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We Helped a Reader Turn Her Underused Backyard into a Patio, and Now Her Family Uses It All the Time

published Jun 28, 2024
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Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Margaret Ward

Outdoor space adds a whole host of possibilities to your home — and sometimes, those possibilities can be a little overwhelming! When Deena, her husband, and their two children relocated from New York City to New Jersey, they got more space inside and out. The new backyard was a big style question mark for Deena, so she decided to start small by focusing on a small and manageable section of it: the patio.

To help Deena transform this unadorned area into a welcoming oasis for family and friends, we headed straight to The Home Depot. The Home Depot has everything you need for every part of outdoor living, from gardening and DIY essentials to chic furnishings like dining sets, throw pillows, and decor. Translation: all the makings of a patio paradise.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Margaret Ward

Start From the Ground Up

A patio without personality is just a slab of concrete. Deena laid a more aesthetic foundation with Acacia wood interlocking deck tiles. The warm wood tone is way cozier than cement, and it helps separate the space into two distinct areas: a conversational setup for socializing and a relaxing zone for quiet lounging. Geometric area rugs further divide the space into “rooms” while adding texture and color.

An array of plants adds greenery — we decided to go big with potted shrubs and other growers. And because it’s hard to visit The Home Depot without getting some project inspiration, Deena had a vision and grabbed all the supplies she needed to spray paint her planters black. It’s an easy DIY that creates a modern, cohesive look.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Margaret Ward

Give Your Indoor Style Some Sun

If you have a blank slate and don’t know where to begin, start with what you already like. Deena favors a neutral color palette, so we took that style note outside with a can’t-miss combo of black-and-white. The area rugs establish the theme in eye-catching fashion. By keeping all the furniture within that style world — teak frames and creamy white cushions — both areas look like they belong in the same scene. (Just as they do inside, throw pillows provide a lively finishing touch for an inviting outdoor space.) The mix of patterned and solid cushions gives the whole look depth.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Margaret Ward

Think About How You Want to Use Your Space

The secret to having an outdoor area you’ll actually use is to set it up to suit your specific lifestyle. For Deena and her family, that meant two things: eating together and relaxing together. Alfresco evenings are a big part of their summer, so a spacious dining table was a must — this one expands for extra seating. Coordinating couch and bench seating make a relaxed alternative to dining chairs. And of course, they need a grill for all those warm-weather feasts.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Margaret Ward

Deena’s favorite spot in the space is a cozy chaise lounge big enough to curl up on for story time. The large planters make this little corner feel like a quiet, private zone perfect for relaxing. Stylish accessories like a side table and lantern make this outdoor living area extra comfy.