INSIDE : Check out 5 must do tips for updating your outdoor space and creating a hang worthy place to be. Learn how to get your patio summer ready for socializing in no time at all!
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When it comes to outdoor spaces, my heart does a little happy dance. Being a landscape architect and self-proclaimed plant lover spending time in backyard patios, porches and outside in general makes my heart swell. One of my very favorite things about living in the desert is how great our outside living is – I definitely spend as much time outside as I do inside.
Ready for some real talk? Our front and back yard make me kinda bummed. I grew up in very green Midwest areas. Our desert home, although so very lovely and one that I am so blessed to live in… has a yard that just makes me sad. I have started carving out little oasis’ of green, but most of it is dry dirt with a few random boulders and native plants and a constant source of weeds.
Being a person who’s soul literally is filled by being outdoors surrounded by plants, I’m left to focus on potted plants and creating the best patio area I can for now. So, I thought it may be helpful to share how I recently updated my small outdoor patio while keeping my same exact furniture!
5 Simple Ways to Transform your Outdoor Patio Space:
1. Give your metal furniture a new coat of paint.
Ready for this? We have never bought a new modern outdoor furniture set – eek. When we purchased our first home (13+ years ago), the previous owners were selling their well used GREEN metal patio furniture. It included an oval table with delicate roses around the edges and four green metal chairs.
For $80, we bought the set thinking it would get us by and eventually we would get something better than was more our style. Well, it’s been 13 years and we still have the same set – ha!
Here is my tip for updating patio furniture and getting by with a less than desirable set : paint it. My favorite inexpensive outdoor metal spray paint is Rust-oelum and a hand nozzle spray attachment. I pulled all backyard table and chairs into the grass and went to town. I was just noticing this year, the green is starting to show through on the armrests of the chairs and on a few spots on the table – not bad after 13 years of use.
This small backyard patio idea was one I would never have believed it would work so well, had we not done it! Black is such an amazing neutral that simply by painting all our furniture black, the dainty little roses almost disappear! Plus, the chairs have such a gentle rock to them, now we are hooked on the slight rock.
It really is amazing what you can do with a small outdoor patio. We have since bought a bench and a few additional black metal chairs from Costco, also very cost effective and although the design is a little different, the black color makes them all look very cohesive.
Check out that darling Painted DIY White Dash Doormat I made two years ago!
2. Decorate with plants.
As anyone who has been around here for long knows, I am a major plant lover. I was a practicing landscape architect for 8 years before starting this blog. I have tons of creative plant craft projects and my love for all things green is REAL.
I think one of the best decorations to get your backyard summer ready is to fill it with green living plants! This is my main patio design that I work everything else around.
Be sure to evaluate the light availability of your backyard patio and start filling in with either plants in the ground or in my case potted plants. The main space that we relax in in our backyard is under a covered rooftop patio, so there is a lot of shade near the back portion.
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I purchased two new bamboo plant stands because my old ones were really seeing better days. I got a 12″ and a 10″ stand. The 10″ I spray painted black. I also got a small Threadleaf Japanese Maple tree and found a darling ceramic striped $15 pot from Home Goods and immediately knew it was a match made in heaven. Japanese Maples can easily be damaged from the intense desert sun, so I put mine on a roller stand and wheel it out to sunshine now and again.
A few years ago , I took our inherited tree stump table from the back corner of our storage area and breathed new life into it. I think it was my mother-in-law’s mothers table and I almost got rid of it a few times over the years. But, after giving it a fresh coat of paint on the underside, I completely fell in love with it.
I like setting more interesting smaller plants on our tree stump table, both as a focal point, but also I can keep my eyes on them and their watering needs. Check out how to update an old Tree Stump Table.
All other outdoor products :
3. Update with new pillows.
Since we don’t spend much on updating our outside porch with new furniture, it’s always nice every few years to update with new pillows. This year I got three new styles of pillows. Two standard sized pillows for our main seating chairs and then a longer pillow for our bench. I got two denim with fringe pillows, two black and white petal throw pillow and two longer black and white stripe pillows.
Even if my pillows are outdoor fabric, I always spray them with this Scotchgard Water and Sun Sheild spray. It helps to keep them looking and feeling fresh.
I picked up this adorable rattan side table at Target (noticed it’s sold out, here are two similar ones : Natural Rattan + Black Rattan) on 65% sale. I love waiting and then shopping the end cap aisles for good Target sales!
Lighting can really make or break an interior space and the same exact thing goes for your backyard patio! We have an electrical outlet in the center of this space but I haven’t found the perfect light option yet.
So, until then I have strung two strands of outdoor lights on the main wall. I bought the white paper lanterns years ago. They don’t get any rain water on them, so they have survived quite well. I just recently got the black wire lanterns from Target and I kind of love having both sets up together.
5. Add some personality.
The last tip for updating your backyard space is adding some personality! I think it is such fun to bring a little crazy into your design. I absolutely fell in love with this black and white hen planter from At Home. It didn’t come with a pre-drilled hole so I added one myself and it was good to go!
I hope these five backyard patio ideas were helpful to you as you prep your outdoor space for that glorious summer weather.
If you are looking for resources for the items I have used, you can shop this post below.
All other outdoor products :
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