Before and After: $1,000 Later, This Weed-Infested Patio Is Now a Relaxing Outdoor Retreat

published Jul 5, 2021
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About this before & after
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Credit: Elaine Wittert

Summer is in full swing, so it’s finally time to step out of the living room and move the party outdoors. Whether you have a small, cool patio or a huge backyard with a pool, you should be making the most of your space. Of course, like renter Elaine Wittert, you may need to do some work before your patio can become viable.

“It was a completely wild, overgrown space that was filled with weeds,” Elaine says of her outdoor space. “I even began to feel embarrassed about what my friends and neighbors thought when they saw it.”

But Elaine knew that there was potential there, and with a little TLC, she could turn the weedy area into a usable hangout.

Credit: Elaine Wittert

First, Elaine hired a landscaper to clear out all the grass and overgrown weeds. Once she could see how much space she had, Elaine measured the area and started researching patio furniture options. She decided on the Äpplarö collection at IKEA, which she used to create a seating area that features a wood dining table nestled between a bench with a backrest and two reclining chairs (just $460 for all of it).

Credit: Elaine Wittert

For a bit of color, Elaine purchased bright blue seat cushions and matching umbrella from Home Depot, then picked a coordinating area rug and whimsical sea creature-patterned pillow covers. In total, she was able to spend less than $1,000 on the whole space.

Credit: Elaine Wittert

After living here for over 20 years, Elaine feels like she finally has a beautiful sanctuary where she can work, relax, and entertain. Elaine and her husband share meals outside, and her friends come over every Friday night for happy hour drinks. “Even my neighbors approve,” Elaine says. “This patio project has completely changed the way I feel about my apartment.”