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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How to Make Your Patio Part of Your Home

As I type I am sitting in a hotel room in Chicago. One of the hotel employees was saying she doesn’t even care that the weather here the last few days was completely hot, humid and uncomfortable because it was finally NOT WINTER. It was really cute. It also made me grateful (once again) we ended up settling in San Diego!

patio makeover by @janemaynard

Regardless of where you live, however, the warm weather is finally here (okay, maybe too warm, but don’t forget that snow!). Warm weather means we can all finally enjoy some time outside. Nate and I (with the help of my sister Anne) recently gave our patio a makeover and it has made all the difference. Just wanted to share it with you and maybe give you some simple ideas for your own patio and backyard sprucing!

We purchased our home from the original owner. She lived her for over 40 years and took great care of the house, including putting in a beautiful yard and backyard patio. The patio area has a pergola, a gas line running out to the patio area, a fountain and beautiful plants all around. Every time I even look at the patio I feel beyond grateful.

patio makeover by @janemaynard

When we moved in, all we had was an outdoor table and some chairs. It’s taken us almost a year, but we have finally given our patio a makeover and I cannot tell you what a difference it has made in our enjoyment of the area. We are definitely spending more time outside, especially for meals. And, we finally have a grill, which means we’ll be cooking outside more, too! By adding a few functional as well as decorative features to the patio, it really has become an extension of our indoor living space. AND I LOVE IT. Here’s what we did!

allen + roth fire pit | patio makeover by @janemaynard

allen + roth fire pit | patio makeover by @janemaynard

allen + roth fire pit | patio makeover by @janemaynard

allen + roth fire pit | patio makeover by @janemaynard

  • Fire pit: We bought an allen + roth wood fire pit for the backyard. We are planning to use it for the first time this week and the kids are ecstatic! The one we chose is lightweight but really pretty, so we’re keeping it stored in the patio area, but it is easy to move out from under the pergola into the yard for when we actually do a fire. And it was only $139! You don’t need one of those fancy built-in fire pits to enjoy the benefits! And we chose wood so we can roast food over the fire.

comfortable outdoor seating | patio makeover by @janemaynard

comfortable outdoor seating | patio makeover by @janemaynard

  • Comfortable Seating: I think my favorite addition to the porch was adding comfortable seating. It was nice having a table and chairs, but they weren’t great if you just wanted to go outside and read a book or chat with a friend. We added a cushioned bench as well as an allen + roth cushioned outdoor rocking chair. I loooooove the rocking chair, just so you know.

outdoor pillows | patio makeover by @janemaynard

  • Pillows and more pillows! Not only do the pillows add some comfort, but they just look super cute and make the space look a lot more finished. If you do nothing else, spruce up your patio with some pillows! The girls fell in love with this allen + roth outdoor pillow with a bird on it. They insisted on getting that pillow, so I used it to set the color scheme for the rest of the pillows, which matched the cushions we already had.

allen + roth lanterns | patio makeover by @janemaynard

  • Lighting: I had already strung some clear bulb string lights on the pergola, but we added a few glass lanterns that hang from the posts and found these really pretty wood and glass lanterns by allen + roth (one is 11″ and the other is 8.5″ – please note that the lanterns online are natural wood color – we purchased ours at the store and the wood is much darker).  I have pretty LED candles to go in all the lanterns. The large pillar LED candle I found at Lowe’s even has a timer setting, so if you forget to turn it off, no biggie!

succulent garden | patio makeover by @janemaynard

  • Plants: We started a succulent garden for two reasons. One, succulents are hard to kill. Two, they’re gorgeous. We bought a whole slew of succulent plants at Lowe’s and set them up in front of our fountain, in a spot where we had torn out some strange and messy plants. We also put a few succulent planters on tables throughout the patio.

succulents for patio makeover by @janemaynard

Spring is here, go have some fun with your patio!

Lowe’s provided me with a gift card to purchase items for our patio makeover. All opinions are our own.


  1. I want to move in and live on your patio! That is simply beautiful!!

  2. 2

    Those lanterns are gorgeous and I love the succulents and the “put a bird on it” pillow. I wish we had a gas line for a grill. Propane is fine, but the convenience of the line seems so nice. No magically running out of fuel just as you’re ready to put food on the grill.

    Also, it’s not warm here (47ºF right now). I don’t care how warm it is there, no complaining. I’d trade you in a NY minute.

  3. 3

    love that succulent garden..excellent idea for the fountain area. i need to come visit again for sure!

  4. I LOVE your outdoor space Jane!! we are starting to work on ours. I got a covered swing for Mother’s Day and next we are looking for a fire pit and outdoor furniture. We love Lowes, I’ll be hitting them up next week, since I’m trying to get everything ready for a graduation party the end of the month!

  5. 5
    Rachel U

    LOVING these patio decor ideas! I can’t wait to buy a house with a little bit of a yard to relax in! Yours looks dreamy!

  6. 6

    I love it! Can I come over and hang out? It looks so warm and inviting…

  7. I’d just want to hang out on the patio all day. Beautiful!

  8. What a great patio space…love the lanterns and succulents and fun string lights through the pergola!

  9. 9

    Great space for summer! Enjoy!

  10. 10

    Step 1: Move out of the snow country and to California.

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