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Confession time: the thought of outdoor work makes my skin crawl- even something fun like home improvements. I LOVE being at the beach and watching my children play outside but actually working outside- not so much.
But when we moved into our new rental home I knew I was going to have to suck it up and get outside.Our backyard and patio area were awful. Concrete was cracked and eroding, moss was growing in thick layers, bricks were strewn about, and part of a bench was laying elsewhere in the yard.
I turned to my favorite sources (Pinterest, Google, and Houzz) for a few simple ideas to spruce things up. After a bit of research, I narrowed down the list to five things that would make the biggest difference.
Simple Patio Changes for The Biggest Impact
1. Remove or Clean Worn Down Areas
Removing or replacing broken boards, siding, tiles and pressure washing can all make a huge difference. Restaining or painting an area can make a dramatic difference as well.
Our entire patio area was covered in moss but a simple pressure wash made the area look significantly better. Check out this before and after pic of the concrete bench.
*Don’t worry, after seeing the second picture I went back and pressure washed the underside of the bench.
2. Expand Your Patio or Pave a Path with Pavers
Brick pavers or stepping stones come in lots of shapes and sizes and are inexpensive to repair. You can choose a color that blends well or you can make your backyard and patio pop by adding different colored ones or awesome designs. Bonus: they also help maintain the lawn by giving people a place to walk instead of wearing a path into your grass.
Check out this tutorial on using pavers to create a Patio you’ll love.
3. Add Furniture
I know- you’re thinking “too expensive” but there are ways to get and find affordable patio furniture.
Look for ready-to-assemble furniture at your local home improvement store or used furniture at thrift shops and garage sales. Facebook Marketplace, Let Go, and Craigslist are all great places to find used goods but always make sure to be safe when meeting up to buy anything from someone online.
I found a great swing for our porch for $20 on Facebook Marketplace and the only problem is a little bit of rust. A good cleaning and a coat of paint and it will look good as new.
*I plan to update with pics as soon as it’s done.
4. And Then There Was Light
Add lighting to completely change the look and feel of your patio. You can hang lanterns, add solar lamps, or put together some simple DIY tiki torches which can also help keep bugs away. Stringing old-fashioned Christmas lights with large balls can create a magical feel to your patio at night too.
Quick tip: Add CFL and LED lights for an eco-friendly touch. They can save you money since they use about 90% less energy than traditional lighting.
5. Bring 'home decor' outside
Don’t be afraid to accessorize your patio with things like tray tables, garden decor, and wall quotes. You can even add some pots and plants to the wall and try your hand at vertical gardening.
I love how this patio includes faux windows. Simply outline with wood and then fill in with mold resistant fabric or paint and stencil A few more ideas: use pillows, container gardens, add a rug, or even a firebowl. Check out these amazing, budget-friendly ideas from The Spruce.
6. Bring Your Garden onto the Patio
Bringing plants onto the patio can liven up your patio and tie it into your backyard or garden. Place a small pot or mason jars with candles in the center of your outdoor table or hang a vertical garden.
I love this idea for a simple box garden which can be completed in under an hour (fair warning: the video auto-starts). I would substitute the herbs used with plants known to repel mosquitoes to make your patio not only more beautiful but bug free.
7. Get a Half Patio Umbrella
I just found out about these and they are amazing. We’ve all seen the retractable shades which are great but can also break the bank. These patio umbrellas are a reasonable price and also provide soft light to an area in the evening once the sun goes down.
This is definitely going on my birthday wish list this summer!
Home decor doesn’t have to stop in the home. Adding it to your patio or deck along with other simple changes can completely redo the look and feel of your space.
Have you made any small changes to your patio that made a big difference? Comment below and you may see it added to the updated post soon!