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15 Ways to Decorate a Small Outdoor Area on a Budget

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Linsay ThomasGuest Blogger
August 12, 2016 · 2.5k Views

Maybe you’re putting off decorating and landscaping your backyard or patio. After all, you think it’s so small you can’t do anything with it anyway. Well, think again! You can turn even the smallest of spaces into something truly unique. The good part? You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to do so. You can make it happen even on a small budget. You just need some space, some money and a lot of creativity. So if you need some inspiration to turn your outdoor space into a comfortable area, check out these ideas below. Get ready to turn your patio from “ho-hum” to “Wow!”

When you finish this article and realize it's time to decorate, visit our IKEAPottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and World Market coupon pages for coupons, sales information, and more.


  1. Go vertical. If you’re limited in horizontal space, you need to think in terms of height. You’ll want to add a tall piece to draw attention elsewhere, rather than focus on the lack of space. Tall plants and deco items make great additions to the smallest of patios. You can get a trellis and create a vertical garden. Even a tall high-top table adds flair and gives your patio a bar-like feel.

    Source: IKEA
  2. Go glass. A round glass table is perfect for small spaces. It’s compact and see-through, so it’s like it’s almost not even there, making your yard seem larger. Glass tables are pretty common, so don’t buy new. Check thrift stores and yard sales first and you’re sure to find one you can fix up.
  3. Go from drab to fab. Dull patio furniture will make your outdoor space look outdated and uncomfortable. Make it more inviting decorative accents such as cushions, lights, and more.

    Source: Cote Maison
  4. Lattice privacy screen. You can frame your area with a lattice grill screen. This gives your patio a room-like feel while offering privacy. As an added bonus, you can use the screen to hide unsightly storage bins.
  5. Include textures. “Layer” your outdoor space with various textures. Mesh is a great material to add. You can get chicken wire at your hardware store or feed store.

    Source: GD Home
  6. DIY tabletop. Got an old stool? Find a metal tray and attach it to the top. You get an instant DIY tabletop. With this easy project, you get a side table, a drink holder, or a place to store potting materials and other yard supplies.
  7. Porch swing. Always see those movies and TV commercials where the characters seem like they’re having a great time talking and relaxing on a porch swing? You can emulate that look with a basic porch swing. You can find one at your local home improvement store. Just make sure it’s installed properly and check it regularly for cracks, wear and tear and other issues – you don’t want to injure your guests. You’ll instantly make your porch more inviting.

    Source: Decorazilla
  8. Entertainment corner. Don’t have a lot of room? That’s fine, because for this idea, all you need is a corner. Lay down some gravel rock and add some chairs round a fire pit. Add a shelf in the corner and keep it stocked with food and drinks. You’ve got yourself a bar and lounge area - a great place to hang out with friends on a hot summer night – or even in the fall when the temperatures drop a bit at night. You can even add some rope lights to create some ambience.
  9. Mood lighting. Attractive candle lanterns add a rustic flair to your outdoor space while providing a nighttime glow. You can simply place them on tables or hang them from ceilings. You can always move them around if you’re not happy with their placement.

    Source: Home My Design
  10. Bring the indoors to the outdoors. Your favorite recliner may be indoors, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay there. If you have a covered patio, add a living room feel by adding wooden tables, comfy chairs, and even rugs. You’ll make your patio look comfy and inviting.
  11. Repurpose a used cart. Bring new life to an old indoor bar cart by painting it and adding some personal touches. Keep it outside and use it to hold plants, barbecue supplies and other items you regularly use outdoors.
    Related news: 11 Essential Items Every Home Bar Should Have

    Source: HGTV
  12. Make a dull wall pop with color. If you have an unused wall that’s just taking up space, make it pop with some color. Try some bright paints in colors such as green, blue, and yellow. Try pink, purple, or orange if you’re feeling rather adventurous.
  13. Create a fountain. You don’t need to get crazy with a huge waterfall, but a small DIY fountain can create a peaceful setting for a small area. You can buy a container, such as a large flower pot, and get it fitted for a fountain feature.

    Source: BHG
  14. Multi-task a farm trough. That old trough that was used to feed cows or pigs can bring new life to your patio. Perch it up on balusters and you’ve got an instant planter. Or you can fill it with ice, add some drinks, and you’ve got an outdoor ice chest – perfect for your next party or BBQ.
  15. Use crates as seating. One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to make your balcony more comfortable is by using crates. They're versatile - they can be used as seats, storage, and even tables. Throw on some blankets, cushions, or plants, and you'll have yourself a decorative service.

    Source: Icon's Corner

With these tips, you can make the most of your small outdoor patio or deck. You can use these creative ideas – and come up with some of your own – to transform the space you have into a useful and comfortable space that you’ll want to spend time in year-round.


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Linsay Thomas is a seasoned writer and editor who has written thousands of articles about topics such as saving money, healthcare, law, pets and education. She hails from California, where she lives with her husband, two children and a menagerie of pets. When she's not writing, she enjoys sports, breeding chocolate Labs and visiting the beach.