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5 Fresh Ideas for Creating a Beautiful and Affordable Outdoor Living Space

Once the weather is warm it's the perfect time to take your living outdoors and I have 5 very simple tips to create a beautiful outdoor living space filled with charm.

A place to sit, dream, and enjoy all the beauty around you.

Collage of beautiful outdoor living space ideas including lots of flowers and comfy seating

I've tried to make all of these tips as inexpensive as possible.

Sometimes, the thought is that you have to spend a lot to create something beautiful, and yes, that does make things easier, but it isn't necessary.

My goal is to encourage you to allow yourself to put together something amazing using your wonderful talents and these basic ideas.

Let's get started!

*This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a commission if you shop through them. You can read my full disclosure here

Seating for a Beautiful Outdoor Space

The Secret to Creating a Cozy and Charming Outdoor Space ~ vintage wooden chairs ~ cupcakesandcrinoline.com

A few years ago my husband and I bought some wooden chairs from a woman who was selling her home....I think we may have paid $20.00 for the set and at the time I just assumed we would put them in the back yard which at first we did but they have migrated to the front...and they have stayed there.  

When we bought them they were in much need of some love. The cushions were in good shape but the wooden frames needed to be spruced up. I ended up spray painting them and that original makeover lasted a few years but I was never quite thrilled with the colors and I ended up doing them one more time and the end result is the look you see in this post.

My husband and I like to sit in them in the cool of the night and watch the kids, enjoy the breeze, listen to the birds and just be still.  Some mornings I like to go out early in the day, have coffee, read and just be. 

The Secret to Creating a Cozy and Charming Outdoor Space ~ french lilacs in a rustic wooden box ~ cupcakesandcrinoline.com

My goal for our front yard is that it be cozy and charming.  

The Secret to Creating a Cozy and Charming Outdoor Space ~ view of garden space from behind ~ cupcakesandcrinoline.com

Neighbors pass by on walks or runs, some walking their dogs, some walking with their family, some walking alone and we always get to wave and share a smile and sometimes have a discussion about the weather.

The Secret to Creating a Cozy and Charming Outdoor Space ~ flowerbed mix of annuals and perennials cupcakesandcrinoline.com

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Flowers

Plan Your Garden So Something is Always Blooming

My front yard is filled with flowers.  I have tried to plant it so that something is always in bloom from spring through fall, annuals and perennials, so that there is always something to see...something alive....something growing.  

Make a list of your favorite flowers, along with when they bloom, and then plan your flowerbeds and planters using that information.

The Secret to Creating a Cozy and Charming Outdoor Space cupcakesandcrinoline.com

The lilacs in the wooden box above are from our lilac bush....it's in bloom and the smell is heavenly.  When something's blooming I usually like to cut a few of the flowers to decorate with....whether inside or outside....they are meant to be enjoyed.

I like to tuck mason jars or other jars I've recycled into the wooden containers to hold the water and the flowers. It's a simple way to turn almost any item into a "vase".

You can find details on how to arrange flowers in large containers here.

You can also find out here how to easily remove wax from candle jars (they make great decorative vases) and how to remove labels from jars here.

The Secret to Creating a Cozy and Charming Outdoor Space ~ outdoor lighting cupcakesandcrinoline.com

The flowerbeds also have lights....there is something so welcoming about outdoor lights especially along a path or walkway.  

The Secret to Creating a Cozy and Charming Outdoor Space ~ flowerbed edged in stone cupcakesandcrinoline.com

To me, it's also important that our outdoor space have memories.  These stones were all gathered on walks along a local trail that I used to take with my oldest son when he was a little guy.  Sometimes I would walk for miles pushing him in his stroller and I would pick up rocks off the path (they were from rock slides off the hills surrounding the trail).  I would place the rocks in the bottom of his stroller and bring them home to add to the edge of the flowerbed.  He's all grown up but every time I see these stones I remember those walks with him.  

The Secret to Creating a Cozy and Charming Outdoor Space ~ vintage wooden chairs, flower box, french lilacs, rustic wooden box ~ cupcakesandcrinoline.com

Between the chairs is a log....it's from the tree that used to be in the front yard but died.  I have pictures of my Daddy climbing that tree when I first bought this house....and pictures of my kids climbing it as well.  The tree is gone but the log remains...and it will go with me no matter where I have a garden or a home.  The little fairy was one of the first gifts my husband ever got me.... and I cherish it.  

The Secret to Creating a Cozy and Charming Outdoor Space ~ white sectioned box with numbers ~ 1 through 5 ~ filled with succulents and vines ~ cupcakesandcrinoline.com

The white sectioned box holds flowers and succulents that I change out all season....there are 5 slots and the numbers, 1 2 3 4 5, because there are 5 in our family and 5 is the number that makes me happiest.  

The Secret to Creating a Cozy and Charming Outdoor Space ~ french lilacs, rustic wooden box and happiness ~ cupcakesandcrinoline.com

My outdoor space is sensational to me because it's personal and it's real.  It's not untouchable....it's livable....and I like that.  

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48 Comments

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  6. laura@top this top that says:

    how awesome to have such sweet memories all around you. I want a lilac bush. those blooms are beautiful! i don't know if they would grow well here, as I never see any around. i can imagine it smells so pretty on a warm summer night. enjoy!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      I just saw your porch, Laura....geez Louise, it's gorgeous! As far as lilacs maybe they're hardy in colder climates...hmm!

      Have a great week! hugs, mb

  7. New to your site and already getting inspiration from your yard! We live in Colorado and wait till the end of the month for flowered-had snow, 10 inches, 2 weekends ago!! Can't wait to get started! Bring on the beauty!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Kelly. I heard on the news about the snow in Colorado! Hopefully you'll have warm summer days soon. I don't have all of my annuals planted (or even bought for that matter, yet) as we've still had cold nights and I have to haul everything into the garage...which I hate doing (lazy!). Have a wonderful week.

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  9. I love my porch for summer living!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Porches are awesome for summer living! I think every home should have one or some space to enjoy the fleeting summer day. Thanks for stopping by, Sandy.

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  11. Diane | An Extraordinary Day says:

    What a sweet post and charming space, Mary Beth! I love reading your stories and hearing your sentimental heart speak. Thanks for this lovely pause in my day. Wish I was your neighbor to stop and chat along my walks. [hugs]

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Diane! I would love for you to stop and chat and enjoy the day.

      Thanks for stopping by ~ hugs!!!

  12. So pretty, MB! I would love to sit & chat in your garden!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Julie! I would love to sit and chat with you. We could dish all day. Hugs

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  14. Oh how I love those chairs and your beautiful space! Wish I could come walking down the street and join you! πŸ™‚

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Vanessa! I would love to have you join me...we would have so much fun. *hugs*

  15. debbiedoos says:

    Such a beautiful garden you have there Mary Beth. Great chairs too:) You certainly have a green thumb my dear.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Debbie! πŸ™‚

  16. I love to recover the cushions on my deck furniture in bright colors and add colorful accessories and lighting.

  17. Oh wow it is just beautiful, what a lucky score on the chairs, love the colors! THanks for sharing your beautiful front space with us! XO
    Kristin
    pinned

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thanks so much, Kristin! *hugs*

  18. I love to decorate my porch red , white & blue for summer.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Perfect choices, Kelly!

  19. Yvonne @ StoneGable says:

    Mary Beth, what a fabulous deal on your great chairs. LOVE the color!!!! YOur front yard is BEAUTIFUL! LOVE all your attention to detail and how you mixed sweet sentimental things with your plantings! Lilacs are one of my very favorites!!! Front yard perfection!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Yvonne ~ this means so much to me coming from YOU! I love everything you decorate ~ it's always the epitome of perfection, charm, and warmth.

      Have a wonderful weekend ~ hugs, mb

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  21. Thanks for sharing all of your sweet memories that went into creating your gorgeous yard and gardens Mary Beth!! I used to collect stones and shells with our boys too on our walks! Your flowers are stunning - love all of your detailed decorating touches! Thanks for joining me in this fun hop party - Pinning! xo Heather

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Heather! I had a wonderful time joining you and all of the other creatives you brought together. Have a wonderful weekend ~ hugs, mb

  22. Maryann @ Domestically Speaking says:

    Mary Beth I love your outdoor space! It's just dreamy and whimsical... looks like the perfect place to get lost in.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you, Maryann! I do like to go out there sometimes by myself just to enjoy the quiet. *hugs* mb

  23. Alexis @ Chemistry Cachet says:

    What a beautiful backyard area! I love inviting spaces like this, it just makes you want to sit outside soaking up the sun all morning! My husband and I are currently sprucing up our backyard & looking for some great seating... I am really loving the wooden chairs you have! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Alexis! I hope you're able to find the perfect seating for your space. This is the perfect time for yard sales and I've also noticed some of the bigger stores are starting to mark down their outdoor seating....it can be so expensive! I'm sure your space will be lovely.

      Have a wonderful weekend~ hugs, mb

  24. I love your garden! It's very lush and pretty. Those chairs look just like some I used to have! You didn't buy them in Sacramento did you?

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you, Bettsi! I actually bought the chairs in a suburb of Pittsburgh but I certainly wish I lived in Sacramento instead πŸ˜‰

      I appreciate you stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!

  25. Beautiful space my friend! I love all of your personal touches and those lilacs are gorgeous - one of my favs!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you, Jenn! Lilacs are one of my favorites as well. Have a wonderful weekend ~ hugs, mb

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  27. TwoPlusCute says:

    I did not link up but I did read your post. It is heartfelt and I enjoyed it deeply. Your cosy outdoor spot is lovely. We dug up a trunk log yesterday and you know what? I thought of burning it but it's just like yours and it might be almost as great a table as yours.
    I loved most the colors of your chairs, your lilacs and the stones that are full of memories. πŸ™‚

    Very inspiring post!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you! I am so glad you enjoyed the post and I appreciate you letting me know. πŸ™‚

      P.S. Were you able to use your stump as a table? I have more in my back yard and I'm thinking of sealing them to use for seating around our fire pit...hopefully I'll actually do it and not just think it.

      Have a wonderful weekend! hugs, mb

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  31. Bridget Martinelli says:

    I really like your decorating ideas....

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Bridget! Thanks for stopping by.