I am usually not one for putting lipstick on a pig. Ugly as it may be, I would rather keep something as/is and save for what I really want than spend money on a temporary improvement. For example, if I know I need custom curtains made for a room, I would rather live with my ugly blinds until I can afford the curtains I really want, as opposed to spending a few hundred dollars on curtain placeholders from a big box store.
We know that we want to improve the outdoor living/ dining area of our home. Currently, that area consists of an ugly concrete patio. It isn't much to look at, and it isn't located in a convenient part of the back yard. But we aren't exactly sure what we want to do to our yard, and of course, any big landscaping/ construction changes are an expensive undertaking.
When our outdoor table shattered a few weeks ago, I decided to scrap the outdoor dining area until we build what we really want. But because we do like to sit on the patio to watch the little ones play outside, I broke my rule and went ahead and purchased an outdoor sofa, chairs, ottomans, and coffee table to use on the patio. I figure that regardless of what we decide to do with the backyard, we will be able to use it.
The outdoor furniture arrived a few weeks ago, and we are really enjoying it. The quality is wonderful, the cushions are comfortable, and of course, I love the Chinese chippendale style of the furniture.
I added some throw pillows made of outdoor fabric for a pop of color. I found an orange lantern and end tables from Old Time Pottery, and they were perfect with the pillow fabric.
Plants definitely soften up a hard concrete patio, so I bought a few ferns and trailing petunias. I love placing outdoor plants in large painted ceramic fishbowls. You can find these fishbowls for good prices at estate sales (usually between $20 and $40), and they look so nice in an outdoor setting. They usually don't have holes in the bottom for draining water, so you have to leave the plant in another container and remove it from the fishbowl to water, but that is easy.
For about $15, a large fern adds fullness and color to an outdoor space.
So now we have a comfortable and colorful place to sit, have a drink, and daydream about our dream back yard!