Summertime… and the livin’ is easy. Kind of.
Each year, during the dead of winter I dream of the days when I can enjoy the outdoors again. The cool evenings when I can sit back on my patio, with a glass of rosé in hand while the scents of dinner cooking on the grill float through the night air. The sky is illuminated by stars and scattered lanterns envelop happy faces in a warm candlelit glow.
Yeeeeeaaaaah, that doesn’t happen. Let’s not kid ourselves.
The current state of my recently-built paver patio, stone seating wall and pergola leaves much to be desired. Unless you’re desiring an “awesome” play house and a mini slide/play fortress– don’t worry, guys… we have that.
Last year, we finally invested in a TEAK TABLE for 8, and coordinating teak chairs but the patio progress came to a dead halt right there. It was just too much — too expensive, too high maintenance and too time consuming to complete. This year, we’ve added potted greenery/flowers and perimeter landscaping… so baby steps, I guess?!
To get me over that proverbial decorating finish line, I knew I had to find design-on-a-dime alternatives that would give me the high end, designer patio look I was going for without the hefty price tag. Fortunately, I’m not one to shy away from research, especially when it comes to shopping. With some point and click elbow grease and a few hours of uninterrupted time (thank goodness for day camp) I was able to come up with a list of great outdoor patio design ideas on a budget that could turn any outdoor space into actual living space. Like, space you actually want to spend time in… while you’re alive.
1. Work with a monochromatic palette
Just like a sleek wardrobe, keeping your outdoor design within a limited color palette will add a layer of sophistication and help make even the least expensive accessories look like a million bucks. Muted, monochromatic tones like greys, beiges and whites will bring the focus outward on that gorgeous green backyard and scenery.
SHOP THE LOOK:
2. Think outside the retail box
Rather than shop at big box stores or patio furniture warehouses, have you ever considered a restaurant supply store? Stores like THE WEBSTAURANT STORE or CENTRAL RESTAURANT PRODUCTS are chock full of outdoor friendly finds that top restaurants turn to for their own alfresco dining and lounging spaces. Where else can you get MODERN ALUMINUM SEATING that will hold up to the elements for under $50?!
3. Bring the inside out
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but adding a graphic rug will ground any space and make it feel more intimate, purposeful and “finished.” With today’s technology, weather resistant textiles and fabrics are widely available and at totally affordable prices, too.
SHOP THE LOOK:
4. Paint it on
Have a basement/storage room full of mismatched old patio furniture and accessories? Get a little DIY-action going and spray your wares with weather resistant paint to make everything look more cohesive and fresh. A $10 can of spray paint can go a very long way in terms of visual impact.
Some of my favorite spray paints can be found in your local craft or hardware store and can be purchased in some really cool colors and finishes… like this ROSE GOLD for example! Just make sure that the product you select is specifically formulated to stand up against the elements and time. A WEATHER RESISTANT PRIMER also helps ensure a smooth application and great color for years to come.
OK, so who’s motivated to give their patio an overhaul? Let’s get crackin’.