9 Patio Decorating Ideas on a Budget

A patio that is comfortable will motivate you to use it more. What are some design ideas?

Imagine walking outside with your morning cup of coffee and watching the dogs play in the yard as the sun starts to rise. Creating an outdoor patio that feels comfortable and becomes an extension of your home can help you relax and spend more time in nature. 

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a full renovation of this space. There are many ways you can brighten up and enhance your outdoor areas while staying on budget. Some key concepts to remember are maximizing your space, keeping it clutter-free, and incorporating seating options.

Regardless of how large your space is, you can create a backyard oasis by staying on target with the three key concepts. Being creative and repurposing materials whenever possible will also do wonders for your budget. 

Here are a few ideas to help you create the patio of your dreams!

1. Use Leftover Materials 

Using leftover materials like extra lumber from a different project or wood that’s been in your shed for a while is a great way to enhance your patio on a budget. You can create a large outdoor dining table, chairs to lounge in, or even a fun swinging bed frame that hands from the covered awning. 

You can get creative as you’d like, and since you’re using leftover lumber, you’ll only have to pay for any hardware you install or the paint and stain. This is a great opportunity to add something that works for your specific needs, like an extra-large table or a long bench that spans the whole length of the patio.

wooden outdoor table under direct sunlight

2. Continue With Your Design Style 

If you enjoy decorating your home with a specific style, use similar elements and colors on the patio to make your living space feel like it extends outside. This is an easy way to connect the two areas and help them feel cohesive. 

If you use a southern farmhouse style in your home, for example, continue this outside by using a white-washed table and farmhouse-style furniture like wooden chairs. Add rustic elements like an antique light fixture and metal lanterns to tie everything together. 

brown and white dining set

3. Incorporate Different Textures

Outdoor areas are the perfect place to incorporate new textures. You have the inspiration from your interior design style and the inspiration from the nature around you. Adding textures like brick, concrete, wicker, and glass can make this space unique and interesting. 

A great way to add these without overwhelming the space is by using them in different ways. You can use wicker chairs on concrete flooring, then add brick accents through the yard as a path. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with each of the textures, but they won’t feel overwhelming.

rattan chairs for outdoor furniture

4. Find Antique Light Fixtures 

Going to a thrift store or antique mall could help you find a unique light fixture for a fraction of the price. Giving your space something unique that ties in with your style can be the detail you’re missing. 

Yard sales, estate sales, and thrift stores often have ornate light fixtures that you can salvage and install on your patio. From modern chandeliers to 19th-century sconces, you can make your outdoor space shine with a fun fixture. The best part is finding them at a fraction of the price by thrifting. 

an outdoor dining area set

5. Add Fresh Plants and Flowers 

Adding fresh plants and flowers are inexpensive ways to enhance your outdoor space. They give your area a fresh look and bring life to the patio. You can change them seasonally and bring in specific varietals by color or plant type, or keep it simple with a few succulents that last year-round. 

Try adding dimensions to this space by adding tall and short plants. Using large planters on either side of the door can frame the entrance to the house and make the space feel elegant. You can also include small pots that fit on the outdoor table to add some contrast to the large plants by the doors.

a simple white coffee table with books
A patio decorated with string lights

6. Create Multiple Seating Spaces

Any time you add multiple seating options, you increase the value of your area and include functionality in your space. You can keep this cost-efficient by using different materials instead of purchasing one specific type of material for all seating areas. 

You could include a long wooden bench made from scrap parts and set it under the windows, use a set of chairs around a table in the center of the patio, then add something fun like Adirondack chairs by the grass. This creates three separate seating spaces perfect for entertaining, all without breaking the bank.

patio lounging area multi seater furniture

7. Incorporate an Outdoor Rug

One of the best ways to designate separate spaces is with a rug. The same can be said in your outdoor spaces! Adding an outdoor rug allows you to define spaces like the outdoor living and eating areas. 

You can even find outdoor rugs at thrift stores and yard sales to stay within budget. You can keep your space neutral by choosing a tan or brown rug or incorporating colors from your outdoor decor and finding a rug with blues, greens, reds, or yellows.

waterproof furniture and outdoor rug

8. Build Your Own Flower Boxes

If you love incorporating fresh plants and flowers, consider making your own flower boxes to line the patio. This is a great take on the traditional use of flower boxes under the windows. You can place them on the ground and line the patio to really make this space stand out. 

You can use spare wood from other projects or get creative and make them out of metal or bricks. If you leave the top and bottom open, you can plant your flowers straight into the ground or cover the bottom and fill the box with potting soil for a more traditional take.

assorted colorful flowers on a crate box

9. Incorporate Nature 

Creating tables and chairs out of wooden stumps can save money and make your patio feel like a cabin in the woods. It serves a functional purpose and looks great. If you don’t want the rustic wooden style, you can always paint the wood to make it match your decor aesthetic. 

Adding glass jars with fresh flowers to wooden tables is a great way to further connect with nature and enhance your space. If this isn’t your style, you can always square it out and make more traditional-style furniture to match your existing outdoor decor. 

a simple sitting area by the beach
Jessica Childres
Jessica Childres is a Georgia native and former teacher. She loves to share her skills, knowledge and passion with others. She has an ongoing interest in real estate, home decorating, and design.
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