly. Place plants on tables, on the floor or hang them accordingly. If you’re inspired to work your green thumb this season, consider planting a simple container garden.

Let There Be Light
Brighten up your outdoor space with new lighting by adding a simple table lamp (if you have outdoor outlets). If you don’t have a plug, consider investing in a few glass jars and lanterns and place LED lights or LED candles inside for instant warmth and cozy, outdoor light. We recommend that you do NOT use actual candles or live flames on your outdoor patio for safety purposes, but LED lights are inexpensive, safe and just as bright.

You’re almost there! And now, it’s time to find those last few items to give your space a personal touch. Pick up simple picture frames, plastic coasters or an outdoor coffee table book (you may want to store the book inside). Invest in plastic bowls, plates and cups so that you can dine al fresco, and if you like to linger outside past dinnertime, pick up a light throw blanket for breezey nights.