I had a budget of $125 dollars to build our outdoor living space. It’s gorgeous and has everything we need to enjoy the spring and summer months, even a hand made fire pit.
Flooring: We used flat river rock that we carried from my mothers property to our home. Most of the rocks are at least a foot in length and width; varying in color, from gray, to dark brown, to tan. We dug a nest for each rock and simply laid them on a space about 10 by 12 feet. We left about an inch in between for clover to grow. It looks beautiful and earthy. The flooring was free but took some man hours to complete.
Pergola: I wanted a pergola so that I could grow roses and flowering vines up the sides, and across the top to create a natural roof. Instead of paying for lumber, I cut down small trees on my property, shaved the bark, and used a clear sealant to protect the wood from rot. I got the sealant for $25 dollars at Home Depot. I spent $50 dollars on climbing roses. I got flowering vine starts from my mother for free. I found wild honeysuckle to transplant; I love the smell of wild honeysuckle. The pergola and flowering vines cost a total of $75 dollars.
Seating: I created seating using mortar, river rock, and old barn boards for a bench type seat. I stacked the river rock to create a base and used the mortar to set them. I used a hammer drill to attach brackets to the boards and attached them to the rock. I purchased material and thick foam for cushions at a discount store. I spent $35 dollars on all of the materials, fabric included. Sew some pillows with the left over foam and use any material you have; you can even repurpose an old item of clothing and make a great pillow. The seating we created is deep, so that it can be used to lay on and read outside in the shade.
Fire Pit: I used more river rock for a homemade fire pit that looks stunning. I had mortar left over from making the seating and building the fire pit cost nothing. We built the fire pit to resemble an outdoor fireplace and because of the varying color of the rocks, it doesn’t look bland or repetitive in color.
Accessories: For a table, I painted an old coffee table to look distressed and used broken tile pieces to create a mosaic on the surface. I paint, create glass art, and sew so I had all of these supplies. You can buy tile pieces and discontinued tiles really cheaply. Just use a hammer, break them up and create your own design. I used blues, creams, and splashes of red.
I bought copper and woven containers, interesting items like teapots and artsy bowls from my local thrift store to use for potted plants, books, art supplies, and firewood. I got everything for $15 dollars at the thrift store.
I also painted three panes of glass and hung them from the pergola with wire to create a fun atmosphere. We spread a woven mat over the rock in front of the seating and our outdoor living space was finished for right at $125 dollars. Everyone loves it and we get compliments on it every time we have guests.
Just use the natural resources that you have available to you, repurpose items you find in thrift stores, and use a little creativity to make your outdoor living space beautiful, comfortable, and a place of beauty.
More from Carrie:
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