Just because a piece of furniture is designated for one particular use doesn't mean you can't repurpose it. This bright metal desk on casters becomes a sturdy outdoor cart or a dining table for two. For seating: Look for throwaway items, such as wide logs, that withstand the wear and tear of outdoor life.
See more simple ways to upgrade your porch.
Add low-cost punch to your outdoor spaces with a pretty assembly of accents. To add color variation, consider painting patio furniture a fun collection of colors, courtesy of inexpensive spray paint. Here, vinyl lamps (which need to be in a covered outdoor space) look like paper party lanterns but are more resilient; they can be wired to a central connecting box, with the cords threaded through eye screws attached to the ceiling. Simple tin cans, accented with decorative papers and glued-on decorative items (here, a starfish), dress up the chairs. To attach, cut a slit at each can's top and bottom, and use ribbon to tie it to the chair. Place flowers in a smaller jar filled with water inside the cans.
Cheery paint transforms ordinary home-supply items, including palettes and concrete half blocks, into a spacious and handy outdoor coffee table. Make two for a push-together, low-slung dining spot.
Built-in planters and a simple construction method make this punchy garden bench a go-to project for even the most novice DIYer. A trio of trellises behind the bench supplies both height and pattern for the low-slung seating space.
For bright, inexpensive color, turn to alternative items -- here, bedsheets -- for sun-blocking shades on a deck, patio, or pergola. Vintage finds are easily transformed into extra seating and storage for outdoor spaces: A found trunk becomes ottoman/coffee table/storage bench, thanks to bright paint, casters, and a cushion covered in a pretty patterned fabric.
Refashioning a few taken-apart palettes into a rustic potting bench takes just a few hours and gives you a tidy project with lots of work space. Open shelves offer plenty of storage, and hooks -- added as needed -- keep tools at the ready. The back half-wall of the potting shed even has enough space for decorative display: here, a wicker basket filled with succulents. Click for detailed directions to build the project.
Off-the-shelf materials form this fun and functional outdoor table, perfect for covered porches and screened decks. Simpler than it looks, this DIY project comes together in virtually no time. You'll need two doors -- one smaller than the other -- as well as four rolling wheels and two metal buckets. Attach the rolling wheels to the smaller door, set the buckets on top of it, and cover with the door. To add a punch of color, paint the buckets in a color that matches your exterior decor.