Stylish (and Budget-Friendly) Ways to Refresh Outdoor Spaces

Show your patio, porch and garden some love this spring with these smart decor tips. Photo: Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

Spruce up your al fresco space with these easy and affordable high-impact decor tips.


Start From the Ground Up

Advances in polypropylene textiles and digital printing have seen outdoor rugs come a long way in recent years. Weather- and stain-proof, they can look as good as indoor carpets. Frame out a space and add a lot of panache for under $200. There’s a style to suit every taste, boho patterns to modern graphics.

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Take a Seat

This sleek two-seater in all-weather wicker is a great Home Depot score at $119. Add in a couple of co-ordinating chairs from Bouclair, $149 ea. Voila! A design-savvy outdoor lounge for under $500. Compare that to this three-piece grouping that cost as much for a lesser arrangement in the same style.

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Light It Up

If your exterior space is covered, swag a hanging pendant to bring indoor style out. Cord kits are widely available everywhere from Urban Outfitters to Amazon. No outdoor plug? Run an extension cord when you’re using the space. You can also opt for a battery-operated fixture — there are lots to choose from — or go solar. And always, always, add string lights. It’s the number one thing you can do to bring atmosphere to your patio or porch. Get creative. Add an illuminated arbor over a seating or dining area, use more delicate sizes as a curtain, light up a wall.

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Black Out Back

Black accents really pop against summery pale fabrics and leafy green backdrops, they also elegantly anchor a space. Inexpensive touches include a plant stand or two, a garden stool, a settee or bench.

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A big outdoor mirror makes a big impact. Hang it or lean it, aim it at a view that reflects light or greenery. Ikea has great options for less than $100. Bouclair’s aluminum-framed mirror is perfect for an uncovered space. Go with a windowpane style. You can even recycle that unframed one you removed during the bathroom reno — the mirror does all the work.

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Throws & Pillows

It’s best to keep any upholstery classic and neutral and use accessories to change up the look. Crisp stripes for spring, sultry summer tropical prints, darker fabrics for fall. Add fresh looks, seasonally or annually, as your style and the weather evolves.

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