This is our patio area I put together when we lived in Oregon! I was so happy with the way it came out. I truly believe that you don't have to sacrifice something that is gorgeous just to get something that is cheap. I am so passionate about being thrifty and frugal, but I never want myself or my home to look "thrifty" or "frugal". I spent about $15.00 on stuff I didn't have already. ($100.00 total on everything including the chandelier) I truly believe you can have the best of both worlds. Hopefully this post will give you some guidelines on how I accomplished this when doing our Patio Makeover!
I cannot express enough how important lighting is in a room. (outdoor room in this case) You can have gorgeous decor, colors and everything laid out just right, but if you don't have good lighting it throws everything off. Whether the light fixture is ugly, or there is inadequate lighting; you just will not get good results if you do not have "good" lighting. I have seen people spend so much money re-doing a room and then leave a 20 year old ceiling fan as the only lighting in a room. To me, when working on a make over, the first thing I consider is "do I need to change the lighting?" Having proper lighting in a room, or taking it one step further... having beautiful lighting in a room can change everything!
The chandelier I hung on my patio was actually one I had ordered for our wedding through Koyal Wholesale. It was $60.00 full price, but since I had ordered a bunch of stuff through them, I ended up getting quite the good discount. It plugs in to the wall which is an awesome choice for outdoor dining because you generally don't want to hard wire anything in. There is another online website called Shop Wild Things, that has awesome, cheap, plug in lights as well. If you have kids and want to do something more casual they have some great options for that as well.
2) Color Scheme:
I won't get into color theory because it would probably bore most of you to tears. (personally It really excites me, but I am weird ;) I love color!) But I will say this, given a choice between monochromatic neutrals or adding in splashes of color I will, more often than not, choose color. I love using pink and blue/aqua together because they are on opposite sides of the color wheel. (it really does make a difference!) If you want to go with a more monochromatic neutral color scheme than you must add texture, lots and lots of texture, otherwise you will end up with a space that is really not visually appealing at all, it will just look boring. If you want to add in color you can never go wrong using fresh flowers! I ended up getting these flowers and the vases for super cheap at our local Safeway. The vases are so pretty and I got them for $4.00 a piece. Just in the floral dept. They were marked clear down!
The runner I got at Big Lots! and the wine glasses at Dollar Tree. I know right? I love Dollar Tree! Click here to order them from Dollar Tree online. Did you know you can order from Dollar Tree online? Well now you do!
For this project I used Lill curtains from Ikea that I already had! They are $2.50 per panel. You could not make them for that price! They are huge, and I also use them indoors behind floor to ceiling (96") curtains. They are so cheap. and actually surprisingly durable. All we did with these Lill Curtains is hang them up with thumb tacks. Then tied the middle into a knot. It instantly changed the look of our patio!
I think that typically when the average person tries to pull off the less is more look, they end up with something that looks piddly (is that a word?) and sparse and quite honestly bad. I want you to imagine what this table would look like with just three candles on it. It would not look as nice! Use all the candles that you have, you cannot go wrong with more candles. If you are worried about things looking messy than do a straight line like I did here. But I am telling you Lots of candles = Big impact! Plus candles are so cheap. These votives in glass holders I also got at Big Lots for $6.00.
Here are my sources again:
Chandelier: Koyal Wholesale
Vases and Flowers: Safeway
Sheer panels: Ikea
Runner and Votives: Big Lots
Wine Glasses: Dollar Tree
Now maybe you are looking to do something more family friendly or less romantic for your patio, I still believe that if you follow the basic design principals I have laid out you will be so pleased with the results!
Here's to Happy Outdoor Living!
P.S. The patio set I had got for $25.00 at Fred Meyer it was the floor model. It was 90% off!
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