Before and After: A Simple and Stunning Patio Redo Makes Color the Star

updated Jul 30, 2020
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Before: Plain gray patio with pink bistro set
Credit: Marilyn Jonckheere

For many people, patios are an extension of their homes—an outdoor room where they can spend time with family or unwind at the end of the day. But sometimes, even though the space is used like an extension of the home, it doesn’t exactly look like one. Marilyn Jonckheere’s patio is a good example: When she bought her apartment in Brussels, her backyard patio was pretty plain. The outdoor space consisted of a terrace with stairs leading to her garden—and because she had that garden space to enjoy, she says, “initially no attention was paid to the terrace area or ways to make it more attractive. It was a space that fulfilled its purpose but nothing more.”

Her first focus when moving into her place back in 2018 was decorating the interior. But in spring of 2020, COVID-19 hit and suddenly Marilyn and her family found themselves spending lots more time at home. “This made us reflect on ways to make the garden area more cozy and enjoyable,” she says.

Credit: Marilyn Jonckheere

The redo had just four steps, and took only two days of work. First, Marilyn used a pressure washer (borrowed from a friend) to clean the patio area and the wood. Once that was done, she treated the wood to help revitalize its natural color, and painted all the walls a warm tomato red. Finally, she added tons of new plants to bring some life to the space.

Credit: Marilyn Jonckheere

“We traveled to Mexico beginning 2020 and the color brings back that same feeling,” Marilyn says of the transformed patio space. “Our bedroom is located next to the terrace with large window doors in between and it is just lovely to wake up to this setting.”

For anyone who doesn’t feel like they can transform their outdoor space without spending a ton of time or money, Marilyn has some advice: “It does not need to be a complicated project. Some paint and plants go a long way,” she says. “Spend some time on making your outdoor space a place where you love to hang out.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.