Outdoor entertaining is of the utmost importance when inviting friends or family over for a gathering, regardless of the season. The good news is that there are a few strategic decorating changes that you can make to your outdoor space to make it attractive and inviting, rain or shine.

Outdoor Decorating: Where to Begin

Use plants moderately. If you’ve gone overboard as a gardener, guests sitting on your back patio may feel like they’re in the middle of a jungle. When landscaping and planting your back garden, use your editing eye. The best way to create a calming environment is by using a color theme in potted flowers and by choosing plants with a similar texture, such as short, round bushes or long vines and trees.

Mix-and-match. If you’re the type that likes to pick up secondhand items at a thrift store or antique shop, this design trend will work perfectly in an outdoor space. You can revamp and repaint used furniture in different sizes and colors to work beautifully in one patio space. You can also stick with the funky, retro vibe by planting flowers and plants in mismatched, hand-painted flower pots to decorate your back porch.

Focus on a fire pit. Instead of switching on expensive heating lamps to provide guests with warmth in cooler weather, your back deck can center around an inexpensive fire pit or Ventless fireplace. The beauty of a fire pit is that it provides an immediate focal point in an outdoor space that guests can gather around to chat and sip on wine or coffee, without having to spend much time on outdoor decorating.

Use salvaged materials. Instead of using brand-new wood to create an outdoor countertop or bar, go with a reclaimed barn door and recycled cinderblocks instead. These materials cost next to nothing and can create a natural, rustic feel when decorating your outdoor deck.

Light the way. If you plan to have a gathering with several guests, it’s important to create the right atmosphere with mood lighting, especially after the sun goes down. You can decorate your back patio with strings of lights as a cheap lighting solution or consider investing in battery powered lanterns to provide ample light in the evening hours.

Once you have your back patio completely decorated, you have the perfect outdoor space to kick back and relax in after a long day of work. You can also wake up in the morning and start the day right by watching the sunrise with a fresh cup of coffee, savoring a moment of peace before hitting the daily grind.

As a homeowner, it’s comforting to find that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to decorate your outdoor patio. By decorating strategically with reclaimed materials and used items, you can create a unique, eclectic space that friends and family can enjoy for years to come.

As one final tip, consider refinishing indoor furniture that you no longer need to use outdoors instead. If you’re buying a new dining set, for example, you can repaint and varnish your old table to use as an outdoor patio table instead of throwing it out.