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Low Cost Patio Ideas

Updated February 21, 2017

Giving your patio a new lease on life need not take your life-savings---big changes to your patio can be made for little cash. Add colour in unexpected places, furniture that's both functional and attractive, and accessories that take the space from bland to boring, and suddenly you've got a patio you can't wait to relax on!

Paint

It's surprising how much difference a coat of paint can make to your patio. From concrete slabs to resin furniture, paint can create a whole new look for your patio, on a shoestring budget.

Paint a covered patio to add life to dull grey concrete while hiding stains and imperfections. Choose an exterior paint, and start with a primer for the best finish.

Unify mismatched furniture with a coat of paint. Metal, wood and even resin furniture can be painted with an exterior-grade spray paint to create a more pulled-together look. To keep things interesting, use two different shades of the same colour. For resin pieces, use spray paint labelled for plastic and resin use, and follow directions for best results.

Furniture

Adding comfortable and functional furniture is the quickest way to create a patio that's welcoming.

There's no need to spring for expensive patio sets. Pick up patio furniture at yard sales and flea markets, and give it a makeover with a new paint job. If your patio is covered and sheltered from the elements, feel free to repurpose indoor pieces, such as tables and shelves, for outdoor use.

Group plastic folding chairs around a table, and dress them up with bright slipcovers. Fill an oversized planter with stones and sand for stability, then add a piece of wood or a paver to the top for an attractive side table.

Accessories

Adding decorative touches to your patio creates a finished look that makes it look like you spent much more than you did.

An outdoor rug can define and warm up your space. Throw pillows in a coordinating shade make every chair the best seat in the house. Mix and match chair cushions and pads in coordinating colours for a decorator look. Use lengths of inexpensive muslin or even flat sheets for outdoor curtains that block the sun and heat.

Add lighting with string lights suspended from rafters, tiki torches, or inexpensive votive holders or jars with candles inside.

Don't be afraid to use art and accessories on your patio. Go beyond the usual potted plants and incorporate metal wall art, fountains, and even mirrors, which are an unexpected piece, into your design.

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About the Author

A writer and information professional, J.E. Cornett has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Lincoln Memorial University and a Master of Science in library and information science from the University of Kentucky. A former newspaper reporter with two Kentucky Press Association awards to her credit, she has over 10 years experience writing professionally.