By Katja Kromann

The patio transformation - before and after

The patio transformation - before and after
Welcome to our back yard.

I want to take you back for a brief moment to the time when we bought our house and the patio looked like this. Then I will propel you forward at warp speed after that, so be ready. There might be some jolts along the way.

I took this picture when we were out looking at our house, just before buying it. This was one of the selling features for us. This big-for-California back yard with a huge 10 foot ceiling covered patio. Dreamy.



Looking in, on the right behind that dry erase board, is the living room. On the left, the dining room.

We bought this house and thought about all the things we wanted to do to make this our dream house. Adding more light to the living room was very high on that list and this was the first thing we tackled, a year after moving in, when we installed new windows and a new patio door.



Later we had the patio painted, and new railing installed on the deck.

We also had the columns fixed. They got sprayed each morning by the sprinklers, so last summer, we had the sprinklers moved about 3 feet away from the patio and made a boarder around the patio that would only require minimal watering.

Patio coloumns after

Ideally, I would love to turn this whole back yard into a grass free zone. I am not a fan of how much watering goes on here. Maybe some day. #dollars.

Here is what all that work, most of which we hired out, had amounted to, last spring.




It was so great to get those columns fixed. Now they stay dry every morning. So much better.

Next, we installed some solar lights around the perimeter. By installed, I mean, we stuck some 5 dollar solar lights from Target into the ground. I love the glow they give off, especially in the early evening.

Garden de light 2

I took a stab at making a couple forever plant arrangements for the patio. Most of them are still holding up more than a year later, but the ones who got beaten by the sun directly did get a little sun bleached.

I love real plants, but I also know myself... I forget to water and then poof, the plants give up on me. No loyalty.
#DIY a forever plant + 6 more ideas.

Last summer I painted the tables a barnwood color and we added some globe lights over the dining area. I just love how that turned out and it is so wonderful to sit under this glow at night.

As you can see, I also made a bunch of outdoor pillows last year.

Patio outdoor dining area reveal 1

Just in time to host a lunch when Better Homes and Gardens came to photograph our powder room turned full bath.

Better Homes And Gardens Photo shoot bath room 1

This is Edmund, the photographer on the left, with B just peeking out behind him there, on the right Cris, his assistant and behind her, Laura, the editor and professional stylist. Read all about the behind the scenes here.

Later in the summer, I spray painted the old wicker chairs and sewed some half round pillow seats for them.

Then I showed you the reveal late last summer. I loved it! For a hot minute.

Outdoor lounge area patio reveal 1

Then this thing happened where I looked at this picture again and thought to myself: "Mkay. That got way colorful there. Is this really me, us?" It turned out a little, shall we say, Pinteresting? Or maybe not. I don't know.

Much in the same way as the entry hall way that I made for a contest last summer made me feel. I just had too much. Too much of a good thing. So I dialed it way down this year. To this entry which is much more me.

Same with the patio. I set out to do a little toning down, or toning up of the space depending how you look at it.

On Memorial day, this spring, I found some great deals to replace the turquoise chairs that were on their last leg(s). The chevron rug over on the right had almost disintegrated in the harsh sun, so we got a replacement for that, I first contacted World Market where we bought it just last year to tell them that their outdoor rug had not held up at all. They gave us a whopping credit of 3.40 dollars (!?). I don't even know what to say to that...

Anyway. We also got a fire pit.

Patio ready for summer new fire pit 1

Here we are installing a couple more pavers for the fire pit.

And here is the patio this spring, brought all the way back to neutral ville. The re-set button was pushed. While I don't need to keep it this neutral, this seemed so much better to me already.

Patio ready for summer new fire pit 1

Then, I made new black back pillows for the lounge area and a succulent planter for the table and the new rug arrived.

Patio lounge rug pillows forever succulents 1

This is already an improvement. The new fabric is a super sturdy Sunbrella marine grade fabric. I just made envelope covers. And since the fabric came in the right width for my pillows, that amounted to only two rows of stitches per pillow. A very quick project.

Then I made three kilim pillows out of a Pottery barn outdoor rug.

DIY 3 kilim pillows for price of one

I also brought back some of the black and white pillows from last year.

This is where B and I eat our breakfast some mornings when the weather is nice.

The patio again more neutral 1

And I am trying my hand at real succulents. Check it out. So far so good, but don't hold your breath. It is pretty, though.

The patio revisited - more neutral this time

This is what our pared down patio looks like now.

The patio revisited - more neutral this time

Here is the planter we made last year for the dining table. When I took those pictures last week,  it was still holding up very nicely. Then a couple days later we had a down pour like you wouldn't believe. That was more than it could handle. It had seen plenty rain before, but not this kind.

The patio revisited - more neutral this time

It was nice while it lasted. Sniffle. (Ode to planter).

The patio revisited - more neutral this time


A little traveling sheep skin action on the bench.

And two more real succulents. Still alive. Ohhh.

The patio revisited - more neutral this time

Some firewood for the fire pit tucked in under the table.

The patio revisited - more neutral this time

Lounge area photo overload. Probably my most favorite space out here. Although it's like picking a favorite child.

The patio revisited - more neutral this time

The patio revisited - more neutral this time

Another sheep skin. It usually lives on our couch. I got it a couple years ago in Denmark. They had it in a bin in the super market?! So weird. I snapped it right up.

The patio revisited - more neutral this time

I love these kilim pillows so much I actually took them inside because I don't want them to fade too quickly. The sun is brutal here.

That is real love!

The patio revisited - more neutral this time

Here is the forever succulent I made this year.

The patio revisited - more neutral this time

And a couple of those from last year.

The patio revisited - more neutral this time

And our recent evening by the fire pit.

Patio ready for summer new fire pit 1

And that's the patio.

It went from this.



To this.


To this.
Outdoor lounge area patio reveal 1

To this.
The patio revisited - more neutral this time


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This article: The patio transformation - before and after first appeared on http://ahomefordesign.com.
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Katja Kromann
About Katja Kromann

I am a Danish American decorating life in Seattle. I love all things design and DIY.

I can’t think of anything more fun than coming up with project, making it, photographing it and sharing it with you on my websites.

I am a Graphic Artist and home maker by day.

AHomeForDesign.com AHomeForFood.com AHomeForCrafts.com
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