At the beginning of the summer, we decided to move from a huge three-level townhouse into a super small 2 bedroom townhouse. Our decision was based on wanting to decrease our impact on the environment by downsizing into a much smaller space that would require less energy and resources to maintain and would be closer to everything we needed, making it easy to get around by bicycle or on foot.
When deciding to downsize, the mister and I agreed that we would only choose a home that had an outdoor space. We knew that if we were going to lose a lot of square footage inside that we would need an outdoor space where we could sneak away for a little peace and quiet to read a good book, eat dinner outside every evening and entertain friends and family on the weekends. Luckily, we found a home with an amazing front patio – large enough for a dining, grilling and lounging.
Here is what we started with:
Doesn’t look very inviting, does it? To start, we thoroughly cleaned the area, and went through our garage to find items that we already owned to use in the space. We had an outdoor sofa that we thought would be too large to place in the space. However, once we situated next to the front door, we were pleased to find that it fit almost perfectly. We noted that it would need new cushions and pillows. We repurposed the coffee table that came with the outdoor sofa and made it into a side table/bar to go next to the dining area. It has been perfect for holding cocktail mixers, snacks and extra food so the table doesn’t get cluttered up during dinner.
The second step was to find a dining table and chair set that was large enough to accommodate 6-7 people on the weekends when we have friends and family over. However, it needed to be small enough to fit into the space with comfortable seating since we would be using it every day for our family dinners. My first thought was to keep an eye on Craigslist – and it paid off. I found a large, round, wrought-iron table (the table is large enough to sit 7 comfortably) it came with a set of 4 beautifully designed chairs. I negotiated with the owner for a couple of weeks until we agreed on a great price – $200. When we have friends over, it add folding chairs to give us more seating.
The next step was to cozy up the space, add a little personality and make it inviting and fun. I was super excited and lucky to have Sabrina Sota, HGTV star and Target Home Style Expert help me with the process. I sent Sabrina some photos and questions regarding the patio, she offered some great suggestions and product ideas to glam the space up. Here is the Q+A from our design consultation.
Sweet Greens: The patio chairs are very heavy duty, large and will last a lifetime, however they are a tad uncomfortable – what would you suggest to add comfort?
• Adding cushions or outdoor pillows will make chairs more comfortable and inviting!
• Also, consider incorporating a throw for those chilly fall evenings!
Sweet Greens: The patio currently lacks personality, what elements would you recommend we add to glam the space up?
• A key element in any space, whether it be indoors or outdoors, is the use of color. Color plays an important role as it sets the overall mood of any given space. I always like to pick three colors in a 60:30:10 ratio relationship to each other for perfect coverage!
• Another key element is the use of textures and materials. These can be incorporated through accessories or larger furniture pieces such as seating or tables.
Sweet Greens: There is a large blank wall on the patio I would love to utilize. What would you suggest?
• Think of the wall as a blank canvas. The wall is the perfect opportunity to tie in all the elements and colors of the space together!
• Proper lighting is also important. If you have no vertical space for an outdoor lamp or standing lantern, use the wall for solar hanging lights or subtle sparkle!
Sweet Greens: If you could do a complete makeover of my patio, what would you envision?
• As the existing walls offer a neutral palette, I would definitely try to bring out the space with color! The space should be inviting with a nice mix of conversational pieces and dining sets. I love the idea of bringing the indoors outside. Incorporate welcoming items such as a rug and fire bowl set. Play with textures and patterns for a truly fun and friendly space!
The mister and I hit Target inspired by Sabrina’s recommendations, along with a list of items that we knew we would need. Here are some of the pieces we decided to purchase:
1: Threshold Solar Lanterns Small $19.99//Large $24.99//Oval $19.99
2: Threshold Outdoor Cushions Leaf Pattern $14.99
3: Threshold 2-Piece Outdoor Throw Pillow Set Dahlia $29.98//Grill Similar $299
4: Peacock//Similar Garden Place Mosaic Peacock $39.99
5: Threshold Farmer’s Market Dinnerware Pieces Plates Set of 4 $10.79//Bowls Set of 3 $10.79//Serving Bowl $11.69
NOTE: When purchasing new, I suggest that you only buy items that are quality made (so they will last forever or a really long time) and eco-friendly was possible and available.
The solar lanterns combined with the spaces’ overhead lighting put off just enough light for those early evening dinners. The design and color of the lanterns bring personality to the space and the ceramic is heavy-duty so we know these will last forever.
We choose the leafy cushions because they are very durable and add the texture and comfort we were looking for.
We ended up giving the outdoor sofa cushions a good cleaning and decided to keep them and jazz the sofa up with the fun, bright Dahlia pillows.
I surprised the mister with the grill for Father’s Day – every guy needs a grill for those summer weekends. We love having the grill in the space, it allows the mister to converse with guests while he is cooking.
The peacock was Eben’s addition to the space, I always like him to pick out a piece or two when we are creating a space. It makes him feel involved in the process, let’s him use his creative chops and lets him know that the space is for him too. The peacock adds a little fun, color and whimsy to the entry way to the patio. The children who visit our home love it!
Finally, we choose a reusable set of Threshold dishes for use on the patio. We had been using our nice dishes for dinners outside and several were broken from taking them in and out of the house. We decided a good set of reusable dishes for the patio would be much more eco-friendly than using disposables. Do not place these types of dishes in the microwave or dishwasher!
I love the way the project came together – we have been enjoying our new space all summer.
Here is a peek of how the makeover turned out:
Thank you for taking the time to check out our patio makeover. I huge thank you to Target + Sabrina Soto for helping to make this happen. We hope it inspired you to revamp your patio for the summer. You can get 20% off patio sale items at Target here.
Full Disclosure: I am a member of the Target Inner Circle, all opinions expressed are my own. I was provided a gift card to purchase some of the items used in this makeover.