Wicker chair on porch.

It’s finally porch weather! Are you ready for nighttime drinks, summer reading and outdoor meals on the front porch or back patio? I know I am. Hanging out on the porch just isn’t as fun if your only decorations are a couple of lawn chairs, though.

Decorating your front porch doesn’t have to be expensive. Get your porch or patio area spruced up (the eco- and budget-friendly way) with these seven decorating ideas.

1. Cozy candles

Brighten your outdoor space with candles. They’re an easy (and eco-friendly) way to add ambiance to your porch. Any style of candle will cheer up your porch. My favorite way to use candles on my porch right now is to place tea lights in mason jars. But not just any candle will cut it for the eco-conscious. If you care about your health, choose candles made from soy or beeswax. Most other candles are made with paraffin wax, a by-product of oil refining. These candles release volatile organic compounds into the air when lit. You can also always make candles yourself. It’s easier than you think!

2. Plush pillows

Add some coziness to your front porch with pillows. They’re not just indoor accessories! Place a few throw pillows on your chairs or porch swing to freshen up the space. A budget-friendly way to get “new” pillows for your porch is to buy pillow covers. Squeeze old throw pillows that you just don’t like anymore into the new pillows covers and bam—you have a whole new look for cheap.

3. Get planty

Lush greenery makes a space feel relaxing. Exactly the feeling I crave for a porch. Plant a variety of flowers and edibles in containers and spread them around your outdoor space. Plants aren’t just pretty to look at, though. They can serve functional purposes too. Place taller plants side-by-side to add privacy to the space. And use smaller potted plants to section off different areas. Potted plants can separate a seating area from a dining area on your porch, for example.

4. Brighten with lights

What’s better than eating dinner on your front porch or backyard patio with just strings of lights overhead to light your table? Just a few strings of lights can dramatically enhance the atmosphere. Go for eco-friendly LED lights.

5. Install curtains

Fancify your porch by hanging curtains. Get creative and you won’t have to splurge on new curtains. String up a pretty bedsheet or blanket as a makeshift curtain. Install a hook on a wall nearby so you can drape and undrape the curtains as needed.

6. Easy end tables

End tables are always handy to have around. And the porch is no different. If you don’t already own outdoor-friendly end tables, then make your own. Use a tree stump or turn a plant container upside down as a makeshift end table. Get creative and you won’t have to spend a dime!

7. Finish off with rugs

An outdoor rug can make your porch feel more put together. Plus, you can find outdoor rugs made from all types of eco-friendly materials. Rugs made from recycled plastic are great as outdoor rugs. Check out VivaTerra, MadMats and Bambeco to find rugs made from recycled milk jugs, plastic bottles and more.

Follow Kirsten on Twitter @kirsten_hudson, Google+ and Pinterest.

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