A backyard deck is a great place to relax. If you have to decorate it on a budget, don't fret. Not having a lot of money to spend doesn't mean you can't have a well-decorated deck; it just means you have to come up with cool, creative ways to stretch your decorating dollars.
Reuse and Revamp
An easy way to get free patio furniture is to check with friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members to see if they have any that they want to get rid of. Of course, getting secondhand furniture means that it may have minor damage and be mismatched, but there are ways around that. Hide cosmetic flaws by sanding out scratches and refinishing, buying a tablecloth to cover a discolored tabletop and installing braces to reinforce rickety chair and table legs. To coordinate mismatched pieces, buy matching slipcovers, spray paint wooden or plastic furniture the same color and re-cover all seat cushions in the same fabric.
The Big Picture
Try buying only one expensive furniture item, ostensibly the biggest piece on the deck for maximum effect. Then hunt garage sales, thrift stores and discount outlets for other furniture. An even cheaper idea is to focus the splurge on one big, eye-catching focal point, such as a large floor-to-ceiling mirror around which you paint or build a frame, or a water fountain that you put together yourself. Also, don't underestimate how big an impact inexpensive accent pillows, decorative throws, potted plants, nighttime lighting or throw rugs can have on your outdoor space.
The hot summer sun can interfere with enjoying your patio, so blocking the sunlight will provide more comfortable, protection from harmful UV rays and the ability to enjoy your deck rain or shine. An inexpensive way to do this is to put up an awning. This simple structure, usually constructed of canvas or plastic stretched over a metal frame, extends off the roof over the deck and is effective at cooling the shaded areas, reducing temperatures by 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit or more. They are available in an array of colors to match the paint and siding on any home, sizes to cover the smallest to the largest deck or patio and styles, from contemporary to classic. There are even retractable awning systems, which can be custom-made, professionally installed, and come with multi-year warranties.