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By Terri Mitchell

Fresh and funky furnishings for your outdoor living spaces

Start summer right with some fresh furnishings for your outdoor spaces. Even if your budget is lean, there are some inventive and innovative furniture ideas that will suit your outdoor living spaces well, and give you the perfect place for summertime entertaining. Try out some unique twists on conventional outdoor furniture that will garner compliments from family, friends, and neighbors.

Enjoy spending summer outside, and give your outdoor living spaces a fresh face with these furniture finds:

Build it yourself. Construct your own comfy furniture by recycling wood pallets. These come in a variety of sizes and are perfect for making your own recycled pallet furniture at a fraction of the cost of lumber or building supplies. There are many styles and types of furniture, from a cool hanging bench swing to a sectional seating arrangement. Visit thrift stores for old linens to use for covering pillows, cushions, or bolsters on your wood pallet frames.

Hunt for used treasures. Some cool and funky things can be found in a second-hand store or at a rummage sale. Look for vintage finds that echo retro styles for your outdoor areas and spaces. Refurbish old wicker to use on a patio or porch; wicker is typically cheapest when it has been painted or needs repairs. Scour tag sales for teak or wood furniture that can be gently sanded and moisturized, and that will last a lifetime. Some other intriguing items to keep an eye out for are focal points to bring your outdoor elements together. This might be a cool old fountain, a unique statue, or pillows that reflect the colors of the natural surroundings.

Enhance something on hand. Save money by repurposing items and furnishings that you have on hand to use in your outdoor living spaces. Some clever upcycles include:

– Use large wooden spools as cocktail tables for drinks on your patio.

– Revamp an old bathtub into a clever chaise or couch to put in the garden.

– Recycle an old trunk into a cool coffee table for under your pergola.

– Create a clever pet bed for your porch out of an old suitcase.

Blow it up. For some fun this summer, look for inflatable furniture, found widely and at fairly low price-points. These are great, colorful additions to your patio, garden, or pool, and are generally quite durable. Bring your inflatable furniture in during inclement weather, and invest in a cheap air pump to make inflating your furniture a breeze.

Inflatable furniture is becoming quite popular and can be found in camps, cottages, and even dorm rooms. It works well in small spaces, since it can be easily deflated and stored as needed. Some newer inflatables hitting the market include sofas, ottomans, and sectional seating arrangements.

Even if your buying budget is restrictive, you can still give your outdoor spaces a fresh look for summer with these inventive furniture ideas. Consider comfort and convenience when outfitting your patio, and try some of these approaches to furnishing your outdoor living areas for the fun-filled summer ahead!

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