Blog post


We’ve lived in this house for almost two years with nothing but a ten year old table and a bunch of mismatched folding chairs we’ve aquired from before we were even dating which was over 14 years ago on the back patio.  Why you say?  Because after building our dream home and picking out every detail from the layout of the house to the paint color, trim, lighting and faucets, I just couldn’t make any more decisions especially ones that were costly because I wasn’t sure I would like it two months later and I didn’t want to waste the money.  I come from a modest childhood so I’m a value shopper by heart.  And backyard design can add up fast.

Anyway, summers are short here in Upstate NY so we spend every waking minute we can outside from May – August even if it’s only 60 degrees because let’s face it, there’s no snow.  We host all the family gatherings and eat almost every meal on the back patio so it was time for an upgrade and preferably something more comfortable than the pile of pillows I usually end up sitting on the concrete with because we never have enough chairs.

AND, because I’m a value shopper, I spent the last month scouring the internet for the best deals on the style we liked that could accommodate 6 – 10 people all summer long. Here are my top tips on how you can have high end design on a budget too.

I suggest to start with envisioning what you want to do in the area your designing.  We wanted our space to cross as a place we could eat meals as well as lounge comfortably while sipping a cup of coffee in the early mornings or relaxing with a cocktail after the kids are to bed.  Since we planned to use this from sun up to sun down, we had to think also about keeping the sun out of our eyes and keeping us warm on the cool nights with mood lighting.  Yup – I wanted all that and at first thought there was no way possible to make it happen for our 8X20 space.  But I did it AND I did it for about $3000.00 (Yes, that’s three thousand dollars) cheaper than originally planned when I first picked the style I liked and found options on more popular sites.

Because I’m super transparent, what I am going to show you cost me just under $2000.00 total which is way better than the original $5000.  And now I get to design our next patio space with what we saved.

Ok, now choose three different websites to get inspiration and get a baseline price idea.  Take note of those prices (hold on to your eyelashes because you’re eyes are going to pop at the expense) and then look up discount websites for look and price comparison.  I looked on Amazon, Big Lots,, and Walmart just to name a few.  The price difference was major.  Now, two things to note. You will have to put these together when they arrive.  And they may be a slightly lesser quality.  Both of which didn’t bother me when we were talking about a $3000.00 price difference because honestly, I have kids and it’s going to be junk in 5 years anyways whether it’s the expensive stuff or the cheaper stuff.  And last thing to point out is, the cheaper stuff looks freaking nice.  We get so many compliments on it!

Bonus savings. Just before you click buy on the furniture you found on one of the cheaper sites, I want you to place your order through a cash back site.  There’s several different popular ones but I use the one that I get as a benefit of the shopping club I belong to.  (The shopping club is how my family does wellness on a budget.)  So when I bought my furniture, I got 6% back on one site and 8% on another.  And double bonus savings is, I earned another 2% cash back for using the credit card I have from that same shopping club.  So all in all, I earned about $150 in cash back. WHOOP!

Guys… I’m proud of the savvy shopper that I am because it’s only the way that I get to have designer style on a budget. And you can too.  But it does take patience.  Make it fun.  Get a coffee or a glass of wine and do NOT, I repeat do NOT do it while your kids are around.  It does take some consistent searching.  I highly suggest to do it all in one sitting.  Don’t try to go back to it, because you’ll forget all the research you did and then have to start all over again.

That’s it.  Don’t over think it.  Decided you’re going to create a space that your whole family will love that is inviting and comfortable and usable and make it happen.

Sectional, table and stools from Amazon.

Glider chairs, table and pillows from Big Lots.

Greenery and decor on tables from Marshalls and Big Lots.

Cute boy from my belly.

(No links available because I’m not a “real” blogger… hahaha… I’m just a wanna be blogger who likes giving you simple ideas for free because we’re besties)

Happy designing!!






By jessie_bouton

Previous Post

Next Post

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *