20 Brilliant Ideas To Upgrade Your Garden Patio On A Budget

A backyard patio makes for a beautiful and welcoming outdoor living space throughout the year, especially in summer. You can enjoy it also during winter if you get your garden design right! Upgrading your outdoor patio can be a great way to add a functional, low-maintenance backyard space for relaxation and entertaining. Even the smallest seasonal refresh can completely update your outdoor space.

Classy furniture on wooden terrace in green beautiful garden

So, are you looking for a backyard makeover? The first thing to do is think about what you want to do with your patio area and reflect your lifestyle. Do you want to create a minimalist setting or a plant-filled oasis? Are you debating whether to decorate it in a modern, tropical or rustic fashion? There are many different ideas and decisions to be made! Read on and find out our top inspiring and budget-friendly patio design ideas.

Garden patio ideas

1. Make It Lush

The more greenery, the better! Breathe life into your patio with many green decorating ideas. Try potted plants, flower beds, hanging planters, and trailing vines. You can add flower boxes to your monotonous fence, too. You can even showcase plants on an old ladder.

Just convert a wooden one into a space-saving stand for flowers, veggies, and herbs. Add a coat of paint with your favourite colour and make it look more stylish. Adding the pots will be as easy as going up the ladder. Plants and flowers will brighten up space and give a more extensive space perspective even to small gardens. 

2. Grow A vertical garden

Are you looking for a simple garden project? We have the answer. All you need to do is urban outfit spaces or blank walls with vertical gardens. We’re talking pots fixed to walls and plants that grow upwards, whether trees, larger shrubs, climbers or hedges, especially those suitable for quickly creating privacy and security. They will increase the value of your home and keep you cool during summer, improve the air quality, and can even be edible. You can grow compact vegetables, succulents and herbs like salad greens, kale, dwarf peas, bush beans, parsley, thyme, basil, and rosemary, as well as edible flowers like pansies and calendula. 

Vegetables and salad in decorative vertical garden and raised bed

3. Dress the garden with indoor accessories and big pillows

Why double up the expenses of buying beautiful garden accessories and pillows? Dress your patio with attractive textural accessories and cushions left in the attic. Or, if you have some extras lying around in your home, use those! Doubling up also makes the outdoors an extension of our stylish indoor spaces, which is a trend nowadays. You could even consider adding a garden mirror to elevate your patio’s style. Go big with pillows to make the space comfortable. Just make sure you choose accessories that you can easily pop inside. We all know British weather can be tricky!

4. Create a cute bird feeder

Do you love the sound of birds singing? Boost your garden’s atmosphere by encouraging birds to visit by installing a bird feeder, birdbath or birdhouse. This will not only upgrade your patio optically and acoustically but also your wellbeing. Research shows that listening to birds’ sounds can help lower stress and fatigue and help combat anxiety. 

woodpecker feeding on feeder

5. Impress your guests with an outdoor bar

Do you disappear into the house every time another drink is needed? Say “no more” now that you can have a bar in your garden. Having an outdoor bar will make your night more stylish and entertaining. There is not only one option. 

  • You can build one with an eye-catching tile design and hang string lights for a romantic, summery vibe. 
  • You can transform the window of your house into one. Choose your kitchen window so you will have access to anything you need. Wondering how to make it happen? All you have to do is install sturdy brackets to the exterior wall under a window and screw a painted piece of plywood on top. Make it appear bigger by highlighting the window with a charming awning.
  • You can stock a wheelie cart with entertaining essentials — like plates, cups, and straws — and let your drinks follow up the action. 

Keeping drinks cool is as simple as filling a bucket with ice.

6. Try a Foldable Umbrella 

We all love the sun, don’t we? But sitting under the sunlight for too long can be either bothering or unhealthy. You can celebrate the arrival of hot weather with a foldable umbrella. Not only it will protect your skin, but it also gives a more chic look to your backyard landscaping. 

7. Hang Paper Lanterns

Create a shiny outdoor oasis by hanging paper lanterns. They are a very cost-effective decorative addition to your garden and will add a romantic touch to your evenings.

round lamps above a table with wooden chairs in a garden

8.  Go Bold With Flooring

An eye-catching tile on the patio can make all the difference. You can either choose a whimsical pattern with bright colours or a geometric design or even paint the slabs with interesting colours. Then use more timeless and neutral furniture that won’t overwhelm the eye. 

9. DIY a Pallet Garden

Pallets are a quick and easy way to build the foundations of your deck at a low cost. You can use them to make all sorts of benches, shelves and tool racks as well. Look for pallets at your local wholesale stores, where you may be able to buy them inexpensively. Paint or finish them any colour you’d like and arrange them in any shape. Decking your patio with pallet DIY furniture like benches, chairs and tables will save you a lot of money and make your outdoor space more personalised and memorable.

10. Hang Sheer Panels

Who said curtains have to only go on windows? This garden idea is here to prove this theory wrong. Breezy white curtains create a shady oasis when mounted on a porch ceiling. You can feel like being on an island or a royal garden. Make sure before ordering yours to measure from the top of the place you will hang it down to where you want the panel to fall. 

11. String Up Some Mood Lighting

Hanging string lights and garden solar ones provide outdoor light and look elegant. They are ideal for any patio, even for a small backyard, since they are inexpensive and don’t require much space. Use them to:

  • wrap tree or shrub branches
  • attach them to fences and furniture
  • drape them down a table or suspend them from canes stuck into the ground

A set of twinkly lights turns any outdoor place(even a small patio) into an ideal spot for entertaining or romance! You can run them from a plug inside the house, so you don’t need an electrician.

Hanging string lights as night decor

12. Get Crafty with Your Fence

You’ll be surprised by how much a lick of paint can transform an old fence. Do you want to provide a striking backdrop for greenery and jewel-coloured plants?

  • Divert the eye away from fences and gates, with colours as black and holly green. A black fence ‘’disappears’’ in the eye and makes plants look more coloured and benches more romantic. 
  • Consider a fresh, playful colour, like sky blue or bright orange, to create a hot Mediterranean feel.

13. Make a Space for Outdoor Dining

Is it a sunny day, and you don’t want to dine in your living room? Use a table as outdoor furniture and enjoy any meal or happy hour gatherings. Personalise the space with different types of outdoor furniture to suit your style. You can also create a bohemian picnic area in an unused corner with outdoor-friendly pillows, lighting, blankets and your coffee table! Easy, right?

14. Heat Up with a Fire Pit

Create a focal point with a warming fire pit that will give a rustic and sophisticated look in your backyard. This camp-like retreat is ideal for crisp autumn evenings and summer nights and will keep your body and heart warm. Do you want to build your own? You will need inexpensive materials like angled pavers and gravel. You can complete this easy DIY outdoor project in just a weekend, and your family can enjoy bonfires for many years to come.

backyard firepit at dusk with comfortable chairs

15. Create a Stone garden Path

Walkways can be one of the most expensive elements of landscaping ideas. But the stone leftovers at your local construction sites, neighbours’ landscaping or nursery supply store may be a less expensive option. Placed together in a dry stack, the stones offer a pretty backyard element that looks as if it’s a natural, always-been-there part of the yard. Put down materials like mulch, gravel, bricks, or stones to create a clear path from your house to the pool or playhouse in your backyard. If you create space between the rocks, you can plant a ground cover like wild thyme or buffalo grass for a luscious lawn patio makeover combo your feet will love.

16. Lay Down an Outdoor Rug

Do you want to bring the cosy feeling of your home into the garden? An easy way to do this is to invest in a rug. You can either choose a pop of colour or bold pattern that will reflect your personality in space. Place a bistro set and some oversize floor cushions on top of it to complete the look. This will instantly lift your outdoor space and ensure an entertaining area just as stylish as your interior. Choose rug designs patterned on both sides, so you can flip them over if they start to discolour by the sun.

Comfy garden furniture and geometrical rug on a terrace

17. Matching Patio Furniture

There are many backyard ideas when it comes to designing your outside living room. Do you want to turn your patio into a relaxing place or a party-ready hangout spot? Use an XL sofa for big spaces or some armchairs for small yards. You’ll want to consider the size of your furniture to avoid overcrowding. It’s best to opt for stackable or easy to fold chairs when you have a small patio. It’s even better if you can find dual-purpose pieces. Layer in an outdoor rug and some colourful pillows, and you’ve got yourself a pretty new spot to lounge day or night. 

If you plan to stay within budget while planning out your patio design, a great motto to adopt is “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. You can find high-quality furniture pieces at garage sales, flea markets, and even on the side of the road. If you like DIY projects, give them some love and time and provide these items with a new life. You can also try a few DIY fixes to revive your existing pieces. You can make a once-rusted patio table look brand-new with some spray paint, new strapping and a little cleanup. 

18. Patio Swing

A patio swing and swing chair can give a cosy feeling not only to the homeowners but guests as well. If you have zero woodworking experience, order yours from a contractor. Worry about the cost? You won’t need to pay anything more. Simply cover its seat with your favourite tablecloth or bed sheet, and voila! You are ready to swing!

patio with comfortable rattan furniture and pattern carpet

19. Create Shade with a Pergola or a gazebo

A pergola or a gazebo can lead you to your dream backyard, coming out of a movie. Clear out an area on a deck or in your yard and you can either order one to be made for you or build your own. Do you want to create the ultimate outdoor living space? Add curtains for extra shade, pots with flowers, a rug, string lighting, a comfortable sitting area, and voila! We hope you know how to dance like a movie star!

20. Don’t Forget a Hammock

A hammock can be either entertaining or decorative. Use a strong fabric to make your own and enjoy your evening relaxing and reading your book on it or choose a slim macrame one for a more exotic style. 

Person relaxing lying in Hammock at rural cottage garden

What to consider before planning your patio upgrade

Form and Function

The first thing you need to consider before beginning any construction to upgrade your patio is how much room you have to work with. Make sure you’re designing a deck that fits your lifestyle. Are you going to be entertaining family and friends multiple times a year, or do you desire an intimate space that gives you privacy for quiet alone time? Will children be using your yard? Do you have pets? Whether you’re planning a cosy room just for you, an area for the family to dine, or even the perfect space for parties, size is critical. 

You also have to make sure the furniture you are going to use fits the space perfectly, allowing plenty of room to walk around it. Remember, you can create different spaces for different purposes using strategic plantings and hardscapes. People can use walkways to move from one area to another. 

Other factors you should consider when picking a location are:

  • Privacy
  • Wind
  • Sun and shade
  • View
  • Accessibility


Sunlight and shade are two significant factors to consider while upgrading your patio. If the location gets non-stop sun during the day, perhaps you need to consider a pergola to give you some shade. 

Lighting, whether it’s a few fairy lights or enough to lighten the whole garden, means that you can use your patio at any time of the night. You can also create a specific mood depending on what you are using it for – hello, romantic dinners!

evening patio area with open space kitchen and sliding doors

Here are types of deck lights and locations to consider:

  • Path lights
  • Overhead lights
  • Wall lights
  • Landscape spotlights
  • Recessed step lights

The purpose of the patio

Here are a few ways your deck could function in your yard:

  • For entertaining
  • For outdoor dining
  • As a pool surround
  • For outdoor privacy
  • As a place for gardening close to the house

If you plan to use your patio regularly as a family gathering dining area, you should consider installing it close to the kitchen. That way, it will be easy to transport food and supplies outdoors. If you have more time and money available, you can take it to the next level and install an outdoor kitchen and bar. Ensure the finished product will be exactly what you need because this affects the design, size, location and materials used.

Young friends having fun drinking red wine on balcony at house dinner party

It’s all about style

The way we choose to decorate our home and design our garden reflects our style. Consider the house’s overall look, and select a design for your patio to match the existing structure. For example, go for more contemporary paving styles if you have a modern house or additional paving for a period property. Colour choice is another critical factor to consider. The colour scheme should complement your home and the surrounding landscape.

Choosing Materials

You should strive to keep the patio a natural extension of your home, meaning colour, material, and textures should all match.

You can find patios in all sorts of materials.

  • Concrete is durable, versatile, cheap, low maintenance and great for steady, warm climates. 
  • Brick is durable and will usually retain its warm red colour. 
  • Flagstone is quite attractive and thus it’s typically a more expensive option. Bear in mind that it will erode and split if there’s too much water pooling in the area.
  • Pavers are versatile and are coming in many shapes and colours. Stone or concrete pavers are excellent for patios, as they tend to last longer.
  • Gravel is easy to install and will deter weeds if spread over landscaping fabric. Just have in mind it isn’t the best for furniture or bare feet.

Can You Build It Yourself?

Everything costs less if you build it yourself. If you want a new deck, you have to consider if you wish to spend hours sawing and nailing wood or whether you prefer to hire a contractor to do the job for you. But there are many tutorials for DIY projects when it comes to upgrading your patio with other ideas. Some of them are about bird feeders, creating paths and fire pits, etc. If you are looking for a budget-friendly upgrade, prepare to be creative and have fun!

Close up paintbrush in hand and painting on the wooden table

Make your plants work for you

You can use plants in several ways:

  • They can provide you with fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • They contribute to the beautiful scenery.
  • They offer lovely aromas.
  • They can be used as barriers to define areas within your landscape and create physical barriers by blocking both views and access to a place. Low growing plants are for you who want to keep your views open but maintain some barriers. 
  • Plants can alter your landscape site conditions. Temperature, light levels, and wind are greatly affected by the trees and plants you choose. 


You need to bear in mind the amount and type of maintenance your patio will require down the road. English weather can do a number on outdoor surfaces, but you know that, right? Keeping your patio protected from those elements is the best way to preserve it. Some materials may hold up well against those elements, while others not so much. Having strong materials in your garden, like granite, marble, limestone, and slate, may not need much care, but less durable materials may require sealing every couple of years. 

When it comes to decorating, you also have to be careful. If you choose to have rugs and furniture on an open patio, you have to find ways to protect them unless you want to move them around every time you see clouds. I guess you don’t want that, right? You can use a pergola or a garden roof to protect them and enjoy the weather worry-free!

Relaxation scene of hot teapot and teacup with gardening tools and smartphone put on table.

Does your backyard look like it needs a little tender loving care or an injection of some wow factor? There are many ways to achieve a result that reflects your needs and taste. Follow one or all these gorgeous ideas and upgrade your patio on a budget. We hope you will enjoy it for many years to come!

Scroll to Top
Send this to a friend