How to create an inviting outdoor space

outdoor living space ideas

11 useful tips to improve your outdoor living space on a budget


Summer is here, and no matter where you are, I’m sure you want to enjoy the fresh air outside with your family and friends.

Aaaand then you walk outside to realize the long winter took a toll on your outdoor space, and now it is pretty much useless.

No matter how small or big your yard is, you’ll be able to use these tips to create a more inviting outdoor seating area in no time.


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Designing outdoor living space

backyard designing tips

When it comes to design, there are some stages you want to go through.

Imagine: All of us have a fantasy about how our house and yard should look like. Browse for ideas on google and Pinterest and determine what is crucial for you.

  1. Do you want a comfortable sitting area to entertain family and friends?
  2. What kind of materials do you want to use?
  3. Do you want decorative plants?
  4. Do you need a playground for the kids?
  5. Do you like to sit around a campfire? You might want to think about a sitting area with an attractive fireplace. 
  6. How about some shade or covered places?


Look at the project space: Now that you have a good idea of how your outdoor living space should look like walk around and make a list.

1. What can you repurpose? For example, wood from the old deck to make backyard furniture or garden bed.  Old chipped planters you can repaint and use them as new backyard decor again.

2. What do you want to keep? Like your favorite trees to provide shade. Or your favorite plants and flowers.

3. Rocks that you can use to create a rock garden or divider between plants.


Make your outdoor living space plan: 

1. Planning on paper helps you to visualize your project.

2. Draw section by section and connect them with pathways and gardens.

3. Check the plan from different angles and from inside. You want to admire your new outdoor living space and want to make sure it looks good from every perspective.


Some people are great at DIY-ing but having a hard time with the designing part. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional. 


Outdoor living space furniture options

Looking for budget-friendly outdoor furniture can be exhausting. Luckily you got good options here.

You can make it, or go thrifting, or look for sales at your favorite department store.


DIY your own

ideas for outdoor living

My sister and hubby went through the designing and planning phase and decided they will go with the cheapest option. They created a welcoming outdoor seating area in front of their diving center in Cyprus.  

They repurposed some pallets, which you can find at the stores and manufacturing companies. I like to ask for old pallets from pharmaceuticals because they are heat-treated and protected against termites and pests.

You can repurpose wood planks from your old deck or fences too.

If you like DIY-ing, this is the cheapest method to create an inviting seating area. Hopefully, you have some tools already at home, but if not, you might need:

  1. Sanding machine and sandpapers.
  2. Drills. My old-time favorite is the Dewalt combo. I use them for all my DIY projects.
  3. Outdoor paint and brushes.


Visit a thrift store or garage sale.

upcycled outdoor grill

I collect stuff and repurpose them. It is very rewarding, and at the same time, I’m able to save a lot of money on home decor.

Visit your local thrift or second-hand stores, join your local FB market and look for garage sales in your area on the weekends.

The real gems are there. 😉

  1. You can reupholster a chair with an attractive fabric.
  2. Use a vintage trunk as a coffee table.
  3. You can save an old bench with a little sanding, painting, and love.


Look for great deals online.


Summer is here, and July 4th is here. Which means there is a good chance you’ll find blow out sales online. 

Even if you decide you will build your outdoor seating area, you can take advantage of these offers and get outdoor cushions, pillows, decorative lights, and other small items to complete the look you are going for.


Outdoor fireplace ideas

outdoor fireplace ideas

There is nothing better than having a lovely summer night campfire in your backyard.

  1. You can easily DIY a fireplace with curved paved stones. 
  2. Make a focal point with a unique outdoor fireplace. These big brothers are perfect for a big family or a weekend get together. The only throwback is that they can be pricey. You want to look out for good deals.
  3. Do you like to move the campfire to different spots in your backyard? Get a budget-friendly portable fireplace. They are cute, light, and work just like their bigger brothers. Plus you can take them with you on your next camping trip. It’s a win-win in my book.


Outdoor covers and pergolas

Summer comes with a lot of sunshine and mosquitos. You can enjoy the sun, but isn’t that nice when you have somewhere to sit in the shade on a hot day?

How about the mosquito fest? Sometimes they are just unbearable.


Make your own shade

Repurposed outdoor shade



If you are lucky and you planned right, you kept existing trees in your backyard to provide shade.

If no trees around, you can still repurpose wood, bamboo, and chicken wire. Create an arch, and plant a climbing plant around it. It doesn’t get more natural than that.


Wooden Pergolas

I like the natural look of the wood, and the wooden pergolas give a stylish look to an outdoor living space.

They are sturdy and will provide shade while letting the breeze through.


Portable shades


These are one of my favorite budget-friendly options. They look like sails made with durable materials.

You can easily install them wherever you want to. You can take them off and pack them for your next camping trip too.

We purchased 2 triangle-shaped “sails,” and the only time we took it off is before hurricane Maria.


Set up a mosquito tent


Where we live, mosquitos are crazy around sunset and at night.

If you are in the same boat and still want to enjoy a movie night outside, you might want to have a mosquito tent.

There are many options, but our absolute favorite is the Quick-Set Escape shelter, and after a year using it, we are still in love.

It is big enough to be able to set up a table for 6 people. Or set up a TV stand and a couple of chairs for a refreshing summer movie night.

Plus it is portable easy to set it up and break it down and take it with you for camping.


Creating an inviting outdoor space

DIY outdoor couch

It’s not that hard. It takes planning and coming up with the perfect design for your needs, but in the end, you’re gonna be able to enjoy it for a long time.

If you like to DIY, that is the route to save a lot of money. Look around and find materials you can repurpose.

If you decide to purchase larger, more expensive outdoor furniture, make sure you check out the thrift stores first. You might find the perfect outdoor couch or table.

When browsing online, wait for the big sales and get the best deal for your buck.


Get some other ideas for your outdoor DIY projects.

  1. 12 Backyard projects on a budget
  2. Sustainable patio and garden ideas
  3. Patio games DIY projects
  4. How to refinish an outdoor wooden table


Don’t forget to PIN it and spread the word on social media. That way, you can come back for ideas for your outdoor space planning.

outdoor space ideas on a budget

Do you wanna DIY more?


  1. Valerie

    I love the idea of repurposing old pallets! It’s eco-friendly and it gives a great look!

    • Andrea

      I agree, Valerie. Aaaand they are budget-friendly too. Most of the time you can grab them for FREE at the stores.

  2. Jenny

    Ahhh. Outdoor spaces are the best right now. I love your ideas & tips, especially the adorable repurposed wagon. So cute and creative.

    • Andrea

      Yes. Your own outdoor space will be the highlight of this summer for sure. So why mot make it comfortable and pretty. 😉

  3. Cathy

    I really love the look of the painted pallets! Great idea! I might have to steal it, thanks!

    • Andrea

      Me too, Cathy/ This was my sister’s idea. We did our couch in the living room and a day bed with pallets and after 3 years they still look like new.

  4. Cate

    I love this article, having a comfy outdoor space is so important for my sanity, I love to be outside with my kiddos when the weather is warm.


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