Before + After: Outdoor Patio

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Whether you’re enjoying a day at home, poolside, or have started vacationing early this year, I hope you’re basking in the slower pace and enjoying those around you. With Memorial Day, marks the official start of summer and in NorCal desert-like temps. We live outside in water during the summer. As I started working on my new place, I truly wanted to capitalize on the beautiful views out my front window. To the left I see an overlook of the city and our iconic bridge. To the right, I have the low lying ranges of Shasta Bally. It’s truly stunning and something I wanted to capitalize on.

Keep reading for the full before and after!

Before + After: Outdoor Patio

+ Before:

When my current space was rented by property management, they chose some interesting colors for the exterior. With an orange and yellow accent colors, it’s easy to feel as if you’re in the Flinstones when appraoching the exterior. With the patio, I knew I needed to work with these colors rather than fighting them. Knowing the floor was a light gray and the walls were orange, I went back to my color wheel and chose a color I used throughout the interior of the home- green. To bring the vibrancy of the orange down, I knew I wanted to purchase pots in neutral colors and simple terracotta, keeping the scheme cohesive.

+ During:

From my previous place, I had a collection of planters, outdoor string lights, and a few pieces of furniture. A simple bistro set from IKEA and a metal park bench from Walmart are classic pieces and are going 3 years strong. The main challenge with this project was sourcing bench cushions I loved. This year classic, black and white patterns, or lush deep oatmeal and bright white cushions were on all the outdoor furniture pieces I could find. However, I’m not much for spending $100 on a single cushion. After scouring the Internet for what seemed like hours, I noticed a trick I found on Pinterest. By placing two bench cushions on the park bench, one on the seat and one tied to the back, I could get the look of a padded loveseat without spending a huge expense. By adding throw pillows to the bistro set, I knew I had found a simple solution and a more affordable option of textile.

+ After:

The final result of the patio is one I absolutely adore. With a small garden stool in white, a concrete table torch (keeping all the bugs away), and plant stands, we were able to add visual interest and height without much additional cost. In a small patio space, I like to think of a group of seating that is conducive to the space. By placing the bench at a 45 degree angle, I was able to allow those enjoying the patio to face each other, and still see the view available. By anchoring pots with tall vertical plants on plant stands at each corner of the patio, it added visual symmetry. From there I placed shorter plants on the ground allowing for water to drain off. On the far left of the patio, you’ll find the grill with side tray tables that can stow away for use. Because of this I kept the left side simple and practical, placing only plants that were edible near it. With lighting strung and installed above, the patio will be lit for the months to come and far above the tallest individual.

When it comes to planters, texture and personality can make all the difference. I opted to go for classic whites but with a variety of texture. One pot has ridges surrounding the circumference while the other has a modern geometric pattern. The other pots are classic terracotta playing into the color of the exterior.

While I’m all for flowers and the additional color they can bring, with this palette I wanted to keep things in the green family and play up a variety of texture. For me (as someone who has a black thumb), plants can feel like quite the investment. On this project alone, they ate up 50% of the expenses. Because I this, I like my potted plants to serve me well rather than being strictly ornamental. I chose lavender, basil, and rosemary for my pots this year. They’re hearty and will add the fresh herbs I love to use to my kitchen throughout the year. To finish off the plants and live textures, I hung a few plants on macrame hangers in the back corners and a pot of succulents with my already flourishing aloe vera. (Sunburns are real, so we love this plant.)

When it came to sourcing cushions, I was having trouble finding the solid green option I was longing for. After tireless hours researching on the internet, I stumbled across these bold black and white striped cushions from World Market. Classic and timeless, I loved them. This year, you’ll find a lot of blacks and whites within the outdoor textile section. While I love the idea of this I was concerned that too much black against the orange would make it look like Halloween. A few shops later I found affordable palm pillows. The palm with the stripe brought the green in and was fun and fresh. By adding a few additional gray strip and worn black Ikat, the look was complete.

To finish off the space a garden stool in white, brass lanterns (mirroring the gold plant stands and, a concrete table torch were added. The patio is officially open for the season!

Shop the post:

String lights from Amazon
Macrame planters from Amazon
Striped bench cushions from World Market
Decorative outdoor pillows from Walmart
Plant stands from Walmart
Decorative geometric planter from Walmart
Wood and metal bistro set from IKEA
Succulents from Lowe’s
Allen + Roth Garden Stool from Lowe’s
Allen + Roth White ceramic ridged Planter from Lowe’s
Potted herbs from Trader Joe’s
Charbroil Patio Grill from Amazon
Park Bench from Walmart

Total spent for this Before + After: $194.18
Here’s the breakdown:
Plants + Soil: $44.97
Planter: $14.99
Plant stands: $9.97
Tabletop Torch: $6.98
Cushions + 5 throw pillows: $107.98
Macrame plant hangers: $9.59

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