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Creating an Outdoor Living Space on a Budget

Updated on October 12, 2019
bravewarrior profile image

Shauna loves spending time outdoors. Anyone can expand their square footage by creating outdoor living spaces without breaking the bank.

Outdoor Living Room on Back Patio
Outdoor Living Room on Back Patio | Source

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 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!

Distinct Sitting Rooms
Distinct Sitting Rooms | Source

Add Artwork

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 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?

Do you have an outdoor living space?

See results

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

Some Inspirational Ideas for Creating Your Outdoor Space on a Budget

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Shauna L Bowling


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    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      Nadine, I've seen pictures of your property. It's absolutely beautiful. I love your fairy garden and the fact that you and your husband did all the work yourselves. From building the walls, steps and walkways, to adding yard decor... your creativity shows.

      I'm glad you enjoyed this post. Thank you so much for reading.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      5 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      What a lovely post. Love the photos. We are very fortunate to have three places on our deck where we can sit almost the whole year around when the sun shines. there we have tables and chairs that are surrounded by many pot plants that I all have grown from cuttings, slips or seeds.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      Crafty (Brandi), I just love you to death! I know when I get notification of a comment on older hubs, it's my dear sweet friend who's come to call! :-)

      It's amazing what you can accomplish with little money and a lot of imagination, isn't it? Your porch sounds very inviting. I'd love to see a picture of it!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      7 years ago

      Great Hub Sha! I love the way you designed your outdoor space. We found some plastic Adirondack-style chairs for $3 a piece at a garage sale. I just happened to have some paint for plastic furniture. It's weather-proof. I painted them blue, added some pillows, and then painted my front door a darker blue. Now my home looks rustic, but the porch was stained the same color as the pillows. I think it's called California red. We get so many compliments. Just a little paint did the trick.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      The bird. I have a few families living in my yard and my neighbor's. Really cool!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hawks as the bird or as the Atlanta Hawks? For some reason I thought of both. I'd prefer the bird :)

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      That would be awesome, Linda! We can watch the hawks, too!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I adore your outdoor living area! Who knows one day we could sipping iced tea while chatting about Lucky Santangelo! :)

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      You'd be amazed on what you can do with a small budget, mvillecat. Watch for sales, go to yard sales, thrift stores and consignment shops, etc. Formulate a plan then go on the adventure of making it come to fruition!

    • mvillecat profile image

      Catherine Dean 

      8 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      That is so pretty. I love your designing. I wish I could have something nice like that in my backyard, maybe one day. I voted up.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      sg, thank you for stopping by what HP now calls an idle hub! The outdoor furniture I purchased can withstand Florida weather. I bought the couch and chairs from The end tables and coffee table I purchased from Sears offspring, Homegoods Store. I've had them for a couple of years and have seen no deterioration.

      Aluminum is the best way to go; it doesn't rust. Also, you don't want powder coated furniture. Powder coat paint does just that thru time. It turns to powder. You want a Kynar paint over aluminum. You won't have to touch up year after year!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      8 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I love your outdoor living room. I love sitting outside, especially in the mornings. I have purchased several different tables and chairs to place outside on our back porch. All but one have either broken or basically rotted away. My one that has lasted the test of time is a basic wrought iron table and chairs. I give it a new coat of spray paint each spring and it just keeps on going. I would love to find some mildew resistant cushions for it and a matching rug. Your patio is beautiful. I will be watching the sales this fall. Great hub, voted up, useful and sharing! Have a wonderful day! :)

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      I do too, Spy. I much prefer being outside. When you come to Florida we'll sit out there and watch the hawks and whatever else decides to grace the back yard!

    • unknown spy profile image

      Life Under Construction 

      8 years ago from Neverland

      that was soo cool Sha!! outdoor really is one of my most-seek adventures. i love being with nature especially on fields and mountains.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      9 years ago from Central Florida

      Thanx so much for stopping by! Living in Florida, I can't stand being stuck in the house. Creating an outdoor space offers a place to entertain or sit quietly listenting to Nature and perhaps reading a good book. I really enjoy it!

    • garage-remotes profile image

      Rob Reel 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      outdoor living rooms?! what a great idea!


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