I realize it’s August, but I’d like to share my recent patio makeover. You see, every year I struggle with putting the finishing touches on our outdoor space. Honestly, sometimes I have a hard time with the ‘starting touches’. Since we moved into this house in February, this patio space is new for us.
Part of the problem is the weather. When it’s cold and rainy or snowy into mid-May, it’s tough to feel psyched about the patio. Once the weather warms up, my family heads off on vacation.
So, I rationalize that it’s foolish to plant anything until we return since no one will be home to keep new plants alive. This is how I often end up in late July with an unfinished, unwelcoming outdoor space.
When I’m finally ready to get creative with my al fresco room, all of the summer stuff is on clearance and highly picked over. Leaving me feeling like I’ve missed my chance for a dream deck once again!
Not so fast….
This year, I decided I didn’t care if it was crazy late in the season and most of the good stuff was already gone from the stores...
I wanted to put together a hip, inviting, finished outdoor space for my family to enjoy until the snow starts falling. Hopefully, we still have some time before that happens:-)
My budget for this project was extremely small.
As in, free would be best!
I managed to scrape together about 100 bucks. I decided that would be my max investment this year.
I made a Pinterest board for inspiration.
I poked around at home to see what I had on hand.
Here’s what we already owned and were had our very dull deck:
4 plastic Adirondack chairs - Lowes
2 small side tables - Goodwill and Ikea
3 pillows - Marshall’s and Ikea
2 curtains and wire - Ikea
1 woven pouf- Target
1 small cotton rug - Ikea
These things we had, but weren’t using:
1 black plastic tray - Ikea
2 plastic terra cotta colored pots
1 black coffee table - Ikea
Often, when I have a project that requires some super shopping skills and serendipity...I will feel an actually pull or urge to go out and start looking on a particular day. When I listen to that calling, I always find exactly what I’m looking for...and at terrific prices.
So, when that feeling hit recently with regards to our patio, I knew not to ignore it.
After I finished work at Anthropologie, I headed to Salvation Army, Goodwill, Home Depot, HomeGoods and Target. The entire adventure took about 3 hours.
Here’s what I bought:
2 Asian mats ($3.49 each)
4 large pillows with velvet covers - from Ikea, like new ($3.99 each)
1 framed oil painting ($4.29)
2 oil paintings on canvas ($2.99 and $4.99)
2 ceramic vases ($3.29 each)
1 shell on a stand ($3.99)
Bonus: All of the above items were an additional 50% off at Salvation Army - total spend approx $23.00!
1 pre-planted succulent drop-in ($19.99)- the most expensive thing I bought, but so worth it!
3 full-sun annuals ($9.99/3)
1 bag of potting soil ($6.00)
2 battery operated pillar candles with a timer ($6.19 each)
1 strand of globe lights ($14.99) - really bright...love these lights!
Total spent… under $100!
Next, in the span of about two hours (with the help of my awesome boys) the space came together.
Swept the patio
Hung the lights with a staple gun
Duct taped the two mats together to make a ‘rug’
Tossed the cushions on the ground
Hung the three pieces of art
Planted the plants
Small investment for a big transformation.
Now, I actually want to spend time on our patio. It’s become a sanctuary for reading, dining or just chilling. I’m so glad I didn’t wait until next spring to create a welcoming space.
Are you on the fence about finishing a space? Do you have a very limited budget for making a change?
Be flexible- I originally wanted a very neutral space, but as I shopped everything I found was colorful. I altered my vision to make it work.
Rely on resale shops and clearance sales- You'll score amazing deals and the finds can be incredible. The prices are always a pleasant surprise. You know, one man’s trash...go pop some tags:-)
Use what you own- I often have my clients shop their closets for new wardrobe ideas. The same concept applies here. What pieces do you have that you could re-purpose for you new space?
I’d love to see what you’ve done for a space on a budget. Post photos on your Instagram account and add #togetheract so that I can find them!
Or send me an email with a photo of your finished space. I'm inspired by the amazing things others create with limited resources!
As a side note:
I’m super excited to share something that’s happening next week!
It’s an online summit...on SIMPLICITY!
The event begins on Monday, August 15 and will include 20+ interviews with ‘experts’ in different fields. I’m honored to be included! I'll be sharing tips on simple style. My interview will air the very first day! That's August 15th!
You can find out more and
grab your complimentary ticket right here!
I'll be there learning how to simplify my life just in time for back-to-school! Hope you'll join us!
Thanks for being here.
Hello, I'm Kristen.
As a personal stylist,