How To Create An Outdoor Living And Dining Room On A Budget


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!

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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.

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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.

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(The Gatewood collection at Lowes is no longer available but I sourced similar ones and found these metal seating sets with the same shape and colorful cushions at Wayfair.)

The 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.

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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.

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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.

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 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.

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P.S. Lots 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 an 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.

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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! It also makes for a great sideboard when we have dinner outside.

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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? This 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.

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

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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!

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