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Outdoor entertaining makeovers on a budget

Projects Editor
Projects Editor

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Making your outdoor area more stylish and functional doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult.


We asked Jane Wright, merchandise trend and design manager at Bunnings, for cost-effective ideas on how to transform outdoor areas.

1. Update your deck or paving


Jane suggests transforming your deck or paving into "something fabulous" based on your space. "Modular decking kits provide an immediate makeover and can be taken with you if you're renting," she says. "Wood chips or gravel are cost-effective options."


You can also use outdoor rugs, including hardwearing jute or synthetic rugs designed for outdoor use.


Check out Bunnings Workshop member Nicki (@NickiM)'s deck and alfresco area makeover for inspiration on how to transform your deck.


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Here are the Top 10 most popular deck projects on Workshop. 

2. Build a fire pit


Make the most of your outdoor area all year by adding a fire pit and stools. "Be sure to select a location away from your neighbours’ open windows," Jane advises.


Lauren (@lcooksey88)'s fire pit area provides the perfect setting for relaxing and entertaining. Follow experienced Workshop member Adam (@Adam_W)'s guide How to build a fire pit for step-by-step instructions. 


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Don't miss the Top 10 most popular fire pit projects shared on Workshop. 


3. Install lighting


Lighting is an inexpensive way to create a cosy atmosphere in your outdoor area. "Fairy and festoon lights are excellent choices for outdoor spaces, instantly adding personality and charm," Jane says. "Lanterns and hurricane vases with candles offer budget-friendly options that suit various design styles."


Tom (@tom_builds)' backyard covered patio with low-level deck features white LED party lights.

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Have a look at these 10 ways to prepare your house for a party for more ideas on how to get your home ready for entertaining.


4. Use cushions and decor


If you're working with a limited budget or renting a space where painting walls isn't an option, use outdoor cushions and decor to add interest to your outdoor furniture.


"Opt for quality outdoor fabrics to ensure durability," Jane says. "Add lanterns, throws, hurricane vases, candles, coasters, and planter stands to breathe life into your outdoor area affordably." 


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Jane shares more tips on choosing and using outdoor furniture in Outdoor furniture trends.

5. Add plants


Plants can instantly add character to outdoor spaces. "Mix pots of varying heights and sizes, group them for a focal point, and choose containers and colours to complement your decor," Jane advises.

She adds that "hanging baskets with vibrant annuals or balcony rail pots filled with your favourite blooms" are easy ways to bring colour and vitality to your outdoor areas.


Build your own hanging basket with Adam's step-by-step guide How to create a hanging basket.


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Horticulturalist @Noelle also shares useful advice on choosing plants for hanging baskets.


6. Hang mirrors


Those with compact outdoor areas like small balconies and courtyards can also hang mirrors. Mirrors help bounce light around the area, making it appear larger.


Learn how to install an outdoor mirror.


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The Bunnings guide How to decorate a small outdoor space may come in handy for those with compact areas.


More inspiration and advice on transforming your outdoor area

Jane shares more expert advice in 7 ways to add privacy to your outdoor area.


For more project inspiration, check out the Top 10 most popular outdoor projects shared by Workshop members and 10 ways to transform your outdoor entertaining area

1 Reply
Kind of a Big Deal

Good afternoon All

I really like the idea of a hanging mirror outside, Especially if you can make it appear to leed into another area. The lighting idea is something I keep tinkering with in my head. I have a pool that I have low voltage lights around but really would like to "lift" the area into a new look. Think this long weeknd will be a weeknd of ideas!



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