I had an impromptu decorating consultation this morning with the shampoo/apprentice guy at the hair salon. He needed some ideas, cheap ideas, for a back patio rental. I was happy to oblige in part because he called me Miss, but also because I had just finished a latte on the cute back patio at Hot Black Coffee on Queen West and really wanted to talk about picnic tables with someone. Like, why don't we all have picnic tables? Forget the $2000+ resin wicker stuff. Home Hardware sells a solid wood picnic table for $129.
Image via Dwelling Décor
I would use folded blankets as seat cushions for extra comfort, colour and warmth - actual cushions are too pricey and the patterns on inexpensive outdoor cushions make me hostile. Does cheap have to be ugly? No. This DIY cement bucket post is genius. Yes to the string lights, but you could also use this to string up fabric as a sun shade:
Image via BHG
Wood, sheet moss and succulents (throw in some votives in glass holders too) makes an enchanting, easy DIY centrepiece.
Image via House & Hold, Perjoy
Grouped containers are the best way to soften all-concrete patios, and you can change out the plants seasonally. A hanging basket of Millionbells can be had for $12 and it will cascade with colour for months. Just snip off the plastic hanger and pop into a pot. Decorative perennial grasses work nicely in pots and have the added benefit of height. Group your pots in odd numbers of varying sizes and heights. Be sure to choose plant material based on how much sun your patio receives.
Image via The Home Depot, Hey There Home, Décor Pad
Those colourful Acapulco-style chairs are fun and beautiful, but at $300 a piece a bit rich for some budgets. I found these chairs at Home Depot for $49 and can vouch for their durability and comfort. Of course you'll have to toss out the sad beige cushion it comes with and buy or make your own. I followed Hey There Home's tutorial and for $12 in remnant fabric, I had a pair of envelope-style cushion covers in an hour.
Put a little cocktail or side table between the chairs. I love this mosaic-topped version. It's not cheap (around $300 at West Elm for a similar version) but I'm sure you could DIY something if you were so inclined. Or just paint the top of a thrift shop table. An urban patio needs some colour: