10 Ways to Spruce Up Your Patio on a Dime

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Since you likely have a little extra time on your hands due to shelter-in-place orders and the weather is warming up in many parts of the country, you may have started utilizing your outdoor living space more than ever before. If you aren’t exactly thrilled with your patio but don’t want to spend a fortune fixing it up, these 10 fun ideas will inspire you to get creative with what you have and spruce up your porch or patio on a dime. Plus, most of these ideas are renter-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about not getting back your deposit when you move out. 

Add container plants

This list just wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our favorite thing here at Backyard Vitality…plants! Especially if you already have containers lying around, one of the easiest ways to add life, color, and fun to your patio is to fill it with a few vibrant pots. Make eye-catching flower displays, string up a few hanging baskets, or grow herbs and vegetables in containers to turn your patio into a gardeners-oasis.

Enhance your lighting

With summer on the horizon, you’ll probably be spending quite a few warm nights on your patio lingering over a glass of wine or grilling dinner and watching the sunset. What better way to improve the ambiance and create a cozy, welcoming atmosphere then by adding a string of warm, globe lighting? It’s easy to hang up and will cost you under $20 but will make a huge difference when the sun goes down.

Change out cushions

If you have patio furniture that could use a little refresh, there’s no need to go out and buy totally new chairs or couches. Simply get some new cushions (make sure they’re the right size)  and pillows and replace your old, grimy ones with fun new colors and patterns. Be bold with it, and try mixing patterns and solids in a pleasing color palette. 

Add a rug

Adding a weather-resistant outdoor rug to your living space will tie the entire patio together and center your furniture, helping you feel more relaxed and comfortable. Essentially, it will turn a disjointed collection of patio furniture into an outdoor living room that is ripe for dinner parties and quality conversation. Though this option may be a little more pricey than others on this list, you can shop the seasonal sales and coordinate your other decor around your rug. 

Utilize paint 

There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to liven up an area and help it feel new and attractive. Consider concrete paint or stain if you really want to change things up (and if you own your home) or paint your old, worn down patio furniture for a renter-friendly option. 

Incorporate an umbrella 

Patios without shade are often unusable during certain parts of the year, especially if you live in a warm, sunny area. While a canopy or other covering is an excellent idea, it may not be in your budget. A great alternative is a fun, brightly colored patio umbrella that you should be able to find for about $30-$50. It can add some much-needed shade and act as a vertical element to open up the space. If you have a table with an umbrella holder, simply use that. Otherwise, you can make an easy umbrella stand or purchase one for just a few dollars. 

Don’t skimp on accessories

One of the easiest (and most fun) ways to spruce up your patio is to incorporate some accessories that tie the whole space together. The little details go a long way, and a simple candle in a jar, bowl of lemons, lantern, table cloth, or windchime could make your porch or patio magazine-worthy. 

Make a crate table

If you’re willing to get a little more DIY heavy, you can buy a simple wooden crate from Walmart for about $10 and paint or stain it to your desired color. Stand it up on its end and screw a solid piece of wood on the top to create an even surface. This project is quick, easy, and will cost less than twenty bucks. It is the perfect option if you don’t want to break the bank by buying new patio end tables and will serve as a great place to set your drinks. 

Add a water feature

You don’t have to go all out with an ornate fountain or expensive waterfall. Fill an attractive bucket with water, add a little bubbling fountain to make some noise and keep the water flowing, and you’re good to go. It is an easy, simple project that anyone can accomplish on a budget, but it will really elevate your space. 

Bring in the birds

Another way to create that perfect patio atmosphere is to attract your feathered friends to your backyard area. Hang up a birdfeeder, hummingbird feeder, or birdhouse a short distance from your patio and enjoy wiling away the hours watching colorful birds flock to your yard. Be sure to hang it far enough away that you won’t scare the birds when you spend time on your patio, but close enough that you can still see them and hear their lovely singing. Also, this may not be a good option if you have an outdoor cat, so consider that before incorporating a bird element. 

Do you have any other budget-friendly patio improvement ideas? Let us know in the comments below!

-Susan Patterson

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