Add flowers and plants
The patio is the area that transitions your indoor living space to the outdoors. Incorporate flowers and plants to add some color and natural appeal. Place plants and flowers in terracotta pots on tables and in hanging baskets. Put several containers together with blooms in the same color scheme. Look for unique pots, ceramic urns and other containers for your flowers and plants at garage sales.
Patio lighting doesn't have to be expensive. Try tiki torches, paper lanterns or white Christmas lights for a little ambience. Christmas lights are inexpensive, particularly if you buy them off season at your neighborhood Walmart or other store.
Create colorful benches
Buy affordable wood or metal benches, and paint them in bright colors. Add accent throw pillows in coordinating shades for a little comfort and a lot of style. You can also add a hammock or porch swing for relaxing with a cold glass of iced tea and a good book.
Purchase bamboo mats
Here's how to make your own area rug for your patio out of inexpensive bamboo mats: Get the same mats that you roll up and carry to the beach; they cost about $5 each. Attach two or three of them together with carpet tape on the underside, flip and put under your patio table.
Make homemade topiaries
Buy dense shrubbery from a garden shop, Walmart or a home improvement store. Use garden shears to cut the shrubs into shapes. They don't have to be elaborate -- spheres, cones and hearts will do.
Upgrade tables and chairs
Make an old patio set look new again with spray paint. You can buy used patio furniture on the cheap at garage sales and thrift shops.
Paint the cement
If your patio is worn, you don't have to have it re-done. Instead, paint it! You can use stencils to create the look of brick or tiles. After you are finished painting, seal the patio to make sure the colors last.