Expert Advice

Recreate These 6 Stunning Patio Ideas on a Budget

DIY your way to paradise.

By Anne Campbell
spring garden party

This spring, my outdoor-loving family was relegated to a very indoor existence. Virtual learning took center stage and squabbles over screen-time became a daily challenge. The stress level over all of that tech time was positively quarantini-inducing. But now, with summer on the horizon and a lot more free time ahead for my family of five, I’m feeling optimistic, energized and inspired to tap back into our collective outdoor voices by incorporating a few chic patio ideas on a budget. I’ve made it my #summergoals to create an outdoor space that my kids can enjoy and that’s a grown-up retreat for some much needed F&R – Frosé & Relaxation.

Since most of us are not traversing the globe to faraway exotic locations except in our summer daydreams, why not turn our at-home layover lemons into lemonade and recreate some of the most inspired outdoor spaces right in our very own yards?

I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite al fresco dream scenes and, with just a little help from my landscape architect husband, have given you a few tips and tricks on how you can recreate these inspirational settings right in your own backyard. And on a budget. Because even if you can’t roam far, you can at least stay put stylishly.

Solid & Striped

image by sun_days

Inspired by the sun days private poolside club in New Orleans? Reimagine the vibe of this Crescent City oasis by mixing solid colored budget-friendly furnishings with punchy striped throw pillowsumbrellas and awnings. Opt for simple muted hues like blush pink with sage green, and then commit to your color palette throughout. For a lush tropical look, consider planting split leaf philodendron and leopard plants in shade. And in sunny environments, Mediterranean fan palms and shell ginger in varying sizes to soften the edges of your balcony or deck and mimic the colors found in your furniture. Fewer species in large massings will make a larger impact on small spaces and keep the aesthetic soothing and refined.

More products we love:

abstract pool towel  | outdoor dining chair (green) | steel side table (pink) | side table (pink) | metal lounge chair (green) | striped throw pillow (black) | outdoor gazebo.

Monochromatic with Earthy Accents

image by threebirdsrenovations

Looking to up your patio portfolio but not break the bank? Go for an all-white look, whether it’s a dining space for an open-air supper or a small perch for your morning coffee. Yes, it is risky to spring for white outdoor decor pieces that must weather the elements, but there’s never been a better time to try something new. When you allow greenery and natural accents around you to be the focal point, you won’t need to spend a mint on furnishings and accessories. We love pairing a cost-effective white dining table with metallic Bertoia-inspired chairs and hanging an oversized natural weave pendant overhead. Toss in a few outdoor pillows and add in your choice of seat cushions for comfort.

More products we love:

wicker pendant light | drink carafe | brass chair | wire dining chair (white) | metal dining chair | wire dining chair.

Sealed With A Citrus

image by elfennmarrakech

Topping off our wanderlust list is El Fenn Hotel Marrakech. Recreate the moody vibe with an ornate wooden sofa accented with colorful throw pillows. Don’t want to splurge on a whole new settee? Consider tossing ochre towels over your existing furnishings for a fresh new hue. Beautiful, inexpensive and machine washable for the win! Tucking a banquet seating area against a perimeter serves as a great backrest and can help maximize small spaces for gathering and outdoor entertainment.  Scattered around the perimeter of your space, fill terracotta planters with citrus and olive treesHanging pots and rattan string lights overhead enhance the earthen vibe. Serve tapas on hand-carved serving boards and citrus mint sangria out of Moroccan tea glasses, and you’ll feel – almost – like you’re in Marrakech.

More products we love:

throw pillow (yellow)| linen cushion cover | wooden bench | pool towels | moroccan tea glasses | outdoor rug | wooden side accent tables.

Create a Hang Space

image by studiolifestyle

Nothing says true relaxation more than lounging on a hanging daybed. If you love that carefree feeling but don’t want to spring for a pricey version, hammock chairs are a great secondary solution. To fully develop the dreamy scene, potted palms in combination with drought tolerant yuccas and fencepost cactus help provide focal points and create a sense of privacy and definition. For those not so garden-inclined, using only drought tolerant upright cactus, agaves, and yuccas. Fill out the space with durable white lounge chairs with a coordinating wire coffee table.

More products we love:

metal chair (white) | leaf outdoor lounge chair | wire lounge chair (white) | modern wire chair (white) | wire coffee table | rattan coffee table | potted palm leaf plant | potted ruffle palm plant | potted paradise palm plant | faux potted cactus

Bring the Inside Out

image by cococozy

A decorating trick that always garners compliments is to create an “inside” looking vignette in an outside space. Selecting a covered outdoor area and then adding a durable rughanging lanterns and statement rattan chairs really brings it all together in the chicest way, reminiscent of La Playa Grande Beach Club in the Dominican Republic. Also – how great are these bargain chairs? As always, greenery takes the environment up a notch. In full sun, potted vibrantly colored bougainvillea can enhance the tropical vibe. In shaded spaces, consider hanging ferns and palms.

More products we love:

outdoor lantern | egg chair | plaster side table | concrete side table

Shed Some Light on the Situation

image by thebutchersdaughter_official

There’s a lovely list of reasons why The Butcher’s Daughter in Venice is so magical, but the star has to be the back-nook patio, enveloping you in greenery and twinkling lights. Evoke the soothing energy of the celebrated space right in your own backyard with string lights overhead (we love the simple white colorway) and a long, rustic wooden picnic table with benches. If an encaustic tiled fireplace is not a possibility, consider adding a geometric outdoor rug underfoot, bringing in color and subtle pattern. Trailing potted plants and herbs are not only beautiful but useful in the kitchen, while clumping bamboo creates a lush perimeter.

More products we love: 

wooden picnic table | rattan planter | wicker stool | ivory planters | red modern stool | outdoor lantern | potted olive tree.