Decorating Patios, Porches and Decks: Make the Most of What You Have

See inspired ways for creating or transforming an outdoor room without spending a dime.

  • Set a beautiful table outside for instant style and coziness. Cover the table with linen, use your china and arrange fresh flowers for a lovely afternoon tea or intimate, candlelit dinner. Design by single_mom_on_budget.
  • Chairs are a great alternative to side tables. The more imperfect the chair, the more charming the vignette may be. Design by MoonlightandMagnolias.
  • When furnishing an outdoor space, think comfort, function and style, just as you would when designing indoors. Pull pieces from inside your home to the exterior; just make sure that furniture and accessories are protected from the elements. Add lightweight sheers for privacy, softness and shade. Design by drquickclick.
  • Potted plants are an easy way to add color and interest to any outdoor space. Double the impact by grouping two or more pots with found objects. Create a vignette like this one by coastalgardener featuring a piece of driftwood.
  • Turn a simple entryway into a seemingly expansive courtyard garden with lots of plants and a bistro table and chairs. RMSer dpleader hung a large mirror to add light and the illusion of space.
  • Do you have a pile of cinder block taking up space in your garage or crawlspace? Sweep out the cobwebs and create a beautiful living wall. Just stack and fill with your favorite potted plants. Design by RMSer ecken.
  • Don't forget about the floor when designing an outdoor space. If you're not sure about the direction of your design, find a rug you love and create a space around it. To save money, borrow from indoors. Design by Rate My Space user jengo.
  • Painting a rug onto an outdoor space is a great money-saving flooring alternative that is also weatherproof. Use stencils to make the job easier. Design by Wvgal_5165.
  • You can push the boundaries of design in an outdoor space. Think about existing furniture in a new way. Rate My Space user santamaker converted an old hutch into a plant stand, using garage-sale silverware as a whimsical accent.
  • RMS user Lauhayes refurbished indoor furniture to create her sunroom. This old dresser gets a new life with silver spray paint and glaze.
  • RMS user MoonlightandMagnolias writes about her porch in a blog entitled Between Naps on the Porch. Take a look at her space, and see why this dreamy porch encourages napping. Cushy blankets and pillows help.
  • Don't feel like you have to fill an outdoor space to make it beautiful. Let nature take center stage and create a minimal (and most likely more affordable) outdoor room. Take design cues from RMSer housetweaking.
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