Before and After: Smart Buys and a DIY Make This Patio More Private and Cozy

published Apr 29, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Patio before renovation: large natural fiber rug, 2 cane chairs, and small table
Credit: Mary Bui

The dream components of any patio space? Ample seating, lush green surroundings, and a feeling of privacy — a little slice of the outdoors all your own. Mary Bui’s (@mehree.bee) patio had good potential — it was spacious and had great lighting for plants — but she was just looking to cozy it up a bit and have the option for more privacy.

Credit: Mary Bui

Mary’s goal was to make it a better place for gathering and “to create [her] own getaway in the house,” she says. To do that, she used three elements: lush textures and more seating, plus a little upcycling.
The easiest addition was adding a rug, Mary says — her woven finds are from Target — but the biggest difference-maker was the curtains. Mary found the sheer panels (that still let in plenty of light!) on Amazon, and they were “super easy to hang up and budget-friendly,” she says. Plus they helped warm up the walls, which were skewing a little more blue than Mary preferred before.

Credit: Mary Bui

Hanging the panels higher up helped the space feel taller, too. In front of the curtains are tall bamboo plants in CB2 planters, which also create extra interest and privacy. 

“Before, it felt like everyone was watching me,” Mary says. Now, she can curl up with a book or a coffee or a cocktail and relax in the oasis she was after, and she has ample seating to choose from.

Mary says the most difficult part of the facelift was figuring out how to add more seating without crowding up the place, and she tried to think about the space in separate zones: a dining zone and a lounging zone, where the hanging egg-shaped chair from Amazon can play double-duty (and save on floor space). She zhuzhed up her existing curvy wicker chairs from HomeGoods with Behr’s matte black exterior paint.

Credit: Mary Bui

If you’ve been keeping track, you’ll note that Mary’s upgrades are fairly renter-friendly; she didn’t paint the walls, and she can take the furniture and curtains with her if she decides to move elsewhere. She’ll just need to patch up any holes from mounting jobs.

To complete her space, Mary added more plants (thanks to a slatted plant holder) and re-hung her string lights from before. Her purchases for the patio totaled about $1,600.

Credit: Mary Bui

Now, she has a filled-in, lush space to enjoy as the weather gets warmer and the outdoors become a bit more lively. For more outdoor inspo for spring, check out these 19 additional patio ideas. 

Inspired? Submit your own project here.