Creating an Outdoor Living Space on a Budget
If you're a Nature lover, as am I, you probably spend as much time outdoors as possible; whether gardening, hiking, boating or simply relaxing with a good book.
Many decorators and homeowners display their creativity by bringing the outdoors in via expansive picture windows, creating atriums and placing lavish plant material thoughout their homes, resulting in a beautiful, exotic atmosphere. But if you prefer some fresh air and a retreat outside the confines of your walls, why not bring the inside out?
I've done just that with my back patio. Right off my bedroom, with sliding glass doors giving access to the back yard, I put up a fabric gazebo, with decorative wrought iron shelved corner posts, to shelter an existing patio set. At one point, there was mosquito netting attached on all sides, giving the feel of a separate room outside the walls of my home. It was actually quite cozy, with plants and candles strategically placed here and there. It was and still is my favorite spot to read the Sunday paper.
Look for Sales
When I decided to add an outdoor living room to the patio, off came the mosquito netting to give a more free-flowing transition between the two "rooms". I have huge ideas, but as a single mom, my budget is somewhat prohibitive. As the saying goes, where there's a will, there's a way! .....So, I began searching the internet to see what I could come up with on a tight budget. If you do your homework and have a little patience, you can bring your visions to life! Look for clearance or end of season sales and offers of free shipping. I happened to find the couch and chairs you see pictured above, on sale at Target.com. I was so excited when they arrived! But the room wasn't complete. It just looked a little too cold. So, off I went in search of something to bring the room together and cozy it up!
I happen to love artwork. The interior of my home has art in every room, including the kitchen and bathrooms. You'll not find a bare (or white, for that matter!) wall in my home. I love color and the warmth beautiful paintings bring to a room. With this in mind, I began my search. I actually was able to find two end tables and a coffee table that match the backing of the chairs I'd purchased, all for about $10 apiece. Since bare walls are a no-no in my decorative expression, I found an ornate wall hanging to grace the wall behind the outdoor couch. (By the way, all furnishings pictured are weather resistent.) I have future plans of recoating and staining the concrete slab patio, but until then, each room includes an area rug, both of which are mildew resistent. Or, so touted..... Here in Central Florida, we have a four month rainy season. I don't think the rug manufacturers have taken rainy locales into consideration when they promise mildew resistence! The rug on the exposed living room has mildewed. Twice! So, once again I was on the search! I happened to find a fabulous rug through Amazon.com. It's absolutely beautiful, colorful and best of all, it's made of recycled plastic! No more mildew and it doesn't look like plastic at all! Including the forthcoming area rug replacement, the two outdoor living spaces came together for under $700! Not bad, huh?
Outdoor Living Space Adds Value to Your Home
Whether entertaining friends, or simply needing a retreat to spend some one on one time with Mother Nature, I've managed to increase the square footage and value of my home. Not to mention, having my own little oasis without having to travel farther than the backyard.
Home sweet home!
Shauna L Bowling
Refining, Defining or Rhyming
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Some inspirational ideas for creating your outdoor space on a budget
© 2011 Shauna L Bowling
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