8 Budget-Friendly Ways to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space

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outdoor decor

With winter behind us and warmer temperatures (hopefully) more consistently sticking around, your family is likely spending more and more time outside. And if you have a yard, a patio, or even a small balcony, it might feel weathered after the long winter. Now is a great time to spruce up your outdoor space and bring it back to life for the spring and summer.

It is healthy for both the mind and the body to be outdoors. This is true any time, but may be especially important right now if you’ve been cooped up inside, due to the combination of less-than-ideal weather and staying at home a lot more over the past few years. Make your outdoor space more inviting, and you’ll be more likely to head out there for quality family time. And your kids will hopefully follow suit, opting to step away from screens in favor of fresh air.

Small updates to your outdoor space can make a big impact, and it doesn’t require a lot of effort or money. Spend a little time DIY-ing out in the yard, add some lights, and you’ve got a whole new space that your family will happily spend their time in. Many people are back to traveling this year, but for the days when you’re home, having a brightly-updated yard helps create a lovely personal staycation oasis.

Here are eight simple ways to give your outdoor space an upgrade, plus our favorite items to help you do it. 


1. Brighten it up with lights

Adding string lights will give your space an instant glow and will make your outdoor space a spot you’ll want to hang out in, even after the sun sets. Classic bistro lights, small twinkly lights, or a couple of lanterns will help to set a calming atmosphere.

outdoor lanterns

Outdoor Decorative Lanterns

Besides being a cool source for lighting, these lanterns are a great way to add dimension to your outdoor garden or patio.

3 sizes available


Outdoor String Lights

Shatterproof bulbs make these cute (and functional!) string lights perfect for outdoor spaces.


Glass & Metal Lanterns

This matte black lantern will easily become a staple in your outdoor space. With an open canister for a bright glow, it makes for a great tabletop accessory.

available in 2 sizes


2. Add more plants

If your outdoor space is already lush, more plants aren’t a necessity, but if you live in a city or have a blank slate balcony or terrace, adding green will bring your outdoor space to life. Use fun pots to make your plants stand out.

World Market

Ceramic Sevilla Outdoor Planters

For all the plant moms who have struggled to find aesthetic planters, here's your solution! With draining holes, a matte finish and an aesthetic look, these pots are perfect for growing all of your plants in style.

2 sizes & 3 colors available


Hanging Galvanized Planter Set

These vintage hanging plant pots are ideal for outdoor extravagance. The set of two is perfect for beginners, experts, and anyone in between.

2 sizes available as a set

outdoor planters
World Market

Dotted Terracotta Dorothy Outdoor Planters

An array of random dots and terracotta create a signature home for your favorite plant. Suitable for outdoor or indoor use, this pot is great for growing your garden.

2 sizes available


Black Indoor/Outdoor Planters

These modern plant pots are ideal for anyone who wants to grow their garden quickly in style. Featuring up to six sizes, these matte black pots are great for inside or out.

8 sizes available


3. Include a statement outdoor rug

There’s something about a rug that can really pull a space together. Durable indoor/outdoor rugs are a great choice to instantly give your outdoor space a cohesive and inviting look.

outdoor rug

Neutral Fringe Outdoor Rug

Ready to spruce up your patio or deck? Create a home outside your home with this rug featuring a pop of color and and an amazing feel.

several sizes available


Washable Outdoor Black Rug

This timeless piece will transform any outdoor area.

2 colors & multiple sizes available

outdoor rugs

Opalhouse Block Stamp Outdoor Rug

The perfect addition to any backyard barbecue, this rug is perfect for both style and comfort.

4 colors & multiple sizes available

outdoor rugs

Tufted Cream Outdoor Rug

Boho, anyone? This geometric staple is perfect for adding a layer of natural and earth tones to any outside area.

multiple sizes available


outdoor decor

Source: @luckyandi


4. Update your current outdoor seating

If you already have patio furniture but it’s looking a little sad, you can easily give it a new life. Depending on the material of your furniture, you may be able to give your chairs and table a fresh coat of paint, and they will look totally new. This is a fun DIY family project that can be done outside and your little helpers will be proud of their contribution to the yard. Adding new dining chairs or comfy cushions is also a worthwhile upgrade.


Open Weave Outdoor Dining Chair

This French-inspired rattan-like chair is perfect for days sitting in the sun or nights hanging with family and friends.

2 colors available

World Market

Striped Adirondack Cushion

Make one of your patio or deck chairs a little more comfortable with this preppy striped cushion.

4 colors available

outdoor furniture

Outdoor Chaise Cushion

This UV-resistant chair cushion is perfect for moms who truly want to have fun in the sun this spring and summer.

3 colors available


5. Add extra comfy seating options

And if you’re looking for new seating options, add a couple of poufs or relaxing lounge chairs to your current set up. If you have the means, there are high-quality outdoor sets that will really upgrade your space and will last for years. If you are instead looking for more of a quick fix, there are plenty of seating option for under $100.


Natural Woven Outdoor Pouf

Kick your feet up and relax with this comfy and firm pouf.

outdoor furniture

Palm Fresh Outdoor Pouf

Bring the jungle right to your back door with this fun pattern that also provides a comfortable seat or cushion for your feet.


Brommo Chaise

Transform your outdoor space with this fold-away chair. Sturdy and comfortable, it's perfect for anywhere.


6. Toss in a few pillows

Comfort is an ongoing theme here. Buy a couple of outdoor pillows for the coziness factor and as another colorful element. Even if they are labeled as outdoor pillows, it’s best to store them inside or in a covered area to keep them in good shape for the long haul.

outdoor decor
Etsy | Pattern Behavior

Outdoor Blue Heron Throw Pillow

We love the pretty design on this blue heron throw pillow that's weather-resistant for outdoor use.

outdoor decor

Outdoor Throw Pillow

This geometric pattern is perfect for sprucing up any outside area and adding comfort to your seating options.

Pottery Barn

Tassle Trim Indoor/Outdoor Pillow

This tassel-trimmed pillow is perfect for indoor or outdoor use. With comfort and design in mind, it's ideal for anywhere.

5 colors available


7. Bring in unbreakable dishes and serving items

And if you’re dining outside, have a separate set of outdoor dishes and serve-wear on hand. Look for shatterproof options. Dishes made of melamine are a great choice; they look ceramic but won’t break when dropped.

outdoor decor

Melamine Dinner Plate

Who doesn't love a fun dinner plate? These floral dishes are made with durable melamine so if they're dropped outside, they won't break.

2 patterns available

Crate & Barrel

Melamine Dinnerware

These pretty plates, bowls, and serving dishes bring a touch of your inside decor outside—plus, their kid-proof!

items sold separately

Crate & Barrel

Dottie Aqua Acrylic Drink Glass

Another great non-breakable option that are both pretty and functional for outdoor use.

2 colors available


BPA-Free Wine Glasses

From your dining table to your patio to the beach, these stemless wine glasses are perfect transporters for a good time. Made with plastic instead of glass (shh!), these glasses are dishwasher safe, as well.


8. Keep the kids entertained with games

Lawn games are hit with kids and adults. Add a few classic games to your outdoor space—sure to be a crowd-pleaser. And for hotter weather, blow up a cute kiddie pool for a quick cool down (or as a place to keep your drinks cold!).


Giant Connect 4-in-a-Row Game

Who's ever said no to a game of Connect 4? This giant vintage game has been a staple for generations of fun and, with this set, your family can play it outdoors too.

outdoor decor
Amazon | Melissa & Doug

Kids Chameleon Bean Bag Toss Game

For use indoors or out, this classic beanbag game is perfect for toddlers and little kids looking for fun in the sun while parents relax nearby.

the everygirl minnidip pool
The Everygirl x Minnidip

Luxe Inflatable Pool

We love Minnidip's pools for their cute designs and durability. Available in a smaller baby size, too—click here!


This article was originally published in April 2020. It has been updated for timeliness. 

Budget-Friendly Ways to Refresh Your Home Decor for Spring