cottage patio ideas for updating a summer patio

Cottage Patio Ideas ~ Summer DIY and Makeover

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Rachel Stone

cottage patio ideas for updating a summer patio

Hello friends! Today I’m so excited to be sharing seven more creative cottage patio ideas to add style and charm to your backyard, or outdoors spaces on a budget!

As you know we recently did a patio makeover and enjoyed the process and outcome so much that we’ve decided to take things even further. We want to show you how to create a cozy outdoor space on a budget.

Cottage Patio Ideas Video

Our Budget Friendly Cottage Style Patio Ideas

  1. Cover an unattractive wall meter
  2. Blur the lines of indoor/outdoor living
  3. Add shade loving flowers to either side of the back door
  4. Create a mosaic bird bath from vintage floral dishes
  5. Refresh a pair of faded, rusted watering cans with a coat of paint
  6. Trim up messy, low hanging branches
  7. Remove an ancient satellite that hasn’t worked for probably a decade!
  8. Add more seating with a vintage metal bench

For starters, here are some cottage patio ideas from Pinterest that inspired us to take our patio to the next level. 

Armed with a list of materials for these projects let’s go shopping! Right off the bat we stopped by the plant nursery for flowers that love shade. Any day that you visit a nursery is a good day!

For my “thriller” I found Caladiums, for the “fillers” we chose African Inpatients, and Coleus. Lastly, for the “spiller” we picked out some Creeping Jenny. For colors we chose bright, light cheerful colors.

If we can’t find what we like at the plant nursery we enjoy ordering from online plant retailers like Wayside Gardens or White Flower Farm.

flowers are a great cottage patio idea

Plant haul! I’m curious and excited to see how well these shade plants do under the patio flanking the back door.

There was still one spot open for another hanging basket and these dainty, bell-like Fushias were enchanting. I hope they like it on our cottage patio!

One shade arrangement done, and one to go!

Here are the shade flowers flanking the main back door. Since planting these, they have filled in and grown tall enough to cover the power outlet ~ another plus! They’ve done very well & I love how they turned out ~ should’ve done this years ago! Seeing how amazing these plants look is tempting me to plant even more. Let me know in the comments below if you are interested in cottage garden patio ideas. If this is your thing, we have posts about gardening you can enjoy.

Now let’s give these well-loved watering cans a fresh coat of paint. It’s amazing how paint can transform old things back to “new”!

How To Make Your Patio Look Cozy

My friend, Miss Robin had the lovely idea to hang curtains on the corners of the patio. This was a perfect cottage patio idea since I’d recently thrifted four flat twin sized sheets for .99 cents each! They are 100% cotton and are sprinkled with blue cottage style cabbage roses. So dreamy…

Of all the projects we did today this one probably had the biggest impact in blurring the lines of indoor/outdoor living. Plus this was SO easy with no sewing involved!

Ever since our last patio video I’ve been on the hunt for a vintage mental glider. After looking on Marketplace, and antique stores I quickly learned that this was a popular, expensive item. Often these gliders were running $300 to $350 ~ and they were in need of repair!

So, I decided that a vintage metal bench would be just as nice and found one in good condition for $100. I made an offer and the gentleman accepted my offer of $65! I was thrilled and promptly repainted it to coordinate with the screen doors. Now this bench looks as if it’s always been on our patio!

Budget Friendly Cottage Patio Idea

Use DIY projects to save money.

From our inspiration picture on the mosaic bird bath I went hunting inexpensive vintage, floral plates. One little secret I have is to shop a certain booth at a local antique store. They have a booth there chock full of vintage dishes and if I have the occasion to purchase a good number of dishes the booth owner makes a deal. Sometimes it’s three plates for $1, and this time it was half off. Several of my vintage saucers and tea cups have come from this booth!

Here you see the bits and pieces of various vintage plates trimmed and grouped by color. Our color palette is mostly blue and green with a bit of floral sprinkled in. To get an idea of how the pieces will fit, they are set around the center.

Once the dishes were trimmed to size, and sorted by color we began laying out our design. For the center of the bird bath I found a Spode coaster at the antique shop for $1. This gave the design a focal point and established the color palette.

I was pleasantly surprised to find I really enjoyed working with glass and getting the cuts just right around the pretty hand-painted flowers.

We mortared the pieces in place using tile thinset and let them dry. To echo the blue and white colors in the center coaster we put a blue border around the outside. Once the first stage was dry we grouted in the dishes with sanded grout. To finish off the edge we glued on half gems (glass beads) from the dollar store. Lastly, once the grout was set, the whole top will need a clear sealant.

The glint of sunlight off the golden edges in the plates, and the glass beads makes this bird bath gleam and glisten like a jewel. So beautiful!

To me, this project was intimidating since I’d never done anything like this before, but I’ve loved the outcome so much another bird bath may appear for the front yard…

If you are like me you love a good before and after… It truly is amazing what elbow grease, paint, and a few inexpensive DIY projects can do for an outdoor space!



I hope you have enjoyed our visit today and gathered loads of inspiration for adding cottage style to your outdoor space! For further inspiration check out our fall front porch makeover. If you are not already subscribed to the blog, please fill out the subscription form on our homepage.

Thank you for coming along and until next time, take care.



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Author: Rachel Stone
Rachel is passionate about creating a comfortable and beautiful home for her family. She also loves to share the lessons she is learning with her wonderful audience both on this blog and her YouTube channel.