Making your outdoors great (on a minuscule budget)
By the time you’ve scrimped and saved to get into your first home, there’s not usually much left over for landscaping and outdoor decorating. That doesn’t mean you have to live with a sandpit. With a little bit of creativity, craftiness and patience, you can create your own great outdoors. Here are our top tips for bringing your garden and outdoor area to life.
Cuttings and car park markets
If you’re lucky enough to have room for a lawn, grass runners are far more affordable than roll on turf. Spring is the best time to plant. Providing you prep the soil properly, and don’t forget to water, they will quickly grow to cover the entire area.
Growing plants from cuttings will also save you a small fortune – especially if you get them for free from friends and neighbours. Frangipanis, geraniums and succulents are water-wise and almost impossible to kill. Simply place the cutting directly into the soil. For affordable established plants, try your local farmers’ or car park market.
Not the tree – the online classifieds. You know how your car devalues the second you drive it off the lot? Furniture devalues even faster. You can pick up outdoor furniture, garden accessories or even some plants for peanuts through second hand sites like Gumtree and Facebook market place. Don’t be afraid to “tell ‘em they’re dreamin” if the price is too high.
If you’re budget is really non-existent, call up your friend with a truck and give curb crawling a try. Most people will be delighted to see their unwanted furniture go to a new home rather than landfill. The more affluent the area, the more likely people are to throw out the old BBQ or outdoor set than sell it. Check their local town website for collection dates.
Don’t just look for perfect, try and see the potential too. A good sanding … a coat of white paint … that mission brown 70’s table and chairs suddenly becomes shabby chic. Which brings us to our next tip.
Upcycle and get crafty
Don’t throw it, transform it. Empty Hendricks and Bombay gin bottles make beautiful candleholders – just soak off the labels and you have some nice glassware on the cheap. A crumbling wheelbarrow, a coat of paint and voila – a herb garden on wheels. Paint a favourite tablecloth with a coat of clear water-based polyurethane and you have an outdoor rug and a pop of colour to enliven the alfresco. If you come across a wooden pallet or cable wheel, you’ve struck upcycling nirvana – there are a trove of websites with ideas on how to transform them into every piece of outdoor furniture you could possibly need.
Look for pieces that do double duty
With natural materials like cane and rattan being a huge trend for 2019, the line between indoor and outdoor furniture is starting to blur. Make your furniture work harder by looking for pieces that can do double duty between the living area and alfresco.
While a tight budget might restrict your decorating, don’t let it rule out an alfresco from your wish list. WAHC has a range of home designs with undercover entertaining areas to suit a variety of block widths. Click here to find out more about our home designs.