DIY Patio Makeover

At this point, I’ve talking about the NEW PATIO and the BIG REVEAL so many times I’m afraid this is going to be sort of a let down to everyone expecting a Yard Crashers style makeover complete with water feature and hot tub and 12-foot fireplace. It is not that crazy. BUT. If you consider this was all done in 1 week by hand by two guys, two women and a toddler, THEN it is impressive. Two guys, two women and a toddler, who, I might add, have never built a patio before. Now you can be impressed.

One more time, BEFORE:






Good changes, yes?

The rock wall for the side garden is built out of the flagstone that used to be in our walkways. All the plants in this garden were transplanted – either from my own garden or from my friend Merin’s. The lights closest to the ground are actually solar powered. The lanterns on the poles are for candles – you put these little blue things in the top and they’re supposed to repel bugs (I think the definitely help).

Dining table from Walmart, dishes/glasses from Target. The adorable “floating” shelf was the result of a joint brainstorming session, where E and I decided we needed a buffet for dinner parties. E made it out of scrap wood from our basement and attached it to the fence with chain I spray painted green. Then I used some tape and 3 more cans of spray paint to make the design. It folds up flat against the neighbor’s our fence when we’re not using it and can easily be removed and stored in the winter. Roses & hydrangeas are from my garden, displayed in tin cans (spray painted of course).

Seating set, end tables & throw pillows from Target, firepit from Home Depot. Throw blanket is from Pier 1. Flower pots are from various places (including some I already owned & spray painted). Tray (that I spray painted) and mugs are from Goodwill. See that dark purple vine in the blue pot? It’s called “Sweet Caroline”.

Did you enjoy my attempt at a Martha Stewart worthy photo shoot? It’s been pouring rain for two days so everything is sort of damp and grey but it still looks pretty good. For a little reality check, here’s the patio during dinner on Sunday night:

And now for my absolute favorite part of the patio: nighttime.

String lights are from Target and plug into a super handy outlet right inside the garage window. The fire pit actually gives off enough heat to make a cool night comfortable and is PERFECT for s’mores making.

Showing my appreciation for all E's amazingly hard work


In case you were wondering, the total costs of the project were:

$2016.26 for the patio itself, including all the supplies, tools, stone, sand, gravel and plate compactor rental. (Not included: lots of pizza for the workers).

$1841.77 for EVERYTHING else, from the furniture and pillows down to the candles and plants.

Grand total: $3858.03.

We estimate that if we’d hired someone to do all the work for us, the labor and material total (not counting any of the decor or furniture) would have been at least $8,000. It was a LOT of digging.

Special thanks to my mom and dad who did at least 50% of the work on this and only had one night to enjoy it. I can’t wait until they come back again for more s’mores and wine on the patio.

Edited to add: You can see the much less glamorous doing-the-work photos and information here.

Thirty Hand Made Days


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38 Responses to “DIY Patio Makeover”

  1. jill says:

    SUZANNE!! this is gorgeous! you should be so proud! your attempt at a martha stewart worthy photo shoot was a complete success! it looks amazing! seriously, im totally jealous! what fun memories your family will have back there!

  2. Natalie says:

    It’s beautiful Suzanne! I have a covered patio and now I want to go take a sledgehammer to it and redo it. Everything fits perfectly and I love it all! Especially the string lights. I need them for our patio. Hmmm…guess I’m going to have go go stalk Target.

  3. FourInchHeels says:

    That is AMAZING. You all did a really super job; you should be proud!

  4. Londonmum says:

    That is absolutely beautiful. You guys did such a great job and it looks totally professional. Plus loving your photo shoot styling, think there is another career out there for you. All that work has made a gorgeous place to enjoy with your family, well done!!

  5. Amanda says:

    I am so jealous! It looks great!!! I can’t wait to come visit!

  6. Shari says:

    Oh my goodness, it looks INCREDIBLE!! You all should be so, so proud of yourselves for creating something so beautiful. I especially love how it looks with the fairy lights strung up :)

  7. the grumbles says:

    It looks fabulous! Great work! I especially love the built-up wall around the base of the tree. WIN!

  8. stephanie says:

    this is fantastic!! what an amazing space you created!!! I’m so jealous of the night time look!

  9. Miranda says:

    I just…I don’t know if I have any words to describe how awesome this patio is, Suzanne. Seriously. It’s gorgeous! GOR-GEOUS.

    You guys did a great job!

  10. WOW!!!!! It’s so beautiful!!!!

  11. Suz B says:

    This is so beautiful! I know it was definitely hard work, but y’all will be reeping the benefits for a long time. It looks so inviting~ can I come over & chill next to the fire?!

  12. Samantha says:

    WOW. This is AMAZING and I can’t believe you did it all so affordably! Great Job!!!

  13. Cole says:

    What an incredible job you did! It looks completely gorgeous :)

  14. becca says:

    to say that it looks fabulous would actually be an understatement. it’s truly gorgeous, and i love the magical feel it has at night with all the twinkling!

  15. It’s absolutely breathtaking!!!! What an amazing place for you to raise your babies and you and hubby to unwind in the evenings! Enjoy every moment of all your hard work!

  16. Barbra says:

    It’s amazing!!! Congratulations! All of you should be very proud.

  17. Jen F (from Robinson) says:

    This exceeded my expectations (for cool “after” photos). I am stunned.

  18. Kimberly says:

    Wow! It’s like you’re on vacation in your backyard! It is huge with so much room to play. The floating shelf is brilliant. The decor is gorgeous. And the sexy night time hangout looks so cozy! Enjoy it!

  19. bellegourmande says:

    Amazing work! I am quite jealous. What a nice place to relax on a summer’s night (or fall, or spring too!).


  20. raincheckmom says:

    I can’t believe we actually did this! And it looks even better in person!

    I like the art work on the side of the garage, and the floating table is a wonderful addition…I also like all the potted plants you added…

    I say MORE S’MORES!

  21. Brigid Keely says:

    this looks utterly, absolutely amazing, professional, and super awesome. And comfortable! What a great living space you’ve created! So attractive, so inviting!

  22. Miranda says:

    Wowzers – good job! It looks amazing!!!

  23. Joanna says:

    Oh Suzanne it looks amazing

  24. Mama Fisch says:

    Seriously, amazing. It is Martha Stewart magazine worthy no questions asked! Well done! When can I come over and sip wine and eat smores?

  25. Beautiful! And I am so jealous. I feel like we do projects in dribs and drabs around here so there’s never any chance for a “big reveal.”

  26. I am so stinkin’ impressed! You did an amazing job! Can I live with you? I won’t be a bother. I promise. ;)

  27. Julie S. says:

    This is amazing! :) I LOVE it!!! This is what I dream of for ours. I am working on a post right now actually!

  28. Amazing! Totally beautiful! And so much work. What a fantastic job you did. I love the pavers and I’m adoring the fire pit. And what a CLEVER idea for the fold-up buffet. Seriously genius. I love it all.

  29. amy says:

    OMG! You just added mucho living space to the overall square footage of your already adorable home! Looks a-maz-ing…just in time for summer! Gorgeous……

  30. So sexy. I love the fire pit. & lights. We have lights up on our patio & I love it on summer evenings so relaxing.

  31. andrea says:

    Oh, well, hello there Martha! This is incredible! It looks like a movie set. You increased the value of your home AND created a lovely place to hang out. WIN WIN WIN.

  32. Paige says:

    This is beautiful!!! Love the peacefulness of the new area!!!!

  33. Al_Pal says:

    Wow, gorgeous!!!

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