Let us out! Let us out! By now, we’re like caged animals, clawing our way outside. Uh oh. Are you staring out the window at that bland, barren space you call a patio and wishing it was comfy and stylish? If you’re anything like us, you want to spread out and chillax out there as long as you possibly can. Here’s an idea: Don’t waste your outdoor space when you can turn it into an outdoor haven. Despite what you may believe about your design sense, we promise you this: You can create the patio of your dreams easily—even on a budget. If we help you, that is.

Here, we’ve got everything you need to know to kick back in style so you can entertain right in the Great Outdoors. All you have to do to get started is a little research of some chic patio design styles that speak to you. Ready to transform your patio into party central? Read on.


Look for Second-Hand Furnishings From Bleak to Chic: Update Your Patio on a Dime

The most expensive items by far on most patios are the furnishings, and you can easily spend several thousand dollars or more investing in high-end outdoor furniture. Instead, scout around for second-hand furnishings at yard sales, through online listings and used furniture stores to find quality items you can spruce up with your own creative touch.

Whether you’re creating a contemporary look or one that’s more rustic, your new-old furnishings may simply need to be wiped clean and dressed up with pillows and cushions. Plus, you can refinish and/or paint for a fraction of the cost of buying new. If you find pieces that are weathered or aged, they’ll be perfect for that authentically rustic look. You’ll be surprised just how many used chairs, outdoor sofas and love seats, coffee tables, end tables and more are up for sale.

Think About Lighting Solutions

Patio lighting comes in two main forms: direct and indirect. A very affordable idea is to purchase a string of white holiday lights and run them along the perimeter of your patio or even around the yard if you have a smaller space. With the flick of a switch, you’ll turn dark evenings into glowing ambience.

For direct lighting, candles on a decorative candelabra or in a trendy votive container are smart ideas that are not too costly. If you have an overhead light in place, consider replacing a boring, dull fixture with a chic, modern one for dramatic flair.

Add a Floral Touch

From Bleak to Chic: Update Your Patio on a DimeWhen you spend time outdoors, you want to immerse yourself in nature while still enjoying creature comforts. Regardless of the genre of chic you’re going for, using artificial plants, trees and flowers is a time-saving and cost effective idea for your outdoor space. Many of these artificial features look realistic but require little upkeep. In fact, you may have to do nothing more than dust them off from time to time.

You can use any number of containers as vases and pots for your patio foliage. An old water can that you have used faux paint on looks great with rustic and shabby chic designs. Don’t throw away old pottery, tea cups or tea pots and other decorative pieces. Instead, just place them in an old wagon or serving tray for added charm. For a more modern look, coloured vases and bowls really make decor pop.

Choose Your Colour Scheme

From Bleak to Chic: Update Your Patio on a DimeTo pull off a well-designed patio, you need to carefully choose your colours. You may feel as though your options are limited when buying second-hand items, but they’re not. First off, you can always refinish or repaint. Second, always think about pulling your scheme together with the right selection of pillows, flowers, candles, pots and other accessories in corresponding shades.

For a shabby chic look, white should be the main colour, and pastels can be used as complementary colors. With a rustic look, weathered wood may be more prevalent than white, and lighter colours make great accents. With modern chic, typically darker wood is used with bold accent colours

Get Inspired on Budget

From Bleak to Chic: Update Your Patio on a DimeWhen decorating on a budget, its easy to feel as though you need to purchase something because it’s an amazing deal. However, if it’s not the right colour or style, and you don’t have a plan for transitioning it to meet your needs, you do not have to buy it. There are so many fascinating pieces you can find once you start looking, but not all of those pieces are right for your space.

A smart idea is to pull pictures from magazines and the Internet with designs that appeal to you, and look for pieces that would correspond with the style you have selected. Use those to inspire your design and then emulate the look  you love with less expensive pieces to fit your budget.

About the author

Melanie Nathan

Melanie Nathan, a professional Digital Marketing expert, lives in Edmonton and loves technology. She is regularly featured on all types of blogs and also contributes to interviews surrounding her knowledge. Her tips have been featured on many authoritative blogs. Contact her at melanie@topdraw.com.

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