May is the perfect time of year to get full use out of your outdoor living area, which means you’ll want to start updating the look of the space to make it comfortable and welcoming! 

We have 7 simple outdoor decorating ideas that are budget-friendly and guaranteed to spruce up your outdoor space just in time for summer! 

1. Pillows & Rugs

Decorating with outdoor pillows and rugs are the perfect way to bring in pops of color and fun patterns to an outdoor living space. Since most patio furniture tends to be neutral tones, pillows and rugs are the perfect way to let your personality show in your outdoor space! 

BONUS: Get a few soft throw blankets to toss over outdoor furniture to add an extra layer for comfort.

2. Lights & Lanterns

The options available for outdoor lighting are truly endless. You can decorate with large lanterns on tabletops, hang string lights over the backyard or along the fence, buy a few tiki torches that double as mosquito repellent, or invest more and hire a local company to install landscape lighting! 

3. Easy Gardens


If you have a green thumb or want to try your hand at gardening, a ladder garden is the perfect way to maximize space and display your garden! Add a bit of color and paint the ladder to match your outdoor aesthetic. 


A vertical pallet garden is an easy task for someone with minimal building skills, and can fit into almost any outdoor budget. Buy a few hose clamps and find a free wooden pallet from a local business to get started! 

4. Drinks on us 

This one’s for our readers who love to entertain. Installing a bar outside may not sound budget-friendly, but there are many DIY options that are cheap AND easy to give you an outdoor space for cocktail making! 

DIY Outdoor Bar Setups: 

  • Fold-out wall shelf 
  • Whiskey barrel with glass table top 
  • Small bar cart for easy indoor/outdoor use 
  • Easy Pallet Bar

5. Stepping Stones

Lead the way to the pool or fire pit with pavers across the lawn. Add extra flare by buying stenciled pavers, or stencil them yourself if you’re feeling up to it! 

6. Sheer Curtains 

If you want to be reminded of the beach every time you step onto our back porch, hanging  sheer curtains from your porch ceiling are an inexpensive way to transform your outdoor space into a backyard cabana! 

7. Tabletop Fire 

This DIY project only requires 3 items: 1 bag of lava rock, 1 wide and shallow ceramic flowerpot, and 1 can of Sterno. Grab the kids and get ready for a s’mores night with your new tabletop fire! Get the full tutorial here. 

If this list of 7 simple outdoor decor ideas didn’t quite hit the spot for where you want your outdoor space to be, we’d love to chat with you and see if we can be any help in planning out your perfect outdoor space!