Before & After: An Old Patio is Transformed into a Chic Outdoor Room

published Aug 8, 2017
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(Image credit: Ashley of Retro Den)

Riddle me this: why would someone buy a house on a lake and then grow a bunch of shrubs to block the view of the lake? We may never know the answer to that particular question, but we do know that Ashley’s backyard makeover not only restored the view but made the space infinitely more stylish and safe.

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(Image credit: Ashley of Retro Den)

From Ashley: When we moved into our home a couple years ago, I knew our back patio had major potential, but it was a big eye sore at the time. The patio was HUGE and looked out to the small, beautiful lake that our home backs up to (the reason we bought the house); however, the previous owner had five foot shrubs surrounding 90% of the patio, blocking the view. Additionally, the patio was in disrepair. It was probably original to the home and most of it was crumbling.

(Image credit: Ashley of Retro Den)

The patio was in disrepair, you couldn’t walk outside barefoot because of the rough, pebbled finish that hadn’t entirely flaked off. It was definitely not somewhere we wanted to spend our time, though it felt like, in theory, it should be a place where we should want to spend ALL of our time because of the lovely view.

(Image credit: Ashley of Retro Den)

We started working on the patio about a year and a half ago. Last spring, we decided to chop down all of the tall bushes surrounding the crumbling patio to reveal the gorgeous view. It was intense, sometimes painful work, but the view we uncovered was worth it.

With the lake now visible from the patio, we decided to bite the bullet and hire someone to put in a new patio later that summer. It was expensive (around $8k), but we thought of it like adding another room to our home.

(Image credit: Ashley of Retro Den)

After we replaced the patio, we began to decorate and the star of the patio is definitely the large DIY platform sofa. We found a tutorial online and built it in the garage. We also built the coffee table from an old furniture pallet.

We started to sit outside more because it no longer felt like we were trapped and instead we were enjoying our most favorite aspect of our home–the view. I could see bike riding, chalk drawing, eating, grilling, bubble blowing and running around barefoot six months out of the year happening in this space. Best decision ever!

(Image credit: Ashley of Retro Den)

Ashley’s words of wisdom: Take it slow! It took two summers for us to finally get to a usable outdoor space. Also, with regards to the the DIY sofa – the foam is actually a lot more expensive than I thought (around $250), but I still think we came out ahead compared to if we bought something similar.

(Image credit: Ashley of Retro Den)

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Thank you, Ashley! You can see more on Ashley’s blog Retro Den