6 Cheap Accessories Your Patio Needs, According to Home Stagers

published Mar 14, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Whatever your outdoor retreat may be — a balcony, patio, deck, or small patch of grass — it’s bound to be the hottest club of 2021 for catching up with friends, stargazing, watching the sunset, or sipping a cup of coffee before starting a busy day.

But just because it’s outside doesn’t mean it has to lack personality. Your balcony or patio can — and should be — just as stylish and functional as any other room in your home. And the best part? You don’t have to spend a fortune to trick out your outdoor space.

With accessories, you can easily (and cheaply!) spruce up a basic table-and-chairs set or some secondhand patio furniture you found on Facebook Marketplace. Soon, your patio, balcony, or what have you will be your go-to hangout spot and the envy of all your neighbors.

Since home stagers get their hands on so much decor as part of their work beautifying homes for sale, I tapped their expertise and asked them to share their go-to accessories for patios.

“Inexpensive patio furniture sets can be turned into a work of art with the right accessories,” says Nakeisha Glover, owner of Element Home Design & Staging in Atlanta. 

Throw Pillows

If your patio furniture is neutral, basic, or has frankly just seen better days, you can spruce up the scene and make your seating more comfortable with budget-friendly throw pillows.

“If you’re unsure as to what colors to employ, use the decor inside your home as a template, then bring those colors outside,” Glover says. “This method also makes for an easy visual transition from inside the home to outside the home.”


Even if your balcony or patio color palette is mostly neutral, add a pop of color (and some life!) with a few potted plants. 

“Adding greenery brings life to a dull area and turns your patio into an oasis of nature,” Glover says. “In my opinion, you can never have too many plants. So go wild!”

And if you just don’t have a green thumb, consider adding a large planter on its own, sans plants — it will create a big, bold, instant “wow” factor, Glover says.

“They can be found at your local home goods or home improvement store in various colors, shapes, sizes, and patterns,” she says. 

Candles and Lanterns

You probably have some kind of wall-mounted or overhead lighting in your outdoor space. But this lighting is often harsh and doesn’t usually create the warm, fun vibe you’re going for on your patio or deck. Enter candles and lanterns, which can add a soft glow in the dark.

“I love to create a table centerpiece with a few lanterns at various heights or just have one large ceramic candle holder,” Glover says. “You can use battery-operated candles, but I love citronella candles as they give the appropriate amount of light and help keep the bugs away.”

Area Rugs

Think rugs are just for indoor spaces? Think again. An area rug can make your cold, hard patio concrete or rough wooden deck feel cozy and soft underfoot. Because who has time for shoes when you’re enjoying nice weather?

“Finding an indoor/outdoor rug with a poppy pattern or color anchors the space,” says Leah Gomberg, a home stager who owns Sweet Life by Design. “The great thing about indoor/outdoor rugs is that they are totally washable — like with a hose and soap — and if what you find is a little worn, no problem, you’re going to layer it with more cool stuff and distract from any tattered areas or imperfections.”

Unique End Tables

If you’re spending time on your deck, chances are you’re also eating and drinking — solo morning coffee, a fizzy and refreshing cocktail with a friend, maybe even a full-on barbecue. To that end, be sure you have plenty of tables around for people to set down their drinks or plates. Look for different materials, patterns, and sizes, and don’t be afraid to customize them, Gomberg says.

“Try a yard sale to find a sweet glass table and chairs,” she says. “You can always paint them — just sand off any rust or peeling paint first.”

DIY Decor

At the end of the day, your outdoor space is just like your indoor space: It’s a reflection of you. Go ahead and get creative with your outdoor accessories. Make a fun weekend project out of repurposing decor or second-hand items, Gomberg says.

An empty glass bottle can become a cute DIY light fixture when you drop in a string of small, battery-operated lights. If you’ve got an old wooden step ladder, you can add wood or metal shelves to each ladder rung and use it as a functional plant holder.

“Layer different styles of plants on your awesome, homemade shelves and it will double as a barrier between your slice of heaven and your neighbor’s place,” Gomberg says.