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Outdoor living space ideas on a budget

Outdoor living spaces are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners as they provide a way to extend your living area into the great outdoors. 

At Discounted Patios, we supply and install a variety of outdoor structures such as patios, verandahs, pergolas, and carports to residential homes in Victoria. So, we’ve worked with a variety of different outdoor living spaces — giving us plenty of inspiration to share with you when it comes to design and function.

Outdoor living areas are so amazing, as they allow you to enjoy the natural beauty of your surroundings and provide a space for relaxation and entertainment. Outdoor spaces are also perfect for hosting gatherings with friends and family, creating a space for children to play and allowing for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life. 

We’re sharing our expertise in creating high-quality outdoor living space ideas on a budget so you can now achieve the perfect outdoor living area for your home.

Planning Your Outdoor Living Space

The first step is planning your outdoor space.

Assessing your needs and wants

Assessing your needs and wants for your outdoor living space is a crucial first step in creating a functional and enjoyable area. 

Start by considering the primary purpose of the space, whether it’s for entertaining guests, relaxation, or outdoor dining. 

Think about how many people will typically use the space and what activities you’d like to accommodate, such as grilling, gardening, or playing games.

Consider the weather and climate in your area, too. This will impact the types of materials and features that will work best in your space. 

By taking the time to assess your needs and wants, you can design an outdoor living space that perfectly suits your lifestyle and enhances how you enjoy your home.

Choosing a suitable location

Louvre patio roof

Where will the space be? Is it your backyard? Frontyard? Maybe it’s more of a patio or balcony situation. 

You’ll want to make the most of the space you have and make sure you choose a suitable spot. For example, if you’re wanting to set up a TV or electronics, it’ll be important that the area is undercover and has a power point nearby.

Setting a budget

What budget are you working with?

Setting a budget for your outdoor project is such an important aspect of the planning process. 

Firstly, consider what you can realistically afford to spend on the project. Then, make a list of the features you want, based on your budget — prioritise these, too. 

Depending on your budget, you may need to compromise on different elements or opt for more cost-effective alternatives. 

Make sure you account for all potential expenses, including the materials, labour, and any permits you might need to obtain.

And remember to also set aside some money for unexpected expenses that may come up during the project. It can be easy to get carried away with ideas for your outdoor living space, so setting a realistic budget helps you ensure you won’t overspend and have to compromise on your overall vision.

Sketching a plan

Sketching a rough layout for your outdoor space helps you visualise the space and make decisions about its layout and all the different features.

Start by measuring the area you want to transform and sketch a rough layout. Consider the flow of the space, like how you’ll enter it. Then consider how you want to use each area and any important features you’ll want to incorporate.

Some neat outdoor living space ideas include seating areas to relax in, dining areas, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and, of course, garden beds.

Once you’ve brainstormed all the elements you want to include and a rough layout, you can get started creating a functional design in line with your vision and budget.

Budget-Friendly Ideas for Outdoor Living Spaces

Covered patio area

DIY projects and upcycling

A super budget-friendly idea is the upcycling route. Jump on Facebook Marketplace and pick up some affordable furniture that you can upcycle.

A new coat of paint or a re-upholster can create a seriously great-looking piece of furniture for a fraction of the cost.

Using inexpensive materials

It goes without saying but using inexpensive materials is an awesome way to take your budget further. 

There are plenty of low-cost options that can still create a beautiful and functional space. 

Create a seating area using repurposed materials like wooden pallets or cinder blocks. 

Consider adding plants and greenery to your space to not only enhance its aesthetic appeal but provide numerous benefits like shade and privacy. By being creative and resourceful, you can create a beautiful outdoor living space without breaking the bank.

Simplifying your design

When it comes to creating an outdoor living space, it’s easy to get carried away with grand plans and high-end features that make your costs stack up quickly.

Simplifying your design helps you save on costs while still achieving an inviting and functional outdoor space. 

One way to do this is to focus on the essentials and prioritise the features that matter most to you. For example, if you enjoy dining outdoors, invest in a quality dining set but skip the fancy lighting fixtures. 

Creating an inviting outdoor space on a budget

Choose the right furniture & look for pre-loved pieces

When selecting your furniture, consider the style and colour scheme of your space. Opt for pieces that complement your design and add to the overall look and feel. 

Comfort is also key, so choose pieces that are both comfortable and functional. Consider how you’ll use the space, whether it’s for lounging, dining, or entertaining, and choose furniture that works for your vision. 

Quality is important, too. Invest in durable materials that can withstand the elements and will last for years to come. 

And, of course, be sure to arrange your furniture in a way that creates a welcoming and functional flow. By taking these factors into account, you can create an outdoor living space that is both stylish and inviting.

Adding colour and texture

Insulated flat roof covering an outdoor living area

Colour and texture are amazing for enhancing the visual appeal of your outdoor living space. 

One way to add colour is to incorporate plants and flowers in your outdoor design. Choose a variety of plants with different colours and textures to create visual interest and depth. 

Or, add colour through accessories like throw pillows, outdoor rugs, and decorative accents.

Incorporating lighting

This is essential for both functionality and ambience.

Lighting is important for practical reasons, it allows you to see and navigate your outdoor space after dark. But it can also transform the look and feel of your outdoor space.

There are so many different types of lighting options to consider, such as string lights, path lights, and spotlights. 

When selecting your lighting, consider the style and design of your outdoor space and choose lighting that complements your overall outdoor aesthetic. 

Including plants and greenery

Like we said before, plants and greenery are amazing ways to incorporate colour and texture into your outdoor living space.

No outdoor space is complete without greenery — it sets the scene, seamlessly marries your indoor and outdoor spaces, and creates a beautiful outdoor space without breaking the bank.

What about an outdoor living room?

Louvre patio roof

Transforming your outdoor space into an outdoor living room is a great way to extend your living space and create a comfortable and inviting area to relax or entertain guests in. 

We especially love this option for small units and apartments. You can create a homely feel outside through the addition of rugs, comfortable seating, and other living room-like pieces like side tables and coffee tables.

Make the most of your old indoor furniture, or take a look at budget-friendly stores to get these pieces at a great price.

A projector to enjoy films and TV outside can only add to this vibe.

Maximising Small Outdoor Spaces

Making use of vertical space

When it comes to designing your outdoor living space, don’t forget to make use of vertical space. 

Vertical space can be used to add height and interest to your outdoor design, not to mention, to maximise the use of limited space. 

Consider using tall planters, trellises, or hanging baskets to add greenery and texture to your outdoor walls or fences. 

Or, opt for a vertical herb garden to provide fresh herbs for your cooking needs. By incorporating vertical space, you can create a more dynamic and visually appealing outdoor space while making the most of your available area.

Using furniture that doubles as storage

When designing an outdoor living space, it’s important to consider storage options. 

Using furniture that doubles as storage is the perfect way to keep your outdoor area organised and tidy while maximising the use of space. 

Opt for a bench or ottoman with built-in storage, so you can store cushions and other outdoor accessories. 

By incorporating furniture that doubles as storage, you can create a functional and organised outdoor living space without sacrificing style, comfort, or too much money.

Creating zones for different activities

A white patio roof with a dark frame over an outdoor kitchen and seating area

To make the most of your outdoor living space, create zones for different activities.

Think different, distinct areas for dining, lounging, and entertaining to make the most of the available area. 

You can use outdoor rugs, furniture placement, or different types of lighting to create a visual separation between the zones. By creating zones, you can enhance the functionality of your outdoor space and create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for all your outdoor activities.

Adding special touches to your outdoor living space

These ideas aren’t necessarily the most budget-friendly, but they can certainly be worth the cost for the touch they add to your home’s outdoor living space.

Adding a fire pit or outdoor fireplace

A fire pit is an amazing addition to any outdoor living space. It creates warmth and ambience for gatherings and extends the use of your outdoor living space into the cooler months. 

There are many different styles and designs to choose from, including built-in or portable options, and you can customise these with seating and accessories to create a cozy and inviting outdoor lounge area.

Creating a focal point

Tie together the overall design of your outdoor living space and create a point of visual interest. 

You can do this by including a large plant or outdoor decor piece as a focal point or designing a unique seating area with statement furniture that draws the eye. 

A focal point can add personality and character to your outdoor living space while creating a sense of balance and harmony.

Personalising your space with decor

Decor is the perfect way to enhance your indoor and outdoor spaces. Extend your indoor living area into an outdoor living room with throw pillows, blankets, and rugs for a cozy and inviting feel, and incorporate outdoor artwork, candles, and plants to create a personalised space that reflects your style and taste. 

Be sure to choose decor that is weather-resistant and can withstand the elements to keep your outdoor space looking great all season long.

Upgrade your home & lifestyle.

Let our experts create the perfect outdoor living space to maximise your lifestyle and add value to your home. 

Book your onsite measure and same-day quote today.

Upgrade your home & lifestyle.

Let our experts create the perfect outdoor living space to maximise your lifestyle and add value to your home. 

Book your onsite measure and same-day quote today.

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