Patio Makeover Reveal
One of the things we loved most about our home during our first walk through was the large backyard. We love to garden, to entertain and simply love to be outside - so finding a home in our area with a large backyard was a dream for us! Over the 3+ years we have lived here we have spent our springs and summers working outside, creating flower beds, a vegetable garden, and last year a sunken fire pit patio. I didn’t have a blog back then, but that was a serious DIY!!!
Originally, the patio right off of the house was a small concrete slab surrounded by a half height brick wall, which made a nice ledge for planters, but left us feeling closed in.
With our love of entertaining, we dreamt of a larger space to host parties and gather family without setting up tables in the uneven lawn. I think the very same day we came up with a vision for a new patio, Tim knocked the brick wall down himself! I spent hours scouring Pinterest for patio ideas and back yard inspiration. I came across this image which resembled our home and the type of space we dreamed to have.
It meant having to sacrifice some of our vegetable garden, but it would offer us significantly more room to spread out!
design credit: SML Outdoor Living Experts
The patio would be split into 2 sections we labeled as the dining patio (right) and the conversation patio (left). We intended to cover the dining area with a peaked roof and exposed beams so we knew we would need to have footers placed before a patio was installed.
As much as we love a good DIY and have experience with laying pavers, we wanted to hire a professional crew for the work because we knew this was a large project to tackle on our own. It certainly doesn’t hurt that my best friend’s husband, Seth, owns his own landscaping company, SML Outdoor Living Experts. We knew the high caliber of quality work his team could do, so hiring SML was a no brainer!
Once we knew a basic shape for our patio, we talked about what type of material would be best. Seth recommended pavers rather than poured or stamped concrete, which can crack over time. Stamped concrete can also be slick when it rains, and we didn’t want to have issues with falling! I began specifically looking at colors and paver patterns and liked the look of a random pattern in a lighter color with a dark accent border – which I later learned is called an inlay.
We visited a local stone yard to pick up samples so we could best coordinate with the color of our house brick and our firepit stone.
Our pavers are from the hardscape company Newline.
Field Pavers: Terrace Stone Smooth in “Coastal Tan”
Inlay Border: Hollandstone in “Charcoal”
Outer Border: English Cobble 6”x6” in “Coastal Tan”
Easy Joint Polymer Sand in "Basalt"
Choosing an inlay in a darker color gives some visual interest to the patio and makes it look more high end. SML recommended using a dark gray polymer sand and I LOVE how it compliments the inlay border!
SML first had to rip out the existing concrete slab and haul all of the old materials away before shaping the land and laying gravel. I did not envy someone else doing this process!
Our patio was built over the month of February. The work itself probably would have taken about a week to do had it not been for snow and freezing temps. But the fact it was so cold meant we weren’t using our backyard anyway, so SML could take their time. I wanted to make sure to document the process because we knew how much of a transformation this would be!
I didn’t realize how large the new patio was until I began to compare pictures of our once tiny concrete slab against the new pavers!
With thawing snow and the large machinery cleared away, we realized how much mud we were dealing with in our back yard! We decided to have sod laid to eliminate the need to mop our floors multiple times a day and I will never regret the extra cost of having instant grass!
Now that spring is in full bloom, we already have a lush green space around our brand new gorgeous patio. There are spots of our yard that still need to be seeded and filled in, but already, our yard has transformed into our own little oasis!
As soon as the snow melted, we were dying to get our furniture set up! We have owned this dining set from Home Depot for 3 years and are still in love with it! It's from the Hampden Bay Lemon Grove collection and unfortunately it is not currently manufactured. This style is similar, although pricey!
After shopping around for conversation patio sets, I decided to choose another Home Depot set that complimented our dining furniture in a similar color scheme and weave of the rattan. The side tables are almost identical in style to our dining table!
The conversation patio is larger than I had envisioned, which gave us lots of options for the type of furniture we could use. We considered a couch with two club chairs but thought that in the heat of the summer months, no one really wants to sit smack against someone else! We decided to purchase 4 club chairs so that we can easily rearrange as needed. We also purchased 2 ottomans that are perfect for kicking back and taking a snooze (seriously, these chairs are so comfy for naps!) but can also be seats for 2 more people at larger gatherings.
I love the sophisticated detail of the turned legs and the wood look of the trim and tables. We are able to have form AND function with this patio set! After living with our furniture for a few months, we are still completely in love and would like to purchase 2 more ottomans when they (hopefully) come back in stock!
The only true pop of color in our furniture is the dining chair cushions. When choosing accessories for the patio, I decided to let nature be my pop of color in the way of bright florals filling my planters when the weather is warm enough. Much like the inside of my home, choosing neutral tones as my primary color palette allows me to change up my style from year to year without spending a lot of money!
Recently, I wrote a post about making over some of my older planters inspired by high end styles, which adds something special to our new patio space. All of my other planters also got a fresh coat of spray paint in coordinating colors so that they aren’t matchy matchy and have a styled curated look. Rust-oleum Painter's Touch 2x is an excellent paint choice because it works on plastic and it is really durable.
Without trees in our backyard, having the option for shade is very important to us. Both of our patio umbrellas are from Abba Patio. We have owned our cantilever umbrella for over 5 years and I am incredibly impressed with the quality and durability! They come in a range of colors, but the beige felt light and airy for our earth toned patio. Until we decide to build a roof over our dining patio, we purchased this market umbrella, which we are loving! Abba Patio is offering 10% off and free shipping with code CJ10 to my readers!
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, that when you click on a link in this post, I may make a small commission. Thank you for supporting me and the quality items I promote!
Amazon also sells Abba Patio umbrellas and can sometimes offer lower pricing. Here are the Amazon links available for what we purchased.
I also bought brand new outdoor tableware this year. We eat almost every meal outside over the warmer months, so I have actually started to swap out our ceramic dishware for unbreakable options in our kitchen cabinets. The major downfall to former melamine dishes is that they are not microwave safe. I wanted to find something new this year that could be used to reheat leftovers, and I succeeded! These beautiful dishes are made out of wheat straw – something that was brand new to me, but apparently has been around for quite a while.
They have a slight texture to them which makes them look like ceramic, and they come in a gorgeous variety of colors. I mixed and matched colors to compliment the rest of the space, and I love the layered look!
These are some other beautiful and well rated wheat straw options that are more budget friendly. I chose to spend more get the color palette I really wanted. (don't tell me husband lol)
My napkin rings are a simple DIY I made that you can find here! Originally, I made them for my Easter table, but I will use them for entertaining all summer!
Sitting out on our patio every evening feels like a vacation! We are so grateful for this retreat we created and so impressed with the quality of work SML Outdoor Living Experts produces!
If you remember, back in February, I made a signature cookie for the SML crew while they were here working. I called it the SML cookie, which also stands for “so much love,” and that is what we feel for their hard work and this space! By the way, those cookies? You’re going to want to save the recipe. They’re so freaking good!
I hope you find some inspiration here whether you are building a new patio or just looking for a few refreshes.
Let me know what you think! I’d love to hear your feedback on our new patio retreat! If you have any questions or want links to anything I didn’t mention, let me know! And as always don’t forget to subscribe to my email list at the bottom of the page so you never miss and opportunity to be inspired!
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