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Outdoor living space ideas for your budget

minute read

    You've finally perfected the inside of your home, so what's next? You may want to focus on your outdoor space to help your home feel more complete. Whether it's a balcony, a small patio or a big yard, here are some outdoor space ideas to make it feel like an extension of your indoor living space. There are plenty of options, whether you've been saving to splurge or aiming to be a bit more budget conscious.

    Choosing furniture for your outdoor space

    When choosing furniture, there are a few factors you may want to keep in mind:

    • Size of your outdoor space
    • What you want to do in your outdoor space

    Think about how you'd like to use the space when choosing what types of furniture to purchase. If you have a bigger patio or backyard, for example, you may want to mimic your living space. This could mean comfortable furniture, like outdoor couches and chairs, or outdoor dining furniture, like a dining table and chairs.

    Patio furniture can be a bit expensive, so if you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, you may want to try a thrift store. Just be sure that the furniture you buy or thrift is waterproof so it can withstand the elements. If you're up for a DIY project, consider collecting pallets and building yourself a pallet couch. You can often find pallets for free or at very low costs on online marketplaces or neighborhood groups, or from local stores that are discarding their shipping pallets.

    If you have a balcony, you will likely have a bit less room to work with. To decide what furniture would work best, think about how you'd like to enjoy your outdoor space. If you think it would make the perfect place to curl up with a book on a nice day, you may want to get something comfy like an egg chair, a papasan, or even a hammock with a base. If your balcony is where you want to sip your morning coffee and go through your emails, a café table may be the right choice.

    If you live in an apartment with a balcony, and you live in an area with colder weather, you may not have the space to store your outdoor furniture inside during the winter months. If that's the case, be sure that whatever furniture you purchase is durable and meant to withstand theoutdoors — or you could include furniture covers in your budget.

    Making your outdoor space cozy

    There are many simple outdoor decorating ideas that can really spruce up your space and make it a more enjoyable place to spend time.

    • Lighting: Add some ambiance with string lights, solar-powered pathway lights or candle-lit lanterns. This will add warmth and coziness to your outdoor space, while also helping to prevent tripping over anything in the dark!
    • Rugs: There are few design problems a good accent run can't fix. Luckily, there are many outdoor rugs available as well. A simple outdoor or all-weather accent rug can turn a cement patio into a much homier place to hang out.
    • Tiles: If tile is more your vibe, you can also purchase outdoor tiling to bring your patio to life. There are peel-and-stick options (especially useful if you're a renter) and traditional tile options, if you're feeling up to grouting.
    • Firepit: If you have the room to keep a firepit a safe distance away from your home, it can be a great addition to your outdoor space. Whether it's roasting marshmallows on a warm summer night or cozying up with hot cider in the fall, a firepit offers warmth and ambiance.
    • Décor: There are a surprising number of ways to incorporate décor into your outdoor spaces. This could include things like bird baths, privacy screens, wind spinners and sculptures, as well as weatherproof versions of just about every piece of indoor décor you can think of.

    Landscaping ideas for your backyard

    Landscaping can really help set the tone of your outdoor space. However, major landscaping work can get expensive very quickly. If your budget doesn't include hiring landscape architects, there are plenty of ways to spruce up an outdoor space on your own.

    Plants are an easy way to add life, color and décor to your space. If you have plants that can spend the warmer months outside, consider repainting vases for potted plants. This gives you the freedom of choosing colors and designs with only the cost of paint, rather than having to buy multiple new planters.

    If you have a smaller outdoor space or a balcony, take advantage of the many ways you can display plants. This may include a succulent wall that you can hang, a trellis, hanging planter boxes, multi-tiered plant stands or hanging plants. Displaying greenery provides a simple way to add a lot of your personal style to your outdoor spaces.

    If you don't have any plants, reach out to your plant-loving friends or family members. You may find they are willing to help you propagate one of their plants so you can grow your own.

    Perennials are also a fairly low cost and low effort way to add some greenery. Perennials are plants, such as hostas, daylilies, peonies, lavender or ferns, that only need to be planted once, but come back year after year. They will die off in the winter months, but when the warmer weather rolls around, they spring back to life with little effort on your part.

    If you have a large backyard, you may want to add pathways. You can buy stones at most landscaping or hardware stores and lay them yourself for a charming stone path to stroll.

    What's more

    You may find that spending time outside is even more enjoyable when you have a space that you enjoy. With a little work, you'll find you can spruce up your outdoor space to create a cozy, comfortable place to get some fresh air. Remember — it's your space, so take the chance to really make it your own!

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