Quick + Chic Outdoor Decorating Tips

Discover these stylish decorating ideas for creating an outdoor room full of seasonal charm — without breaking the bank.
By: Kathy Wilson
Similar Topics:
Add Inexpensive Touches to Dress Up Outdoor Spaces

Add Inexpensive Touches to Dress Up Outdoor Spaces

Almost any outdoor space can be turned into an outdoor room that reflects your style, whether patio, deck or concrete. But "before you begin decorating, you should consider how you'll use your outdoor space," says Lourdes Dumke, author of How to Decorate & Furnish Your Apartment on a Budget and The Thrifty Decorating Blog.

Will you be using your room for entertaining, relaxing or dining? Take note of weather changes and if the spot is sunny, shady, windy, etc. Do you need waterproof and sun-resistant materials, or an umbrella or other shelter? Once you've figured out the basics, you're ready to create your outdoor room.

Make It Private

Outdoor rooms require structure just as an indoor room to help provide intimacy and comfort. Some money-saving solutions for adding "walls" include: anchoring a wooden trellis in a large planter and hanging small pots of colorful flowers throughout; attaching sheer fabric panels to porch overhangs with metal hoops and hooks; or propping a reclaimed garden gate behind a bench or against a deck railing.

Outdoor Furniture Options

Furnishing an outdoor room can quickly add up, but using creativity and some elbow grease will save your budget. "Visit flea markets and find inexpensive furniture to paint or otherwise repurpose," Dumke says. Colorful spray paints are great for plastic furniture and don't require priming. Dress up other pieces with slipcovers and outdoor fabric pillows.

Mood Lighting

Often, outdoor rooms are used during the evening so providing lighting needs to be considered. But you don't have to pay for an expensive lighting system to light up your garden, yard or patio.

Reuse Christmas lights to add interesting, subtle lighting to an outdoor room. Dumke also suggests candles, oil torch lamps and even solar panels. If the space gets a lot of light during the day, install solar lighting that collects sunlight during the day and comes on at night.

Outdoor Accessories

Accessories are the jewelry of any room, including outdoor rooms. Being creative can keep costs low, while allowing you to place a personal stamp on your outdoor space. "Use color — in paint, flowers, fabric. And go to the dollar store. It's a treasure trove of inexpensive items you can use to decorate your space. Pots, bowls, garden ornaments, baskets and lanterns can be found for under $5," says Pamela Cole Harris, HomeandGardenMakeover.com writer and decor recycler.

If you don't want to purchase an outdoor rug, paint a faux rug on a patio floor using stencils and ordinary house paint. Seal with polyurethane for a long lasting accent. Or, create it on a canvas runner instead so it's portable. In her home, Dumke spent a few dollars on a brick stencil and paint, and created a faux-brick look on the concrete floor. She added lots of inexpensive, weather-resistant items to the room, like candles, sap buckets and even some artwork on the brick wall.

Next Up

Maximize Your Decorating Budget

Our 10-step budget guide will help you set up and stick to a decorating budget -- without blowing it.

Maximum Home Value Outdoor Living Projects: Lighting

Learn how landscape lighting can brighten up your outdoor living space.

Grow Guide: Some Fast and Furious Easter Decorating Tips

Follow the advice of a longtime gardener for some easy Easter decor in your garden.

Eco-Friendly Decorating Ideas

Smart, simple ways to make your decorating healthier for you and the environment.

Outdoor Entertaining Tips: Get Out and Stay Out!

Lifestyle expert James Farmer helps you maximize your outdoor quality of life.

6 Tips for Decorating Your First Home

Take it one practical step at a time, and don't buy into the myth about matching.

8 Tips for Decorating With Asian Furnishings

Don’t stop with an Oriental rug — finish the look with furniture and accessories.

Outdoor Holiday Decorating Idea: Mini Christmas Tree

Spread the holiday cheer to your front porch with this easy-to-decorate mini Christmas tree. A few handmade touches make it special.

Low-Budget Decorating, High-Style Looks

Transform your home with smart shopping tips and money-saving ideas from Design on a Dime's Kahi Lee.

Christmas Decorating Tips

From recycling favorite holiday cards to trimming a tree with treats, these holiday decorating ideas are fun and frugal.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.