Garden Room Decorating on a Dime!

by Kathleen Wilson

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Today when we talk about garden rooms, the line between inside and outdoors can be blurred. After all, we are bringing more of the outdoors in, and also decorating our outdoor spaces more like rooms. So here are some great ideas for either space, to add the charm of the garden wherever your room might lie!

1. Create a focal point for the room that illustrates the garden theme, whether that be a view of your roses from the front porch, or just a great painting of them in your den. You want the first thing that people notice about your room to scream "garden"! Direct your furnishings and activities around that focal point to give it importance. Some budget ideas for focal points?

  • A collection of painted pots, piled in an attractive way
  • Old garden tools hung on the wall in a grouping
  • A view through your window at the garden outdoors
  • Frame a large piece of floral fabric and hang as art
  • Paint your own landscape. Bob Ross books make it easy even for the beginner, so check your library.
  • A fireplace mantel lined with bud vases and a single flower in each one

2. Use garden friendly colors in your room. Paint your room in colors you would find in a garden, such as daffodil yellows, cool greens, sky blues, etc. Sometimes the easiest way to choose your colors is to pick them from a garden picture or fabric in the room. Use one color through 60% of the room, the second through 30%, and the third accent through just 10% of the room. This gives a good balance to the room. Remember to spread the colors evenly throughout.

3. Plants! What would a garden room be without plants? Whether your room is outdoors or inside, some creative containers can make it possible to add color and life to your garden room. Planters can be expensive, so consider using some less obvious choices.

  • Plastic buckets can easily be painted with craft paints or the new "Fusion" spray paint.
  • Baskets can be lined with plastic and filled with plants.
  • Old chipped soup tureens
  • Rusted wheelbarrows or wagons
  • Build simple boxes with scrap pile wood.
  • Even your old teapot tucked full with a pretty fern can add garden charm!

4. Create natural accessories. Pretty things created from nature will only add to the richness of your garden tapestry.

  • Glue dried flowers to a straw wreath.
  • Fill a dish with river rocks.
  • Paint large stones with inspirational words, such as "Beauty" or "Faith."
  • Use twigs and a glue gun to create rustic "frames."
  • Buy dollar shop picture frames and fill with garden catalog photos.
  • Fill a basket with nuts or pinecones, add a few seedpods and a shiny stone or two, and display on a table, next to a door, or on a fireplace hearth.

5. Lastly, remember to keep the spirit of your garden room alive by touching on all the senses! The fresh fragrance of flowers you have tended, the taste of sweet fruit from Mother Nature, the sound of joyful what can be more natural that that?

Kathleen Wilson is an author, national columnist, and editor of The Budget Decorator. For hundreds of free budget decorating ideas and to sign up for her free online newsletter, visit her at

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