Get Creative With These Wallet-Friendly Outdoor Decor Ideas

backyard decor ideas
Creative Backyard Decor Ideas Patricia Burke

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Lucky enough to have a backyard to call your very own? Then you'll definitely want to make the most of the space and keep it top of mind the next time you're looking to scratch that design itch. We're here to help you get started with some extra creative backyard decor ideas. After all, with warmer days right around the corner, now is the perfect time to ensure that your backyard is in tip-top shape for the spring and summer.

Whether you're looking to take on a simple DIY project (like painting a patio wall) or are more of a shopper and prefer to hit the stores in search of a trendy patio set or new outdoor furniture, we've rounded up excellent decor ideas for you. Note that it's easy to take your outdoor space to the next level without spending much, either. Many of the following ideas are budget-friendly and will last in your pretty patio or yard for seasons on end. We're also sharing ideas for those looking to incorporate more green friends into the yard, up their hosting game and much more. You may be surprised at how much of an impact something like a new set of planters or a bar tray can have on your outdoor setup.

No matter if you've got a large or small backyard, get ready to have a blast in the space this spring and summer. Just don't be surprised when your friends don't want to head home!

Bring on the Wicker

Wicker furniture and accents are perfect for the backyard, and the more of this material, the merrier, as seen in this space designed by Liz Williams Interiors. We love the addition of a wicker basket leaning above the outdoor fireplace as a festive finishing touch.

RELATED: 8 Best Patio Furniture Sets to Refresh Your Outdoor Space

wicker table and accents
Emily Followill

Try Dark Patio Walls

Don't be afraid to go moody when picking a paint color for the patio walls, particularly if you plan to hang a TV out there. This dark gray shade, selected by Lindsie Davis at Blueberry Jones Design, looks sophisticated while helping to camouflage the black box.

patio with dark walls and tv
Avery Nicole Photography

Cover a Sofa With Fun Outdoor Fabric

Recover an outdoor sofa that needs a bit of a revamp using a fabric that inspires you. This peppy print that Ashley Macuga of Collected Interiors chose is welcoming and full of fun. Just be sure to select a performance fabric that can withstand the elements and not fade in the sun.

fabric covered outdoor sofa
Nicole Dianne Photography

Hang a Pendant Light

Eye-catching light fixtures aren't solely for indoor areas. Make a statement on the patio with a woven chandelier like this one, which Shelby and Kasey van Daley of Daley Home skillfully incorporated into this space.

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pendant light above outdoor dining table
Madeline Harper Photography

Keep Throw Blankets Handy

Make like Meredith Owen of Meredith Owen Interiors and set out some throw blankets so guests can cozy up and still enjoy spending time outdoors when the temps drop at night. As a bonus, stylish blankets will add color and texture to your patio, making them a no-brainer!

RELATED: 14 Best Throw Blankets to Cozy up Your Space

patio with throw blankets
Molly Culver Photography

Opt for an Antiqued Look

For a storied look in the backyard, weave in some antiqued-looking plant pots in the yard for that perfect vintage touch. Anastasia Casey of The Interior Collective scattered together a group of vessels on the ground and incorporated some smaller pieces onto her tablescape.

antiqued plant pots outdoors
Madeline Harper Photography

Display a Succulent Centerpiece

Draw inspiration from Amy Peltier, the founder of Peltier Interiors, and display a centerpiece full of succulents on your outdoor table if you're going for a timeless, non-season specific look. Succulents are easy to maintain, but you can even go the faux plant route if you prefer!

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table with succulent centerpiece
Marisa Vitale

Opt for Stylish Storage

Keep gardening supplies and decorative pieces on a small outdoor-friendly bookshelf that complements the colors of your patio, as illustrated by designer Emily LaMarque of Emily LaMarque Design Studio.

outdoor shelving with storage
Douglas Hill Photography

Bring Out the Bar Carts

Bar carts can also make excellent side tables, as seen here in this space by Suzette Donleavy, the founder of Well Designed Interiors. When you're hosting friends for cocktails, you can switch things out so that these pieces serve their intended function, but we have to admit they look great solely with vases and candles, too!

backyard decor ideas
Patricia Burke

Mix and Match Pillow Patterns

Who says you have to stick to just one design when shopping for outdoor pillows? Create a playful arrangement like this setup from Susan Cohan of Susan Cohan Gardens. Just mix and match various patterns for a collected effect.

mixed pattern pillows
Patricia Burke

Set the Stage for Outdoor Entertaining

Bring a wood table to life with chic tableware and candlesticks. Meg Young of Cailíní Coastal uses taper candle holders of varying heights and arranges them in clusters of three, then layers in fresh floral arrangements.

RELATED: Best Flower Delivery Services That You Can Order Online

outdoor tablescape

Mix and Match Dining Chairs

Seating doesn’t have to be one-note. Designer Mary Patton mixed and matched wrought iron chairs, with bright yellow chairs situated at each head of the table.

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mix and match outdoor dining chairs around table
Molly Culver

Lean Into "Less is More"

To freshen up this Santa Barbara, CA, patio, Taylor Anne Bliss of Taylor Anne Interiors chose to anchor it with a striped umbrella. "A whimsical umbrella surrounded by a neutral palette gives life to any small patio space," Bliss says.

outdoor table with view
Alyssa Rosenheck

Illuminate Your Space With Lanterns

For a cozy layout that sparks conversation, go for a round seating arrangement. Take note from Ryan and Kate Gross of Kate Anne Design and hang bamboo lanterns with dimmable bulbs to enhance the space.

backyard decor ideas
Christian DuRocher

Make Room (in Your Budget) for a Fireplace

Don’t let cool nights keep you inside. Gather around an outdoor fireplace or fire table with "all three sets of chairs facing inward," says Christine Vroom of Christine Vroom Interiors.

backyard decor
Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Arrange an Outdoor "Living Wall"

Freshen up your patio by mounting potted plants to a blank wall, as interior designer Tori Rubinson does here. Pick a wall you can see easily from an outdoor seating area, then fill the pots with low-maintenance cascading plants or herbs.

RELATED: Best Places to Buy Healthy Plants

Stephen Karlisch

Set Up Poolside Seating

Lean into the summer season by arranging dining furniture right at the water’s edge. To create the ultimate retreat, choose pieces made of natural materials, like a weather-treated, all-wood table with chairs, that blend well with the surrounding greenery.

outdoor living space, patio, deck, pool area

Add Some Lawn Games

Invite loved ones to enjoy some friendly competition with a round of corn hole — but don’t skimp on decor. Pepper in items like lanterns and a chic woven chair that will come in handy for quick breaks when the games heat up.

RELATED: Fun Lawn Games for Some Serious Backyard Competition

backyard cornhole game
Lauren Pressey

Create an Intimate Vibe With Furniture

Arrange seating in a way that encourages conversation, plus layer in tables for snacks and stools for extra seating. "The scale of furnishings helps dictate a sense of place and closeness," says Tim Pfeiffer of Hoedemaker Pfeiffer.

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outdoor patio with furniture
Haris Kenjar

Create an Outdoor Counter

You can build a simple outdoor bar on a budget from 4x4 wood pieces and a treated-lumber top. Inject pops of color, advises designer Maggie Griffin to "balance the expanse of wood tones and draw the eye from the interior of the home to the exterior living areas seamlessly."

outdoor living space with counter and bar stools
Brian Bieder Photography

DIY Raised Garden Beds

Place wood garden beds along the edge of your yard to infuse an outdoor dining area with lush greenery. Here, Ashley Goldman of The Gold Hive plants fruit trees and florals for a pop of color.

RELATED: Inexpensive Raised Garden Bed Ideas That Are Easy to DIY

raised garden bed ideas
The Gold Hive for Tilly

Opt for Comfortable Seating

Encourage guests to stay a while with cushioned dining chairs topped with throw pillows. Hang string lights above, so they can relax all evening.

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small backyard ideas foldable umbrella patio
David Tsay

Build a Pergola

Whether it's for a bit of shade or to establish an "outdoor room," a pergola is a great way to elevate a backyard layout. Here, online landscape designer Yardzen uses a wood pergola in one half of the yard to designate a dining area.

RELATED: Backyard Pergola Ideas for Instant Style and Shade

pergola ideas open air wood

Cozy Up in a Canopy Bed

Design a dreamy spot for outdoor napping, like this custom bed with a sheepskin topper. "We added the rattan seating on the opposite side along with an area rug to pull everything together for a relaxed outdoor living space," says designer Tammy Price.

outdoor living space with canopy bed in the garden
Shaye Price

Make It Romantic

Whether it's date night or an intimate family gathering, place a dining table in a quiet corner of your backyard. Then, hang some string lights to set the mood.

patio lights turned on at outdoor evening patio dinner party with pink champagne, charcuterie board and cheese platter
Jeff Wasserman

Use Furniture to Break Up Spaces

Create a natural flow by arranging distinct areas in the backyard, like a section for lounging, eating, drinking or playing games. Outdoor rugs are a great way to separate each zone.

RELATED: 10 Best Outdoor Rugs, According to Testing

small backyard ideas pavers
mike garten

Brighten the Space With a Mirror

Believe it or not, mirrors aren't just for indoors. Dress a bare white wall with a stylish mirror for an instant makeover.

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backyard decorating ideas, outdoor bar station in porch setting
Mike Garten

Craft an Outdoor Living Room

There's no reason why you can't carry the aesthetic of your indoor living room straight outdoors. Comfortable seating, warm lighting and potted plants can do the trick.

backyard decorating ideas, porch with white wicker furniture
Eric Roth

Hang String Lights

Set the mood by draping simple string lights above your outdoor dining table. But don't stop there — add even more warmth with an oversized rug, as seen in the home of Create & Cultivate's Jaclyn Johnson.

backyard decorating ideas, outdoor space with string lights
Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Go for Sculptural Furniture

Sometimes less is more, especially when nature acts as a stunning backdrop. Here, concrete furniture adds visual interest, while letting a striking tree steal the show.

backyard decorating ideas
Dawn Close, Design by Margie Grace

Try a Black and White Palette

Black and white doesn't have to be boring. Create & Cultivate founder Jaclyn Johnson worked with interior designer Ginny Macdonald to make her outdoor oasis as inviting as possible. Thanks to a sleek fire pit and touches of woven accents, the space is picture-perfect.

RELATED: Tour This Beautiful Home That Embraces the Outdoors

backyard decorating ideas, black and white outdoor space
Jessica Bordner

Use Woven Accessories

The simplest styling trick can add a special touch to your outdoor space. The perfect example? Serve refreshing cocktails and easy desserts on a woven tray to impress guests.

backyard decorating ideas, drinks with woven tray
Quentin Bacon

Craft a Cozy Dining Space

Love nothing more than dining al fresco? Arrange a comfortable dining spot, complete with soft throws, decorative pillows and lanterns.

backyard decorating ideas
Mike Garten

Build a Tree House

Delight your kids — and create visual interest — with a tree house that they'll want to hide out in all summer long.

backyard decorating ideas
© 2014 Lisa Romerein

Install a Makeshift Bar

If you're short on space but love to entertain, go for a compact bar setup. A simple fold-out wall shelf, with just enough room for essentials like cutting boards and utensils, is all you need to get the job done, and a barrel can stand in as a cocktail table.

backyard decorating ideas
Lisa Romerein

Upgrade Your Fence

Don't miss the opportunity to deck out a basic backyard fence. An assortment of small potted plants transforms this compact backyard.

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backyard decorating ideas
Mike Garten

Embrace Furniture With a Preppy Twist

Ground your outdoor space — and experiment with a preppy aesthetic — by opting for cheerful plaid cushions.

RELATED: The Outdoor Furniture You Need to Lounge in Style All Season Long

backyard decorating ideas, plaid outdoor seating
Christopher Baker

Set the Mood With a Hanging Candle Holder

If your outdoor dining table setup is on the minimalist side, amp up the look with a hanging candle holder. All it takes are a few simple votives set on top of faux greenery to complete the setup.

backyard decorating ideas, hanging candle holder
Michael Partenio

Install a Window Ledge

With the help of a simple wood board and shelf brackets, a backyard-facing window can serve as your very own at-home-bar. Just make sure your ledge is equal to or wider than the window itself.

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backyard decorating
Mike Garten

Turn a Shed Into a Dining Room

An open shed can be turned into a fabulous dinner party space with the addition of vibrant chairs, a table and some fresh flowers.

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backyard ideas
Getty Images

Pick Double-Duty Furniture

What might seem like an unassuming, functional piece of furniture, a traditional potting bench with multiple levels is actually an ideal piece of storage for any outdoor space. Use it to water plants one day, and serve cold beverages the next!

backyard decorating
Mike Garten

Float a Flower Arrangement

Before guests come over, pop some floating candles and zinnias in a birdbath for an instant water feature. Use whatever size you prefer; these are three inches.

Flower, Yellow, Garden, Spring, Plant, Botany, Table, Petal, Annual plant, water lily,
Michael Partenio

Turn a Porch Into a Cabana

Here's an affordable idea that recreates that vacation feeling. Hanging transparent curtains from the porch ceiling fakes a poolside retreat made for lounging.

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porch curtains
Max Kim-Bee

Make a Magical Fairy Garden

You'll only need a few items to recreate this whimsical garden: dirt, a pot, flowers, rocks and a mini birdhouse. Plus, there's the "fairy dust," which may be just fun glitter but don't tell the kids.

Get the tutorial »

small patio ideas
Mike Garten

Turn a Wood Rake Into a Display

Mounting a wooden-toothed rake by the back door provides a handy spot for both hats and snapdragons. To hang this mason jar filled with florals, create a "handle" out of aluminum wire with ends that extend ½ inch past the lip of the jar. Tighten a metal hose clamp around the lip and over the ends.

Get the tutorial »

Shelf, Twig, Flower, Table, Plant, Branch, Floral design, Textile, Furniture, Room,
Michael Partenio

Painted Over Your Tile

Get the look of a fancy-patterned patio (for a whole lot less) by stenciling geometric shapes right on the ground, like this project from Old Brand New. Be sure to top them with Sherwin-Williams Paver Sealer to keep colors bright.

porch swing
Old Brand New

Fill Shutters With Plants

Oversized louvers (old or new) can be used to display hearty succulents or mosses. Good Housekeeping Institute tip: Put them on the shady side of your home for easy growing.

succulent shutters
Lila B. Design/Sophie de Lignerolles

DIY Your Own Hanging Planter

You don't have to worry about drainage when you plant flowers in colorful strainers. Plus, twine wraps neatly around the handles for quick mounting.

Get the tutorial at Country Living »

hanging colander planters
Brian Woodcock

Make a Bird House

Old-school plates can become a new tin roof for wrens and martins. Just use a screw or some hot glue to outfit a painted roost.

Get the tutorial at Country Living »

license plate birdhouse
Brian Woodcock

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