How to Create Enjoyable Outdoor Living Spaces on a Budget
Almost nine in 10 home buyers in the US want a patio. That makes it the third-most wanted feature in US homes.
So, consider yourself lucky if you have a patio or outdoor area. If you do, it’s time to extend your living space to include this unutilized section of your home. Don’t worry — there are plenty of ways to create outdoor living spaces on a budget.
Besides, exposure to green space can help lower your risk of chronic diseases. Scientists say that outdoor time can help keep diabetes, heart disease, and stress at bay.
Ready for a front yard or backyard makeover? Then keep reading, as we’ve rounded up some of the best ideas to make such projects possible even on a budget!
Factor in the Size of Available Space
Regardless of how big or small your outdoor area is, it’s best to measure the amount of usable space. This will help you gauge the size of furnishings and landscape features that can fit in that spot.
Be sure to pay attention to existing structures, too, such as external walls and roof eaves. You may be able to use these as part of your outdoor space’s enclosure or covering. For instance, you can attach retractable awnings to eaves to create a sheltered area.
Repurpose Materials for Your Enclosure
Garden hedges are among the most popular enclosure-related backyard ideas. If you have the extra budget, why not? However, you can save more (and go greener) by setting up an enclosure made of repurposed materials.
For instance, you can use old wood, bamboo, or metal materials to create a trellis. You can then use this in place of a fence for either your backyard or front yard. Finally, you can plant shrubs and other climbing plants to grow on the trellis and serve as a green screen.
Get It Lit
Setting up a few outdoor LED lights is one of the best small patio ideas on a budget. With multiple light sources, you can make a small outdoor area appear bigger than it is. By illuminating the entire space, you can get rid of shadows that make the area feel cramped.
Besides, a well-illuminated outdoor space is an excellent venue for night gatherings.
You’d want to go with LED, however, as it’s the most energy-efficient option in the market. LED bulbs convert 90% of electricity into light. Edison (incandescent) bulbs, on the other hand, only turn 10% of energy into light.
Go For Weather-Resistant Furniture
As you shop for deck or patio furniture, one of the most crucial features to look for is weather resistance. This depends on where you live, as some furniture materials hold up better in humid climates.
Aluminum, for instance, resists moisture and rust better than many other metals. Stainless steel doesn’t rust either, but it’s way heavier (and pricier).
If you’d rather have homey than industrial, resin wicker is also an excellent option. It can withstand humidity, rain, and sunlight. Most resin-based furniture also has extra UV protection to keep them from fading.
Bamboo is also a fantastic furniture material because it’s sustainable and low-maintenance. Plus, it resists excessive heat, moisture, rain, snow, and UV radiation. Since it grows fast — within three to five years — bamboo products cost less than traditional wood.
Create Edible Borders and Edges
The more sustainable practices you follow at home, the less you’ll worry about your budget. Sustainability, after all, involves reducing your need for various resources. As such, one way to become sustainable is to generate your very own food resources.
With that said, why not convert a section of your outdoor space into a food-bearing garden? Depending on how big the area is, it can take less than a day to set up an edge bedding. You can repurpose big rocks or stones into edging materials.
Once you have the edge in place, you can plant chives, rosemary, mint, thyme, parsley, oregano, and basil. Green beans, cucumbers, lettuce, and radishes also don’t take that much effort to grow.
To top it off, the smell of herbs and spices will boost the appeal of your outdoor area. You can even make your own teas from these plants and enjoy a cuppa out on your garden!
Lead the Way With a Stone or Pebbled Path
Start by checking out your own yard first. You may have some left-over bricks or slabs that you can use to deck out your outdoor space.
If there’s none, then you might be willing to spend a few bucks to buy enough pretty stones to make a pebbled path. You’ll even find glow-in-the-dark garden stones online.
Apart from the stones, laying out a path pretty much only requires time and effort.
You just need to dig out an inch or two of the topsoil and form it in your desired path shape. After this, simply add the pebbles and spread it out evenly.
Accessorize to Personalize
If you don’t have enough space for a path, pebbles still make for excellent patio decorations on a budget. For instance, you can use it as a flooring material and as a way to secure your outdoor chairs and benches. You can then add repurposed wooden planks or colored stone slabs to act as stepping stones.
The important thing is to accessorize your outdoor living area based on what makes you happy. If you’re gearing for a Zen-inspired spot, then bonsai and plants in clay pots can help you achieve that. You may even want to add a hammock for extra seating (or napping).
Create Oasis-Like Outdoor Living Spaces on a Budget Now
As you can see, transforming outdoor living spaces on a budget is entirely doable. It’s smart, however, to use your cash to get high-quality, long-lasting outdoor furniture. Other than that, you’d just need a bucketful of creativity and a few days of labor.
Are you looking for more how-to guides like this to build a better, healthier home? Then please feel free to check out the rest of the Mamabee site!