The 10 Best Outdoor Space Redos We Saw in 2020

published Dec 7, 2020
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Before: empty backyard with dirt in place of grass and no seating

With many people spending more time outdoors this year than usual (particularly people lucky enough to have their own outdoor spaces!), there was plenty of motivation—and opportunity—to check any outdoor projects off the to-do list. That motivation led to some of the most amazing outdoor transformations Apartment Therapy editors have ever seen. Whether it was making the most of a previously unused balcony or revamping your backyard into

1. A $500 Refresh Takes This Deck from Dark to Boho Dreamy

Jen Uthoff and her husband Andy prove that you don’t need a huge budget to make a big change. They sanded their time-worn and dark deck and refinished it with a modern whitewash, added new lighting and installed clear polycarbonate roofing panels to let the sun in, but keep the rain out. The final product is breathtaking.

2. This Boho Deck Redo Creates a True Outdoor Living Room

Lily Sawyer wanted a low-maintenance outdoor space that they could use year-round. The answer? A boho chic outdoor living room that’s seriously dreamy. By painting the deck black and putting up a shed for a “cabin vibe,” Sawyer had the perfect backdrop for art, rugs, and glam seating in her boho outdoor living room.

3. $1,000 Transforms a Bare Balcony into a Cozy Lounge Space

A small outdoor space does not equal an unusable space. With a timeline of one month and a budget of $1,000, Jen Robinson and her boyfriend transformed this balcony from a neglected waste of space to cozy central. The best part? The whole project didn’t involve any tools except a drill and an Allen key.

4. A Wild Pink-and-Red Porch Gets a Chic Boho Redo for $1000

This pink and red ‘camo’ porch went from wild to ‘wow’ with an overhaul from Jaime Elkins and her husband. They painted a fresh coat of black and white, installed wooden slats, and chose to stencil paint the flooring instead of installing new. Smart choices made this modern and boho redo come in at $1,000.

5. A Breezy Boho-Style Deck Redo Makes Use of “Forgotten Space”

This backyard redo takes a plain wooden back deck and transforms it into not only a functional place for kids to play, but also a space that homeowners Jena and Grahm can enjoy, too. A pergola, stairs, plants, and comfy furniture makes this space a go-to for the entire family.

6. This Backyard “Mud Pit” Gets a Functional—and Beautiful—Redo

Jennifer Grammer turned her previously unusable backyard into a cozy, beautiful outdoor living room. This redo took about three weeks and a good bit of elbow grease cleaning out overgrown plants and leveling the area prior to installing a pergola (with a little bit of trial and error along the way). By repurposing the furniture she already had, the space is now a wonderfully cozy spot that Jennifer and her family can’t get enough of.

7. A Dark, Muddy Storage Area Becomes a Dreamy Backyard Escape

Ten weeks, $3,500 spent, and a lot of DIY-ing proved to be time and money well spent for Tabitha Sewer and her family. They had professionals lay their concrete foundation, but besides that, they created this dreamy backyard escape all by themselves—complete with a custom-built loveseat, lights, and a swing.

8. A $2,000 Redo Turns a Run-Down Patio into a Breezy Hangout

Vida Cornelious shows that with a little bit of love and attention, a run-down patio can become an inviting oasis. Cornelious cleared out weeds and hauled in 1,800 pounds of sand to level out the surface before installing grass in the patio area of her Harlem rental. It took about a month and $2,000, but her outdoor living room is a sight to see.

9. 4 Paint Colors and $300 Give This Plain Porch Some Pep

Here’s proof that you can make a big change with a small amount of money. For just $300, Tanna Bartlett was able to totally transform her front porch, with projects that included a new front door color, a stenciled floor, and re-painted furniture.

10. An “Unusable” Patio Turned Enchanting Retreat for $3000

Craigslist and other secondhand retailers helped homeowner Brian Bigalke turn his “unusable” backyard patio space into a comfortable hangout for just $3000. Two seating areas and plenty of twinkling lights make the space extra inviting.