You don’t need to spend a whole lot to make your balcony a spot worthy to spend time in this summer. Whether you want your balcony to be a place to sip your coffee in the morning, to work-from-home at during the day, or to party at night, these tips will help you revamp your balcony on a budget.

Choose Eclectic Styles

Those perfectly stylistically coordinated balconies may look great, but it can take a big upfront investment to buy every element of your balcony from the same place to ensure those colors, textures and styles match perfectly. Abandon the effort and choose an eclectic style, where things that are a little bit different won’t stand out. The benefit is that you can keep adding to your balcony over the years, and only focus on what really needs improvement right now.

Try a Fresh Coat of Paint

House paint is relatively cheap, and even a DIY paint job can revitalize your balcony. Color blocking works especially well for balconies.

Use String Lights and Faux Candles

A little bit of lighting is one of the best ways to improve your balcony space. You don’t need to buy something expensive. String lights and faux candles, as long as they are rated for use outdoors, add just that little bit of light you need to keep the balcony comfortable past sunset. You can lean into the romantic low lighting by huddling seating closely, or even using cheaper seating like pillows.

Get Free Cuttings and Wild Plants

Who doesn’t love those balconies you see online that are covered in plants? For those who don’t have backyards it is always great to make outdoor space a little bit greener. However, plants can get pretty expensive. It’s worse if you’re not an experienced gardener and some of your plants die. A great way to avoid this is to choose wild plants or look for opportunities to get free cuttings from friends or local organizations. Anyone you know who buys seeds in spring likely has leftovers.

Use the Strategic Cover-Up

Balconies are exposed to the elements and they quickly wear down. As long as the surfaces and balcony are still safe, there is nothing wrong with skipping the expense to upgrade them and instead covering them up. For example, get an outdoor rug to cover up a hard or stained balcony floor. Hang wall art, mirrors, or plant boxes on the exterior wall of your unit to cover up peeling paint. Just don’t hang things on balconies that look rusted or are sagging. The balcony could be unsafe.

Choose Non-Specific Shade Options

One of the most essential elements of a functioning balcony, particularly in California, is good shade. The problem is that balcony-specific shade options tend to be expensive—especially retractable shades and balcony shutters. It’s often less expensive to get your shade from products that are meant for something else. Big beach umbrellas and indoor curtains are both good ideas to get some shade without spending a whole lot.

Accessorize at the Thrift Store

Who doesn’t like to update their interior décor accessories regularly? It make sense you’d want a new vibe for your balcony this year, whether its summer citrus, seaside escape, or pineapple pavilion, you can make your stylizing cheaper if you head to the thrift store and not an outdoor supply center.