The College Housewife » lifestyle » Before & After: Our Patio Makeover!

Before & After: Our Patio Makeover!

Someone hand me a marg…Our little patio is complete! 

When we took the tour of our apartment I didn’t even need to step through the front door before I realized that we we’re going to take it. Simply based on the patio.

When we started searching for where we would live, one of my all time desires was to have an outdoor space whether that be a little balcony or dreaming with a full back yard. I’d like to think we fell in the middle and scored with this spacious patio!

I instantly realized it had sooooo much potential. One of my favorite things to do on the blog is bring you guys styling ideas and things that you can replicate in your own home with 1. not spending a fortune and 2. not seeming overly complicated. I’m 24 and I really wasn’t looking to break my little bank with furniture that would probably not last more than five years.

We are also renting so I couldn’t make any gigantic changes (aka paint all the exterior walls white and the door teal, because I TOTALLY WOULD HAVE AH!). And I probably would anyways but jared convinced me that it probably wouldn’t have been kosher with our lease, ha!

I’m in no means of an interior designer but I do LOVE the whole world of it, which in my book goes a long way with projects. 

Our trip to old town San Diego a few weeks ago was a huge influencer of design inspiration and of course the natural Southern California look. My ultimate goal was to have an outdoor living space that would be the ultimate cozy spot and of course where we could have lots of margaritas. I think we achieved it!

When we first walked in the leasing agent told us that we were pretty much allowed to do what we wanted with the patio (besides paint). My first thought was some kind of floor covering. I knew Rascal was going to enter our lives soon and the thought of having to potty train him in an apartment complex was daunting.

So we went with grass! Which turned into terf because the grass died real fast, ha! If you’re looking to install a small area of turf yourself, have no fear and turn to youtube like we did and save your self some mula! Jared and I put on some grungy clothes and got dirty (literally). We DIY’ed it ourselves and I am so proud of it. Plus these are the hard working memories that I hope we will reminisce on someday. Rascal now has a place to pee and it’s honestly kept everything so clean! 

We also threw up a fence to hide the stair well for privacy. And by throw up I mean my Dad and Jared built and I uh… I stained the planks… (thanks guys!). It also added a nice contemporary touch which I love. The rest is the fun stuff! 

At this point we had a solid foundation. A few good pressure washes and we we’re ready for the funs stuff! I hid an unwanted wall with a tension curtain rod and some cheap white curtains from ikea. This also helped open up the space and make it look brighter! I sectioned off the dining area with a (2) rugs from Marshalls. When you’re doing your patio think of the cheaper places first like homegoods, target, marshalls, etc. Chances are the things you buy won’t last you more than a few seasons outside so investing in some Persian rugs in a high dirt zone probably isn’t the best idea. 

We got most of the furniture from Ikea. Simply because Ikea caters to small spaces and is affordable. To all you people that have had bad Ikea experiences, I am so so sorry! Because our apartment would not be what it is without ikea. My first piece that we bought was the benches with backing (you can grab all of the furniture sources at the bottom of the post!). These add a great touch and people think they are actually part of the apartment. They section off a nice lounge area and are great for a little succulent shelf!

For the second ‘area’ we put down some large area rugs and made this the dining area. I’ll throw a dinner party whenever I get the chance so a dining table was a must. We have it set for four chairs to save space and bring out two more that are stored if we need them!

The rest was the fun stuff! We added lots of spanish tiles to simple surfaces to bring out more color, tons of terra cotta and white pots to make flowers and plants pop and some great fabric and textiles to add texture and of course a whole lot of comfy!

I love to cook with fresh herbs so I made sure I covered the basics with rosemary, lavender, parsley, cilantro, oregano, mint and thyme.

I couldn’t forget the succulents! I’ve been known to kill a plant or (two) but the succulents are like strong enough for even me!

If you’ve got an outdoor space I would highly suggest to invest in it a little. Patio furniture is relativly inexpensive and it can be a great place to have a glass of wine and clear your head from the day. We have dinner out here 2-3 times a week and everytime I just walk out of the front door I smile because I’m so happy to have a little oasis!

1.) Bistro Chairs  2.) Margarita Glassware  3.) Teal Decorative Basket 4.) Grey Patio Table 5.) Spanish Tiles 6.) Yellow Bistro Tray Table 7.) Bougainvillea Plants  8.) Twinkly Lights  9.) Succulents 10.) Terra Cotta Pots 11.) Mudcloth Pillows 12.) Wooden Bench & Backing 13.) Rug Runner 14.) Area Rug



  1. Kristin
    July 5, 2017 / 5:18 pm

    Hi! Can you link some of the youtube videos you used for the terf installation? I’m thinking of doing the same – my dog has destroyed our backyard, so I’m thinking terf could be a good alternative!

  2. Demelza
    July 5, 2017 / 3:45 pm

    That looks great! Nice job!

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      July 5, 2017 / 4:50 pm

      Thanks so much Demelza! Hope you are off to a great summer season!

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