Recycle An Inexpensive Outdoor Room

Recycle An Inexpensive Outdoor Room

With warm weather approaching, it’s the right time to create an outdoor living space.
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You can create a beautiful outdoor room for less money with recycled objects.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 2:00pm


Outdoor rooms have gained popularity over the last few years, and it’s easy to see why. An outdoor space provides an opportunity to entertain during warmer months. Or possibly just a place to relax and share time with your friends and family.

Outdoor rooms can be pricey to build and furnish, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little imagination, you can create a wonderful outdoor space from recycled objects.  

That’s how Richard Rolfe and Stephen Rutledge created their unique outdoor living room without spending an extravagant amount. They ended up with a room they love, which is cobbled together from local salvage.

Below are some tips to help you create your own outdoor sanctuary.

Location, Location, Location

First decide on a location for your outdoor room. You might choose an existing patio, whether covered or not.  But don’t overlook other quiet, tree-studded areas of your yard. Just about any space will do if you follow a few easy guidelines.

Unlike other areas of your life, size really doesn’t matter here. But choose a relatively level patch of ground.  This is important because you don’t want to contend with wobbly tables and chairs.  

If you want, you can mark off your area using bricks or stones you have on hand, to give you an idea of a floor plan.  

Net Furnishings

The first place I always look when I feel like redecorating is my own house. Check the attic or garage, guest rooms and closets for items that have been cast aside, but may still be useful. Old lawn chairs, tables with scratched finishes, or an old card table will make great first additions to your outdoor sanctuary. Look also for pictures, mirrors, or any other interesting piece of furniture or decoration that you like.

Next check out local thrift stores and flea markets. Don’t expect to find matching pieces, you probably won’t.  But do look for items that you like and can use. Paint or refinish items if needed, or simply go with what you have. A mix-and-match quality to furnishings is unique and charming, so go with it!

Create Privacy

If your outdoor room is protected from the weather, like on an existing patio or deck with a cover, you can make a private retreat by using old sheets or recycled wood trellises to create privacy. How to Create an Instant Outdoor Room will give you some detailed how-tos. Use old tablecloths to make decorative pillows, chair cushions and small table covers.

Add Some Architectural Interest

Add interest by using architectural salvage pieces found at flea markets. Paint items, add mirrors or other embellishments and place in your outdoor space. Reflective mirrors give the illusion of a bigger space.  Interesting iron salvage pieces can be used as tables to hold drinks, as a plant stand or extra seating when needed. Be creative. When you see an old window, think, “what can I do with this?” How about placing it on top of a giant wooden spool (like the one’s used at shipyards) to make a table? Or place photos inside of each of the spaces for the window panes and hang it on a tree as a collage?

Lighten Up

Found items like sconces or a chandelier will provide beautiful illumination for your outdoor room. Don’t worry if you don’t have electricity in your outdoor space. Replace bulbs with candles and you’re ready to go. If you have electricity available to your outdoor space, why not use Old Christmas lights to add color and sparkle.  Use collected glass jars or small cups to hold votive candles to add a romantic mood to your space at night.

Bring Nature In

For an easy and inexpensive centerpiece, use small jars and vases in different sizes and colors to hold votive candles. Cluster them together and fill in with greenery and flowers from your garden to add even more color.

Bring nature in by using potted plants and other natural elements like wood and natural rocks that you might find in your yard to add the finishing touches to your outdoor sanctuary.

You can’t go wrong when you decide to repurpose items into an outdoor oasis. Let your personality show through when you decorate, and you’ll create a sanctuary that will give you pleasure all summer long.

For more tips like these or to recommend more ideas, click here. is dedicated to our users. We focus our attention on changing the world through recycling, waste-to-energy and conservation. We reward our users for their sustainable behaviors on our website, through our Greenopolis Tracking Stations and with curbside recycling programs.