The weather is warming up and spring is in the air.  What do you see when you look out at your outdoor living space?  Do you see a wonderful and inviting space where people will want to hang out, relax, and have fun?  Or, do you see a neglected blank slate where nothing much is really happening?  If you live in a climate where the winters can be brutal and cold, it’s easy to have your outdoor space feel very neglected each year when spring rolls around. Even in warm weather climates, we tend to let things slide outdoors over the winter months when it’s often chilly and wet. 

Well, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.  Get ready to add on some wonderful outdoor living space, a space that will be inviting and colorful and the best part is it won’t break the bank!  Ready, set, go!

To me, the first thing you need to do is take stock of what you have already on hand for your outdoor space.  Maybe a patio set or lots of pots for flowers and plants.  Whatever you already have, take stock of it.  Is it usable?  Here are some easy and affordable ways to fix up what you already have or to fix up great finds you may make at a garage sale or thrift store.

1.            Patio Furniture:  Does your patio furniture look worse for wear or maybe you found a couple of great outdoor furniture pieces at your local thrift store.  How can you make it usable again?  Well clean it off good and grab some spray paint.  As you know, spray paint fixes everything!  Have good furniture but need new cushions?  Watch for sales, check garage sales for purchasing new cushions or if you want to recover what you already have, consider using shower curtains that are waterproof.  There are lots that are made to get wet and it’s a very budget-friendly way to save the cushions you have and make them look brand new again…on a budget!  You don’t even have to sew them if you don’t want to.  Use Velcro to secure the seams. 

2.            Outdoor Accessories:  Yes, you want to accessorize your outdoor space much like you do your indoor space.  Pillows can be purchased especially for outdoor use.  You can also make your own with foam for the pillow and cover with outdoor fabric or waterproof shower curtains.  No sew here too if you want to go the Velcro method!  Pretty candle holders and candles add color, interest, and ambient light.  Want more ambient light?  They sell the solar garden lights in very affordable packages at all the big-box stores plus I have seen them in the dollar stores.  Buy a bundle and add them into your garden or around your patio in your planters to make your space extra special after dark!

3.            Garden Space:  Even if all you have for your outdoor space is a small balcony, you can still bring color in with some plants and potted flowers.  Check your dollar store for cute, colorful pots.  If you have tin cans of any size, all you need is several different colors of spray paint to make really cute and colorful pots.  Just remember to punch some holes in the bottom for drainage.  Choose your flowers and plants according to your space.  Lots of sun, get those plants that flourish in sunlight.  Lots of shade?  Make sure you get flowers and plants specifically for shady areas.  They also have lots of colorful clay and cement pieces to add to your garden, like stepping stones and other ceramic décor.  Check your dollar stores and discount stores.  Add some extra color and interest with some big beautiful vases.  I just got four great pieces at a garage sale for a total of 30.00.  They are metal and sealed wood so they won’t break if your dogs or kids run by and knocks them over!

These three areas will give you a great start to making an outdoor space so nice, you won’t want to come in!  Watch for my next blog when I show you how easy it is to actually do some outdoor project ideas!

Now, what will you do next to love where you live?