An outdoor space can serve as an extension of your home, so it's important to design it in a way that's every bit as warm and inviting as your interior. "An outdoor space should be pleasing to the eye, but also comfortable and designed to withstand wear and tear over time," says interior designer Jenelle Lovings. "It should tantalize all five senses, if possible."
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Fortunately, with the right decor items, you can forge a stylish yet functional outdoor area without breaking the bank. From patterned weatherproof rugs to lanterns with built-in Bluetooth speakers and more, here are nine outdoor-friendly decor accents for under $50 that interior designers say you should add to your Amazon cart ASAP.
To define and ground an outdoor entertaining area, Lovings recommends investing in a chic yet durable area rug. "The pattern of this rug is busy enough to hide dirt but timeless enough to complement most aesthetic styles," Lovings explains. "It will also give your outdoor area a 'homey' feel that is warm and inviting."
Ambient lighting is essential in any well-designed space, and outdoor areas are no exception. "This modern solar outdoor candle lantern is small enough to display on an outdoor side table, but provides enough light to cast a warm glow throughout a balcony or patio," says Dominique Brielle Fluker of DBF Interiors.
To carve out a spot for reading and relaxing, Shaolin Low of Studio Shaolin says a hammock is a must-have in an outdoor area. "They're cozy and provide weightless lounging," she explains. "If you don't have a tree to tie one to, there are also freestanding options."
No outdoor oasis would be complete without a place to set a book or cocktail, which is why John McClain of John McClain Design recommends investing in this affordable weatherproof side table. "I love small and functional side tables for indoor and outdoor use," he explains. "This table is not only small and lightweight enough to move from patio to yard, but it comes in an array of colors to liven up a neutral setting."
Nothing livens up an outdoor space like a row or two of twinkling string lights. "My number one decor pick for every outdoor space is commercial-grade lighting," says Kristin Dion of Kristin Dion Design. "String lights elevate the ambience of a patio and allow you to entertain after the sun sets."
For an easy and affordable way to update your outdoor area, Lovings suggests adding a couple of stylish weatherproof throw pillows to the mix. "They are a great addition to any outdoor sofa, lounge chair, or even just stacked on a rug," she explains. "I love these modern bohemian pillows because they are on trend and in timeless black and white, so they will be in style for a long time."
The only thing better than a smartphone-enabled weatherproof lantern is one with a built-in Bluetooth speaker. "This wireless speaker conceals an outdoor light that flickers like a beautiful fire," says Carneil Griffin of Griffin Direction Interiors. "While the goal for any outdoor space should be to create an ambient atmosphere, the fun doesn't begin until the music starts."
A pint-sized stool composed of natural wood can moonlight as a footrest, side table, or plant stand in any size of outdoor area. "This mini wooden stool has a minimalist design and clean lines, which will complement most aesthetic styles," Fluker explains. "You can use this chic stool to display your outdoor plants or as a makeshift mini outdoor table."
If your outdoor space isn't surrounded by nature, Lovings says incorporating natural greenery into the area is the next best thing. "This planter is a great way to make sure your outdoor space has a touch of nature," she explains. "Its neutral but modern aesthetic will work with most decor, and it can fit perfectly in an empty balcony corner or even next to a seating area on a front porch."