The Ultimate Guide to Designing Your Outdoor Oasis on a Budget

·5 min read
Photo credit: Best Choice Products
Photo credit: Best Choice Products

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If you have an outdoor space, turning it into a summer retreat is a must. Whether you're making over your backyard or just want to decorate your patio, you can easily create the perfect lounge area for yourself with the right outdoor furniture. But before we dive into our favorite outdoor furniture recommendations, you need to nail down a few things first. Here are some tips to ensure you choose the best pieces for your outdoor area:

Figure out how you want to use the outdoor space.

Do you want it to be a spot where you can host dinner parties? Are you looking to create a private oasis for curling up with a good book? Or do you want it to be multifunctional? Knowing all of the activities you want to do in the space will help you determine what type of furniture you need.

Buy low-maintenance items that will last.

Furniture made of weather-resistant materials and accents that you can easily clean are a must. Look for metals like aluminum and steel, woods like teak and cedar, and all-weather wicker rattan. They’re durable, rust-resistant, and can last for years with the right care. For your cozy accents—cushions, pillows, rugs—choose items with removable covers or pieces that can be thrown in the wash.

Don’t forget about storage.

When winter hits, it’s best to store as much outdoor furniture as you can somewhere inside, like in a basement or garage. If you’re tight on indoor storage space, consider stackable chairs, foldable furniture, or compact pieces. Another way to save space? Using multipurpose furniture. A ceramic stool can easily be used as a side table, or you can use a bench as the main seating for a hangout area and dining table.

Now that you know what you're looking for, it's time to shop. Whether your style leans more colorful and boho or neutral and traditional, there's a little something for everyone among these outdoor furniture picks. Shop for separate chairs, sofas, and coffee tables, or go straight for a conversation set or dining set, depending on what you want to use your space for. And of course, don't forget an outdoor rug to tie it all together.

Outdoor Chairs

For a simple look, try this black pair of wicker chairs from Wayfair, and add cushions (in whatever colors you choose!) for extra comfort. Or, turn your attention to the cozy POLYWOOD x Country Living collection featuring Adirondack chairs, rocking chairs, even three-piece sets, and much more. You can also go totally mod with West Elm's handwoven cord and aluminum Huron chair, or relax with a good book on Pottery Barn's cushy wicker Papasan chair.

Outdoor Tables

Show off your flair for the traditional with Serena & Lily's gorgeous round basketweave-pattern table made with resin; keep it sturdy with West Elm's concrete drum table for a fun, chic-but-industrial feel; or turn to this wicker pick that features a lift-top with hidden storage underneath from Overstock. Plus, there's always this metal and eucalyptus wood coffee table available on Wayfair, too.

Outdoor Sofas

The pattern on this Anthropologie sofa will basically transport you straight to a beach cabana, while Pottery Barn's square-arm wicker sofa will make you feel like you're at a chic, coastal Hamptons house. Go simple and spacious with CB2's cushioned sectional, or try West Elm's more simple loveseat that's ideal for small spaces.

Outdoor Dining Sets

If you plan to entertain and host outdoor dinners and brunches, you'll need an outdoor dining set like one of these. Whether you choose Amazon's more traditional set of four wicker chairs and a matching round table, Wayfair's picnic table-inspired set with a long wooden table and two benches, Walmart's adorable rose bistro set, or Frontgate's seven-piece set featuring aluminum and teak chairs? That's up to you.

Outdoor Conversation Sets

For a less formal furniture set option, try these conversation sets. Target's iron bistro set and Amazon's three-piece rattan set work well for smaller spaces (or for a small section in a larger outdoor space), while Home Depot's sectional and coffee table combo works better for a more sizeable patio. And don't forget Amazon's five-piece wicker patio set, which includes cozy cushions and a coordinating coffee table.

Outdoor Rugs

You can also incorporate a rug to add some personality, texture, and extra comfort. Go neutral and coastal with Serena & Lily's Seaview rug, or turn your patio into a tropical oasis with this budget buy from Target. Or, if warm-toned colors are your thing, turn to West Elm for this textured, burnt orange option. And if all else fails, go black and white with Target's square stripe rug.

Outdoor Lounges

Fresh from a dip in the pool or just off a Zoom call, sunning on one of these loungers will swiftly revive you. If you love the look of rattan but are worried it won't hold up to the elements, check out UV-resistant materials, like the Newport Chaise lounger from Summer Classics. Or, if you are looking to add a modern touch to your patio, consider the Bahia Teak Chai lounge that features low-slung seating and a sleek style from RH.

Major Outdoor Upgrades

Add one of these to turn your patio into the ultimate chilled-out, never-ending vacation zone you've always wanted.

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