Four Tips on Decorating an Outdoor Space on a Budget

It has taken some time, but I am finally ready to enjoy the back patio, with a little style and sophistication. Good things come to those who wait right???

I wish I could show you some before pictures…but I don’t think I took any.  Mostly because this back patio was a hodge podge of anything and everything.  Think old lady floral. Probably three or four years ago when it was time to replace the cushions for this furniture, the only matching set I could find was a bright floral. In my budget. Key word: BUDGET. Outdoor cushions are expensive!  When it was time to replace those,  I decided I was not going to settle,I wanted to find something I would enjoy.  So, here are some tips on how I created my little outdoor sanctuary without breaking the bank, or my vision. outsidespringbackyard-5

First things first, in Arizona, shade is a must. We wanted a gazebo that could cover this 10×10 patio. And luckily at the end of summer, this red floor model was just the right size and price. Also, for some reason I just love red for a backyard.  Not sure why it just says cabana to me.

TIP ONE: Shop at the end of the season. You will find more deals and sales when summer stuff is wrapping up. Also in Arizona, summer last clear into October so we can shop in August and still get use out of it through the winter.

Well, now I have this bright red gazebo…what next?  I like to make myself a vision board, so I can look at items together.  Then I figure out what works, and shop for similar items.  Here was my vision.

Outdoor Gazebo


Since the gazebo was so much red, I wanted to tone down the rest of the space.  The black and white also says back yard BBQ to me, plus I was already gifted a similar outdoor rug.
TIP TWO: work with items you already own.  I was not going to buy a new outdoor sofa. If you can re-purpose items, or spray paint something to update it, and perhaps even move something from another space.
Fast forward to almost a year later…yup. A year. Again shopping the after summer sales, I ran into these beautiful white outdoor cushions from World Market. Major Score.  I replaced the sofa and both chair cushions for under $40.  They are a little snug for my frames, but they work.
TIP THREE: Don’t rush.  If you aren’t going to compromise on what you want and there is no reason to hurry; don’t. Either save up for the perfect item, or wait for it to come to you!
Now it was time to finish off the space.  The pillows that I loved, were WAY out of my price range. So I shopped around.  A lot. I looked on the Internet and checked local stores. I ended up finding the black sofa pillows on Amazon.  The stripes were from Target, I paid full price, but they weren’t very expensive.  The kilim look-a-likes are from World Market,  more on those later. And then those last pillows…well they aren’t exactly pillows.
 TIP FOUR: When in doubt DIY.  If you can make it for less, I say go for it!
These pillows are actually place mats.  $4 cloth place mats from Target.  They are lined place mats, I cut the seams, stuffed a pillow inside and then sewed the seam shut again.  I also sprayed them with outdoor fabric protector and water-proofing spray.
This tray, was re purposed and spray painted white.  While the other accessories I found at TJ Maxx and Ross, for under $10 each.  The desert is not kind to outdoor items, I see no need to spend a lot on them.
backpatioblogI won’t call them a splurge, but these patterned pillows, are my favorite.  I walked into World Market and fell in love with them.  Even at full price, they are a deal.  ($29.99) But I waited for a coupon…an entire 3 days.  And ended up buying them for 30% off. It pays to be patient.
backpatioblog-3Finally, added a few plants and some twinkle lights and I am ready to enjoy. (all of my planters were spray painted black, they were previously lime green to match some old decor).
If your budget is $50 or $500, don’t compromise what you want.  A little patience and resourcefulness always pays off.  Do you have a space that needs updating? Let me know if any of these tips help get you started.

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