Before and After: This Plain Patio Transforms into a Gorgeous Plant-Filled Oasis

published Oct 19, 2020
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About this before & after
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Before: Empty balcony with some plants
Credit: Beth Pateman

If you’re looking for inspiration for transforming an outdoor space without having to turn the process into a giant project, this redo is for you. Beth Pateman, who’s currently residing in a 1970s condominium in Honolulu, found that her outdoor space that wasn’t quite living up to expectations. Although the view was picture-perfect and she enjoyed using the space for container gardening, the space wasn’t exactly an ideal hangout.

“My decision to make a change was born of necessity,” Beth says. “In the mindset for spring cleaning, I took our small table and chairs downstairs to the common area to hose off dust and left them to dry. When I returned to collect them, I found that someone thought they were a giveaway—residents sometimes leave things downstairs that are free to take—and they were gone.”

Although it was a bit of a shock, Beth was thankful for the perfectly-timed accident as it gave a reason to go out and replace the old chairs with something she really loved.

Credit: Beth Pateman

Despite the tight 6-foot-by-12-foot dimensions, Beth was able to rearrange the space to make it feel welcoming and cozy. She replaced her lost patio set with sleek chairs from Design Within Reach, and sourced a patio console table from Target to house a colorful arrangement of plants and flowers. What pulled it together and made it feel truly like an extension of the home, though, was the fun patterned rug that coincidentally match the chairs’ throw pillows.

Credit: Beth Pateman

“We’ve gone from a mostly unused space to having a new outdoor room to enjoy. I can’t believe I waited so long to make the lanai part of our living space,” says Beth. “Now, I go out with my morning coffee and gaze toward Diamond Head, and we frequently sit and watch the sky change color with inky blues and soft corals as the sun sets. It really is like having a new room.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.