Outdoor Designer Looks for Under $500

The experts share tips on how to create your dream outdoor space for less than $500.
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Photo By: Sandy Koepke

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Bohemian Outdoor Space

A bold, colorful area rug can transform a boring outdoor space into a lively area for entertaining. Designer Emily Henderson created this bohemian outdoor room with a patterned area rug, stumps-turned-cocktail-tables and basic string lights.

Don't Forget the Ceiling

Designer Ashley Astleford's main focus when designing this room was incorporating a lot of color. Bringing color to a space can change its ambiance without emptying your wallet. Throw pillows do the trick, but paint unexpected surfaces — like the ceiling — to really brighten the room.

Rustic Outdoor Dining

Designer Sandy Koepke dressed up an old trellis with LED string lights and hanging plant chandeliers to create a charming rustic look. Complete the look with antique chairs you can find at the flea market, and fill antique lanterns with basic white candles. Photography by Jennifer Cheung

Vibrant Wall

Vibrant paint can add a high-end look to a cement wall. Bonnie Bridges of Boor Bridges Architecture made the wall useful by attaching a wooden slab shelf and simple potted plants.

Intimate Setting

Create an elegant, intimate space with candles. Designer Greg Schaumburg of Hursthouse Landscape Architects & Contractors filled a copper basin with water and floating tea lights for the perfect way to light an outdoor party.

Painted Deck

Freshen up your deck with a little paint. Designer Brian Patrick Flynn adds color to this outdoor space by painting a two-color rug design with porch paint. Place a table on the design to create a stylish outdoor dining space.

Vertical Garden Wall

Designer Jamie Durie created a vertical garden wall by filling pockets with edible plants. To get this look on a budget, use hanging plastic shoe storage, and fill it with your favorite plants.

Embellished Gazebo

Elegant potted plants highlight major garden features, such as this white wirework gazebo. The symmetrical pots embellish the bare legs of the structure, bringing luxury to the space.

Rustic-Style Eating Area

Basketweave containers as stools are a cost-effective way of bringing a rustic look to your outdoor space. You can create the look of this table by placing a tabletop or piece of glass atop sturdy logs or stumps.

Wildlife Wall

If you're remodeling your home, you may end up with extra pine pallets. Instead of throwing them away, you can make a wildlife wall by wiring the pallets together and packing the gaps with moss, wool and grass for nesting material. This will provide a home for wildlife while also creating a focal point in your yard.

Japanese Patio

Designer Emily Henderson created this Zen, Japanese-inspired outdoor space with just a few key elements. To save money, spray-paint mismatched chairs you already have all in one color to tie them together. To add a playful touch, spray-paint plain terra-cotta pots in bold colors. A repurposed pendant light and a small area rug provide a charming finish to the space.

Wine Bottle Furniture

Recycled materials create key features in this modern design. If you collect wine bottles, put them to use by placing them in wire crates and topping with throw pillows to create an unconventional bench (the money you save will allow you to splurge on a wall feature or outdoor fireplace).

Wall Mural

If you have extra money to spend, incorporating a work of art on a wall or fence can really set the tone for your outdoor space. Designer Jamie Durie included this mural, designed by aboriginal artist Gabriella Possum, for an unexpected focal point.

Vertical Potted Plants

Adding a vertical garden heightens your outdoor space. To keep the cost low, attach terra-cotta pots with clamps to a plain wall for a cool effect. The trailing herbs and plants in this space give it a Mediterranean look and expand its small size.

DIY Hanging Daybed

A daybed in an outdoor environment is perfect if you want a serene place to take a nap or read a book. Ana White of Ana-White.com made this bed using basic carpentry skills and few materials. Get the full instructions below.

Mediterranean Courtyard

These simple benches were made using recycled timber from the surrounding trees. Designer Jamie Durie suggests splurging on a few items, such as the hand-painted tiles displayed on the wall. The extra detail will add a luxurious look to your outdoor space.

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