How to Create an Outdoor Living and Dining Room On a Budget

Inside: A look at our budget friendly patio makeover with tips for how to create an outdoor living room and dining area on a budget.

With some really fun and easy DIY projects, I managed to turn my patio into an outdoor living room that we’ve already used ten times more than we did in the last 3 years combined! My only regret is that we didn’t do this sooner.

I can’t wait to give you the tour and show you how we took our hum-drum patio and made it a true extension of our home and how you can use these same ideas to transform your outdoor space.

The key is taking what makes our indoor spaces so cozy and making them work for outside!

budget friendly patio makeover

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Before the Patio Makeover

This is what we started with. No color, no where comfortable to sit, and just plain yucky.

outdoor patio before

How we created an outdoor living room and dining room on a budget

Comfortable and Durable Metal Outdoor Furniture

The first thing we did was invest in some nice outdoor furniture. We did our homework when it came to shopping for outdoor furniture and knew that we needed it to be both low maintenance and comfortable.

We found this beautiful Gatewood set at Lowes. I loved that I was able to chose from a variety of colors for the cushions and because it is metal we can wipe it down easily and won’t have to worry about maintaining the wood.

*The Gatewood collection at Lowes is no longer available but I sourced similar metal seating sets and found these with the same shape and colorful cushions: grey metal set,   dark wood metal chairs, or this metal set with clean lines.outdoor living room revealThe furniture was by far the biggest chunk of the budget but we needed this space to be somewhere we want to be. We’ve already used this space almost every single day. It’s been the perfect spot to relax, watch the kids play, have a glass of wine, or read a book.

Outdoor Lighting

When it comes to outdoor lighting we just didn’t have it in the budget to do wiring.

Besides, our 5 year plan has a pool in mind and with that, will probably come changes to this patio cover anyway. Right now was not the time to invest in outdoor lighting. So we DIYed this Outdoor Candle Chandelier from an old dining room chandelier as an inexpensive solution.

Awesome outdoor living room inspiration with so many easy diy ideas to make it beautiful on a budget!
The outdoor candle chandelier didn’t cost us anything and is the perfect focal point for over our outdoor dining area. And the light it gives off is nothing short of awesome. DIY outdoor candle chandelier
And who doesn’t love a bright green chandelier? Something I definitely can not get away with inside my house but this was the perfect excuse to go bright and tie in to the rest of the outdoor decor.

Outdoor Curtains and Pillows

One of the things that make our indoor spaces so inviting is all of the soft textures. So when the goal was to want to relax the same way in my outdoor living room I knew I had to add some outdoor pillows and curtains.

I toyed with the idea of sewing my own pillows with outdoor fabric but when I saw these ones at World Market, they were perfect! They went nicely with my furniture cushions and gave me the opportunity to add some more fun and bold colors to my color scheme!

I love a good DIY project, but it would’ve cost me more to make them myself than it was to buy these, so it was a no brainer.

The outdoor curtains on the other hand were something I knew I would have to DIY. Who knew outdoor curtains were so expensive?

My DIY drop cloth outdoor curtains were a very budget friendly solution and I got to add the exact colors I wanted. If you haven’t already seen how I made these drop cloth curtains and the outdoor curtain rod you will want to check out this post. drop-cloth-outdoor-curtains P.S. Lot’s are asking about the side table. It is metal which is great for having around the kids and I got it at World Market when I bought the pillows!

Ready for Entertaining with and Outdoor Beverage Station

We’d already started to spend a lot of time here when we realized that we were missing a surface that we could serve from.

Then a little garage sale hunting led me to this diaper changing table that with a little DIY action I made a perfect outdoor beverage station.  Awesome outdoor living room inspiration with so many easy diy ideas to make it beautiful on a budget!
This outdoor drink station has been the perfect spot to set up drinks or munchies and is out of reach of the kiddos, which means more relaxing for this momma! Awesome outdoor living room inspiration with so many easy diy ideas to make it beautiful on a budget!
It also makes for a great sideboard when we have dinner outside.

Music Outside

In this house no space is complete without music. But going back to the whole issue of wiring…it just isn’t in the budget. So when Sonos sent me this incredible and easy to move around sound system I was so excited to try it out!

It isn’t something that we can leave outside all the time, but since it is so easy to move around, when we want music outside we simply carry a speaker out, plug it in, and control everything else from our cell phones or tablet! Sonos outdoor music speaker

A Little Outdoor Art

The last little element to finish off the space (and cover up our ugly stucco) was the addition of some outdoor art! We always think to put art on our walls indoors, so why it never really occurred to me to add some art outside is beyond me. Better late than never right? easy and inexpenisve DIY outdoor artThis simple piece of outdoor art was a perfect way to add just a bit more personality to my outdoor living room and finish off the look of my drink station.

So what do you think? You want to come over for an adult beverage don’t-cha?

Let me be the first to tell you that if you’ve always wanted to create an outdoor space, but year after year it’s at the bottom of the priority list, don’t put it off any longer!

Being outside makes me feel so alive and has become one of our favorite spots to sit and chat after the kids are in bed or in the afternoon while the kids play.

Heck, it’s become our go to spot for just hanging out without the temptation of the TV. This is what the afternoon around here looks like… snacking and reading, reading and snacking. Bliss I tell ya!

outdoor living room reveal

outdoor living room reveal

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About Corey

Corey is the creative behind Hey There, Home where she shares easy-to-follow and beautiful home decor and entertaining ideas. Her mission? To make home decor accessible to everyone, even if you don't consider yourself crafty, and to empower people to decorate their homes in a way that they can actually be lived in, not just looked at.

0 thoughts on “How to Create an Outdoor Living and Dining Room On a Budget

  1. Sharon Stratton says:


    I am one of your students and absolutely love your classes and your work.
    We are planning to build a house and you just solved my outdoor living
    space dilemma of how to block the 4:00 p.m. west sunshine–a curtain, of
    course!! I love your whole outdoor space. The chandelier — I may already
    have something that will work, just needs a chain. I will search for those
    sonos speakers cause I do love my music. Thank you!!!

  2. Mary Winquest says:

    Love this budget friendly patio makeover. The whole thing looks warm and inviting. Absolutely beautiful. We’re also on a budget so your design ideas really hit home. Never thought about using drop cloths for curtains. They turned out fantastic. Thanks again for sharing.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Mary! So glad you found inspiration here 🙂

  3. Mandy says:

    When you revamp your patio cover and add electrical wiring, be sure to consider installing one or more overhead fans at the same time. Our porch was already roofed in when we bought the place and retrofitting it for ceiling fans was quite the little adventure. My role was to teeter on top of a ladder with my hand in the roof cavity and say “No, not yet” and listen to a lot of bad language until we got all the wiring fished through. It was worth it though. Here in Florida, overhead fans add three months to your outdoor relaxation. Bonus: flies and mosquitoes hate ceiling fans almost as much as you hate having them around you.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Mandy, thanks for that super helpful suggestion!

  4. Laura Gonzalez says:


    What a beautiful back yard! And…exactly…like…mine? Then I saw your art. I swear you must be from the same community…Eastlake?


  5. Stephanie Marley says:

    Hi! I absolutely love your outdoor decor! These are all my favorite colors. Could you please tell me if the Sunbrella fabric you’ve chosen for you cushions is Cast Lagoon? If not, what is the color? We’re renovating our RV and I’m doing the inside dinette and couch in Sunbrella fabrics and this is exactly the color I want!

    Thank you!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Stephanie,
      It looks like they aren’t making that patio furniture collection anymore. I’ll need to update with a similar product.

      The fabric came with the allen and roth set. I don’t think it was cast lagoon. Mine is definitely more teal. I found this fabric for you that is a pretty close match. Good luck with your renovation!

    2. Stephanie says:

      Great thank you very much for your reply Corey! 🙂

  6. Tammy says:

    I am so happy I found your site. This is exactly what I had in mind fir my patio. The chandelier is what I had in mind. Now to find one. The curtains were on my list. I am stealing the baby changing Station idea and adding wheels with stoppers so I can move it around. Beautiful and inviting patio. I would stop over for a drink 😊

    1. Oh my goodness Tammy, I love the idea of adding wheels to the cart so you can move it around! You are welcome for a drink any time but it sounds like you are on your way to your own paradise!

  7. Michelle says:

    Your ideas are amazing! As soon as the weather breaks I am doing 4 of them 1. Drop cloth outdoor curtains with accent colors 2. Inexpensive curtain rods to go with 3. Candle chandelier (after I thrift store shop/craigslist/garage sale)4. Beverage station (after I thrift store shop/craigslist/garage sale). Can’t wait. Send me an address so I can forward you my before and after pics!

  8. I LOVE this Corey! Outdoor spaces are my favorite and I’m definitely going to have to try the Sonos!

  9. Oh my goodness what a beautiful space!! I wish we were having outdoor weather! Love the bright pops of color. Such a relaxing space!

  10. […] stands that have instantly made my potted plants look beautiful and added a ton of style to my outdoor living space. This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for supporting TinySidekick.  Full disclosure can […]

  11. Pat says:

    Fabulous, just fabulous! Love the colors and style! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Nicole says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this makeover! We are in the planning stages for making our backyard patio into a functional and enjoyable space and there is so much inspiration here. Is there any chance you could tell me where the candle lantern sitting next to you in the BHG photo is from? I love it!

    1. Hi Nicole! Thanks so much. The lantern is from Home Goods/ Marshall’s.

  13. Rebecca Styer says:

    Love the entire outdoor space, fantastic!!
    I also, have stucco, how did you hang you outdoor wall art?


    1. Hi Becky! Thank you so much. I hung the wall art with a screw. We drilled it into the stucco. Just be sure it is the right type of screw (for stucco) and you should be fine. Also, be sure that it is placed so that you can use it for different things throughout the years.

  14. […] Diego in style with the addition of an outdoor drink station.  This is the final project in the outdoor living room that we are loving. I promise that first thing on my list of to-dos when I get back is to […]

  15. Angela says:

    What a great space! We love our Sonos speakers, too!

  16. […] weather is warming up and around here that means more time outside!  Last year I spruced up my outdoor living space and it is definitely one of my favorite spots to relax and spend time with my family and friends. […]

  17. […] originally shared a sneak peek of these last summer when I revealed my outdoor living room makeover, but never shared the easy details for these stitched edge napkins with you, so here […]

  18. I love the candle chandelier, it looks beautiful and fits to your outdoor living room. I wish I had that in my house.

  19. This makeover is just gorgeous. I just found it on Pinterest and it’s given me just the inspiration I need.

    Queensland, Australia

  20. Debbie says:

    Love your redo! Looks so inviting……………. Love you dinning set but didn’t find it on the link? Can you give a little more info on it?


    1. Hi Debbie. Are you talking about the dining table and chairs? That is from World Market from a few years back. It is made of wood, so it has been refinished. I don’t think they carry this exact one anymore, but they are a great place to find mid priced outdoor dining furniture and I’m sure it is all on sale right now. If you were talking about the love seat and chairs, let me know via email ([email protected]) and I can send you the link. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions.

  21. WOAH, Corey!!! Such a stunning reveal. It truly is an outdoor oasis. I picture tons of family dinners, wine nights, and just overall fun with friends and family! Exactly what a backyard should be about!! Enjoy it!

  22. […] a regular around here you know I love this shade of green cause I used it throughout my outdoor living room but it is the gold hardware that they added that just puts it into a whole other […]

  23. What an amazing transformation Corey! I love the colors you chose, and am super jealous of all the space you have!

  24. […] Now I have this fun centerpiece for my outdoor table and the colors tie in perfectly with my outdoor living room! […]

  25. Hi Corey!
    This is truly an oasis! I love your choice of color and the curtains make it a cozy retreat! All of it ties in so well!
    Great job!

  26. Janet says:

    Simple beautiful! Loving how the colours come together and the calming effect of a great space. .

  27. WOW! This is awesome! The glass of wine is a nice touch, too!

  28. Oh this is gorgeous! Love the colors your chose and the pergola is so nice with those curtains.

  29. I saw this on the bold abode link party and had to see it. I love everything about this space. The colors, the hanging light, the pillows. All gorgeous. I can see from the art work that you are in southern CA. I grew up in Oceanside CA and love having a ton of outdoor space. That weather allows you to enjoy it all the time. Just discovered your blog and can’t wait to read more!

  30. Beva says:

    Love the white side table …Where did you get it ? World market ?

    1. Yep. It is from World Market!

  31. Corey, holy cow, this transformation is GORGEOUS! I love all the bright pops of color and I’m totally stealing that candle chandelier idea when we finally have a patio of our own. Can you please come redesign my house for me??

    1. I work for food! hahaha

  32. Absolutely stunning. Congratulations on a great job and I hope you and your family enjoy your space.

  33. Michelle says:

    Utterly stunning. Love your colours. It came together wonderfully. Great job Corey!!

    1. Thanks so much Michelle.

  34. LOVE. IT! It all came together beautifully Corey!!! You’ve seriously thought of everything and each and every projects adds so much to the space! What a perfect place to hang out with your family and enjoy a lovely Summer!

    1. Thanks Kristi! We are loving the space and I’m kicking myself that we didn’t do it last year. Oh well, better late than never right?

  35. It looks AMAZING, Corey!! I love everyyyy detail!

  36. May I come over and enjoy a glass with you , friend? Turned out awesome! Oh,…and I saw you on apartment therapy the other day with your drop cloth curtains..Congrats! Pinning!

    1. Heck yes! When will you be here?

  37. Anne says:

    Job well done!!!

  38. Oh I’m so jealous! I love it. I love the colors you picked too.

    1. Thanks so much! These are colors I absolutely love but don’t use in my house at all so outside was the perfect spot! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  39. Absolutely perfect! I love the colors you have used in the outdoor space and the defined areas. Where else can you have a limey green chandy? That’s got to be my favorite!
    ~ Ashley

  40. I love it Corey- it turned out so well…. so awesome to see all the pieces put together. Your drink station is amazing, and I love the wall art. So jealous that you get to live in Southern California! You must get to enjoy this space almost all year round!!

    1. Really? I’m jealous of your awesome view! It is missing a baby changing table turned beverage station, but that can be fixed! Kidding. Your patio space is stunning!

  41. I love what you did with the space!!! The colors are so fun and the curtains just make it so much more comfy feeling!

  42. Al says:

    What a wonderful transformation. I love the colours and how welcoming the furniture looks, but my favourite part is the green chandelier. I would love to have such an inviting space to relax outside with a book and a beverage.

  43. Corey!!! It’s totally amazing. I love every detail!

    1. Thanks friend! I’m just so glad I got it done. I have a bit of design ADD sometimes and jump to a new project in the middle of another. I guess summer was my deadline right?

  44. Turned out so excellent. I love spending time outside and it really makes such a different when your space is lovely and comfortable, too! Great work.

  45. It is beautiful, Corey! I can only imagine how amazing it must be to sit out there and relax with your family. I hadn’t seen your paint stick art yet and I love it! Great job!

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