The Home Depot challenged me to give my patio a huge makeover and y’all—I’m so proud of how it came out! DIYing this transformation was quite the journey, so my post details what I did, how I did it, and hopefully it will inspire you to roll up your sleeves and try it too.
Before I do, let me just make one thing clear. I am not a designer. We built our home 3 years ago and I still haven’t gotten around to decorating most of my rooms. So when The Home Depot handed me this mission to fix up my very neglected patio space, I was so down to see what I was capable of.
Without further ado, here is how I transformed my dull, lifeless patio into an outdoor sanctuary!
WHERE TO START
The first thing I did was give some serious thought to what vibe I was going for. While confined to our homes in 2020, many of us had to get creative with turning our personal spaces into something we could enjoy waking up to every day. A patio provides the perfect canvas to paint a new reality. I wanted it to feel lush, inviting, and be multifunctional. A place where I could lounge, work, dine, and enjoy beautiful scenery. So I picked a theme: patio oasis.
After I had my theme, I started looking for photos online that matched my vision. I also went to The Home Depot’s website and looked at patio pictures and watched project guides for inspiration. One image in particular I saw of a patio helped give me ideas I hadn’t even thought of. I polled my Instagram community using two patio pictures from the site and asked them what they liked best. The more vibrant patio won by a landslide, so with that, I made the decision to fill my patio space with lots of color instead of going neutral.
And because I’m a busy multi-tasking mom, The Home Depot mobile app was my go-to for pretty much everything. I used it to browse, buy, and track the delivery for all of my purchases. Whenever I saw something I liked, I could save it to my shopping list and then buy when I was ready. Anytime I bought something it would notify me when my item had shipped, I could easily view the tracking information, and get status updates about the delivery of my packages. For items I could get from my local Home Depot store, I had the option of selecting in-store pick-up. Or sometimes while I was in the store, I would just use the product locator tool in the app to tell me which aisle something I wanted was located on.
THE LAYOUT: A TALE OF 2 SECTIONS
I essentially had two different sections to play with. Part of my patio is screened in and we access it directly from our bedroom. Since it’s enclosed, we wanted this space to be where we could relax, lounge, or even bring our laptops out to work if we wanted to. The other part of my patio is completely open and filled with lots of sunlight, which makes it perfect for dining and filling it with vibrant flowers and plants. I’ve traveled all over the globe and I wanted this to remind me of my world adventures. So the screened-in section is designed to feel like the cabana area of an upscale hotel, while the open air section of my patio is designed to feel like a a whimsical outdoor café in some beautiful, faraway place.
THE OPEN AIR SECTION
First let’s talk about the open air section.
The very first change we made was putting down an outdoor rug with bright, fun patterns. This one simple modification alone can make a patio start to feel more vibrant. Instead of buying a new table, I kept my old thrifted table that came with a bench, but it didn’t have any chairs. So since we were going with blue as the central color for the patio, I found some blue outdoor chairs that I thought would complement the table and rug and put up a huge solar LED patio umbrella in midnight blue.
And for a more romantic feel in the evening, I like to replace the daytime patio chairs with soft grey tufted seating and fashioned with decorative pillows, which gives it a different ambiance. To pull the entire dining area together in a stylishly cohesive way, I mixed and match a variety of blue tableware, included cloth napkins, plates, bowls, and glasses and added an outdoor lantern for both the floor and tabletop to illuminate the dining area at night.
Plants were integral to achieving an oasis-themed atmosphere. First, I added 3 steel planters with coco liners on the deck rail and filled them with colorful flowers to really add some life to the space. The planters were simple to put together. They came with easy-to-install brackets that I attached to the back of the planter and placed on the deck rail. Once mounted, I created a floral design using a variety of flowers I found at my local Home Depot store, including coneflowers, coreopsis, black-eyed susans, and angelonias. And the result is a bomb display of vivid blossoms.
Then I filled a coconut-fiber hanging basket with potting mix and arranged a blend of orange impatiens and white periwinkles, which I hung on an iron decorative wall bracket that I drilled into the wall. Underneath that I planted a butterfly bush in a cobalt blue ceramic planter and placed a monogrammed door mat next to it.
I loved the color so much that I bought a smaller version for my multicolored pink and green Hawaiian Ti plant. For a striking architectural statement, I also added a giant fiddle-leaf fig plant that has these eye-catching violin-shaped leaves, and honestly it’s a whole vibe all on its own. I love this plant! And because I found the intense pink hue of the Hawaiian Ti plant to be so captivating, I bought some celosia flowers that also had a remarkable pink color to it and included it as a center piece for the dining table.
On top of vivacious flowers, I also wanted produce and herbs too. So I allocated various zones for both. First I tackled the produce zone. I planted grapes last year and because they grow vertically, I needed something tall the tendrils could climb up as it grows. So I ordered a trellis from Home Depot and assembled it together to give my grapes a new home. I transferred them out of the old pot I had it in and into a cute little wood planter box and then gave it a roommate by planting a green bell pepper plant right next to it. Next I created a zone for my herbs. I found a vintage-looking plant stand that I felt could add a touch of enchantment to the area. It came with two shelves that I assembled together using a drill and the screws it came with. It was the perfect place for my mint, purple basil and lemon balm. The mint I regrew from food scraps, while the purple basil and lemon balm I bought from The Home Depot. I also used an adorable green watering can with copper accents and my compost bucket to dress up my herb zone and pull it all together.
To really give the patio a whimsical vibe, I decided to do a DIY string lights project. I wasn’t 100% sure how to do this, but based on photos I saw on the Internet it looked like all I needed was 2 pieces of wood to wrap the string lights around and create the look I wanted. So I went to The Home Depot and bought some 8-ft long 2×2 pieces of pressure treated wood that I could drill into my deck rail. Then I asked an employee to cut them to the exact size I needed, which was 6.5 feet. I painted the two pieces of wood the same color of my deck to ensure it seamlessly blended in. Once I added multiple coats of paint, I used 3-1/2 inch deck screws to secure both pieces to my wooden rail and then we strung remote control operated dimmable lights all around the patio.
This gave the space a whole new look to transform into at nighttime. With outdoor string lights, you can easily transition from day to night with the flick of a switch, giving you a versatile space to enjoy in a myriad of ways.
THE SCREENED-IN SECTION
Now let’s move on to the screened-in side of the patio.
Since this little slice of paradise is the first place you enter when exiting the bedroom, it feels like a spacious hotel balcony, but I also designed it to resemble what you might see next to a pool. This area has less design elements than the open-air section, but it’s just as attention-grabbing.
I picked yellow as the central color for this space and kicked off the design with a bubbly yellow rug. I topped the rug with a bohemian-style outdoor wicker day bed. While you could technically assemble this yourself, I found it much easier to recruit help. Working together, my husband and I were able to put this together much quicker than if I tried to do it alone. It came with white cushions and a pillow and I added some blue and yellow decorative pillows to bring in some color. The boho-style table I ordered was even speedier to assemble, with just a table top, bottom layer and 4 legs to put together. Then to give the daybed a more rustic feel, I weaved stringy ivy leaves through the wicker. Lastly, since this is supposed to resemble a poolside atmosphere, I added a large palm plant bring on the tropical vibes.
Lastly, we have a spacious backyard with lots of room to play with. That’s a gigantic project for another day, but I at least wanted to plant some flowers along the fence line so we’d have a pretty view to enjoy from our new patio oasis.
Again, busy mom here, so I wanted to do this as quickly as possible. Whenever I do landscaping projects in my front yard, digging holes with a shovel takes all day. So I decided to switch things up and try my hand at using outdoor power equipment!
I visited The Home Depot’s Tool Rental department and rented an earth auger for a few hours. This device looked hella intimidating when I was reading about it, but I was determined to conquer this thing. It’s designed to make any hole-digging job faster and since I wanted to plant large rose bushes and hydrangeas, I knew I had to see if an auger could help speed things up!
Well, it did. And I felt so badass afterwards.
DIY = EMPOWERMENT
This is honestly some of the most fun I’ve had decorating my home. Like I said, I’ve been avoiding stylizing a lot of the rooms in my house, because it’s just so much pressure to come up with ideas, pick out colors, and then commit to a final design theme! I’ve only done a few rooms like the nursery, my office, and a couple rooms in the basement. So this patio DIY challenge empowered me to not only explore my creative side, but actually execute my ideas instead of talking myself out of them.
And here we are. A dozen Home Depot trips and mobile app purchases later—I finally have the patio of my dreams.