We have a patio in our house that is surrounded by the master bedroom on one side, a long hallway on the other and on the third side is a kitchen. There is a giant oak tree in the center, which provides a lot of shade so we didn’t want to remove it. We needed to find fresh patio ideas on a budget.
When we bought the home 13 years ago the patio was an old worn out deck. We felt like the deck was possibly hiding water underneath that might be contributing to the massive number of mosquitoes. Plus the deck was uneven and needed work. We decided at that time to cover the patio with pavers. We didn’t install cement because we wanted to be sure that the tree was able to get water.
Fast forward, in the last 13 years we have ONLY used the patio to enter and exit our master bedroom, and occasionally as a place to clean our bikes. It is nice having a separate exit but the space has been at the bottom of our renovation list. So far down, that we never did anything except put in the pavers.
Give Your Patio a Good Cleaning
We knew the space needed help but we didn’t want to spend much making it look great. I’ve seen so many articles about renovating outdoor spaces to make them usable, but the budgets are as much as it would take to refurnish my living room.
We decided that the minimum would be to clean up the space. Anything outside gets dirty in a matter of weeks. It’s amazing what a good power wash can do. We also cleaned the windows. I’m ashamed to say we had never cleaned the windows.
Furnish the Space
The second step was to make it look like a place you could spend time instead of just passing through. For that we needed to define an area as you would in a room. Seating is a must, along with some accent furniture and lighting (just like an indoor room)
My first stop was Pier1. I needed some outdoor seating that could weather the elements but looked in keeping with the Tudor style of our home. We purchased two of these chairs. Pier1 has tons of great inexpensive patio furniture, but I needed something that could be outside with no roof.
I also purchased an outdoor rug from World Market, which was on my front porch for a few years and relocated to the back. The rug I have is no longer available but there are so many great outdoor rugs on the market like this one or this one and they are so inexpensive.
To round out the space I purchased the bicycle pillows from Home depot for $7 each and this outdoor lighting. It was 48 feet for only $35. They came packaged very nicely. We just stapled them into our brick to secure them.
Plants can make a huge difference in outdoor and indoor spaces alike. What you decide to buy depends on the conditions in your area.
I live in Texas and it was August when I wanted to sell our house, so whatever I purchased had to be heat tolerant. That can drastically limit your options. I chose terracotta pots because they are porous and allow air and water to get through to the plant, and they are very affordable.
When I look at the space now, I wonder why I didn’t do this years ago. We might not sit out here, but there are so many places in our house that overlook this courtyard.
Are you looking for more suggestions about how to makeover your patio or courtyard without spending a lot? Here are some more great resources.