Do you ever look out the window at your patio and think, “I oughta do something different”? Well, you’re not alone. According to a July 2012 New York Times article, more and more homeowners are creating outdoor rooms in order to make the most of their properties and connect more with nature. As seasons and tastes change, it may be time to redo your patio look, and there are several ways to revitalize your outdoor living space without breaking the bank.
If your patio is full of junk, clear it off to make a clean slate (you’ll feel better afterward, promise), and take a survey of what needs to be done.
Whether you have few pieces of furniture, broken furniture, or none at all, you have some options to choose from. With a bit of creativity and an afternoon or two, you can refurbish your existing furniture to make an inviting outdoor living space.
If your metal or wood furniture is still serviceable but just needs a little bit of freshening up, it can be sanded, refinished, and repainted to add color and vibrancy to your outdoor room. Perhaps the structure of your furniture is sound, but the cushions are ripped or discolored, the slings sag, or the vinyl is broken. Instead of going out and buying new furniture, you can order new patio cushions and vinyl to give your old furniture a new look. Sometimes, though, your old furniture is beyond help. If those broken plastic chairs just won’t do, take a look around your house before heading off to the store—some interior furniture can be repurposed for outside, like so:
Old set of drawers re-purposed as a planter:
Wood furniture painted with outdoor paint. Marine varnish also does the job of weatherproofing furniture quite nicely:
Or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can make your own furniture from wooden pallets:
Apparently there have been some concerns about durability and splinters, so you may want to do some research before diving into this project. What else do you have lying around that could be made into stylish and comfortable patio furniture?
Colorful accessories, bought on the cheap from dollar stores, thrift stores, or sales, are an easy way to add color and character to your patio. These include
• colorful pillows (you can re-cover old ones with water-resistant fabric)
• bright tablecloths
• bird feeders
• potted plants
Be on the lookout for treasures that match your color scheme when you are out and about.
Outdoor lighting can be expensive…really expensive. Still have some white Christmas lights around? Hang them up across your patio for a soft ambience. You can also look at thrift stores for old lanterns to put candles in or other patio décor. Paper lanterns are also a fun way to add to the atmosphere, though they may not be suitable for all weather. You can also try a more crafty approach to outdoor lighting, such as mason jar and tin can lanterns. Check out these projects and more in this list of do-it-yourself lighting projects at Curbly.com.
If it’s time to give new life to your patio, you can do it without seriously denting your budget. Upscale your outdoor room by using your resources and thinking a little outside the box.
Terry Potter is currently Customer Service Manager at Duralife LLC., an online retailer based in Florida. He enjoys helping people make their outdoor spaces more comfortable and fashionable with new patio furniture pads through their website, patiopads.com.
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