Most patio landscapes have the same basic idea to them. This can make your space feel uninspired and it might even look like you didn't decorate it. You might be too overwhelmed to really try anything just because these kind of makeovers can cost thousands of dollars. If you don't have these kind of resources available it can be quite discouraging. However, this doesn't have to be the case. You can really make a beautiful and functional space that is still high on style without spending a lot of money. Here are a few tips for really overcoming these obstacles in your spare time with whatever budget you have around.
You might just think that your gardening needs plants. Of course this is true. However, this can kind of lead to a mismatched look that you seems like everyone else's backyard that shopped at the same nursery. Plants can really work with an overall theme and color palette. You'll really want to investigate different plants for your area that still work with your overall design style. For instance if you want an English garden then you'll need to mix-and-match roses with lavender and ivy. This can be very romantic and feminine feeling. However with this kind of style you really want to juxtapose this against a more masculine stonework. You could bring this in on your porch columns or the entire patio floor depending on your budget and the square footage of the space.
You can bring decorating themes that are popular for the inside of your home into the outside of your home. This will make a cohesive landscape and will also be a little bit different than everything else that is out there. The advantage to this is that your house will have a sense of flow. This is really important if you have a lot of windows or you're just short on space. You can really turn the outside of your space into another living area that still works with everything else you have going on. In fact in some areas this might be the only place for you to have a dining room. This can be an area where your friends and family can gather for a meal and you can get some fresh air as well. This is why it's important to make the two spaces relate. Oftentimes, you might get a mental block when you go to decorate outside just because the materials are so different and you don't want to make a mistake.
For instance you could go with the Tuscan theme. You could bring in mustard yellow or terra-cotta and other warm colors by staining your concrete. You could even paint your patio furniture in a bronze finish. When you think of Tuscan art for the home you probably envision the basic stuff; a house with a red tile roof and the tall trees. Of course you probably don't want to directly bring the artwork outside. However, you could recreate the same look of the painting just through your plants and color choices. Your accessories should feel old world with distressed finishes to really have a sense of character. You could even use large urns instead of traditional flower pots for a more elegant and formal feeling that is still practical for everyday life.
Asian and minimalist themes are also very popular decorating styles. You can bring the same look outdoors. You could go with a rock garden that will be very easy to take care of and depending on the part of the country you live in it might even be mandatory because of droughts. This doesn't mean that your garden has to the same as everyone else's. You could bring out a neat statue to be the focal point and just change up the colors of the rock so that they look more like large stones instead of just chips. This can have a very Zen and calming influence. You'll want to keep your color palette to a minimum by bringing in black patio furniture and even using darker stain colors on the wood. This can be a very soothing and relaxing space. Plus the color palette is very gender neutral.
Think about ways that you can add function as well as life to your space. For instance you may not be able to afford an entire outdoor kitchen. These can cost tens of thousands of dollars, although they are very functional. You could just bring out an island that could be another work surface as long as the countertop is durable and weather resistant. This could also be a buffet table or even a bar. You can also just change things up by bringing out a focal point. This is a staple in interior design and it has become very popular for the exterior of your home as well. This allows you to make big statements just by buying a few new items. For instance you could invest in an oversized archway to put over a bench or just in the garden area. This can also house sentimental meaning; you could even use it at your wedding and then put it in your backyard later on. This means that you have a very unique look that is important to you and also has a great story behind it.
Another design option would be to go with more of a modern style; you could even bring in patio fabric. This is great if you have a lot of stone surfaces or you just want a clean and contemporary look. This is an inexpensive and easy way to decorate that still has that high style impact. White couches are very popular in this design style and you can bring the same feel onto your patio. For instance you could just go with a white sectional instead of the basic patio furniture. This can be very comfortable and is a place where all of your friends can gather around. Plus with weather resistant fabric, you won't have to worry about tons of stains the way you would with indoor furniture. You'll want to choose natural and graphic tall plants and grasses that will have a bold impact. The advantage to this is that you can just use a lot less of these items because the ones you do buy will save you money.
You can also go with more of a homey feel just with a country garden theme. This can be very feminine. However, it can also go horribly wrong. You might be turned off by this design style just because you have seen a lot of frog garden ornaments or little cutesy knickknacks that just don't make sense to you. Instead go with decorative but functional elements by just focusing in on wooden rocking chairs that are very comfortable, but still have that very warm feeling to them. It can even remind you of home. Skipping the accessories allows you to spend more money on your furniture.