In our Style Challenge series, we challenge some of our favorite bloggers from around the web to surprise us with their ideas for creating a stylish and functional space using a single Home Depot product as a starting point.
For the Patio Edition of the Style Challenge, Sara Stoner from The By & By created a smart, yet casual Southwestern style patio to suit an Austin backyard. Working with the Morris 4-Piece Patio Seating Set, along with succulents, throw pillows, and quirky accents, Sara shows us how to make the most of a small outdoor space.
When the Home Depot reached out to The By & By to participate in the Style Challenge: Patio Edition, I jumped at the opportunity – momentarily overlooking the fact that I happen to live in an apartment and not a house with a yard. However, I did have a patio in mind that I tend to frequent more than my own street-facing porch… enter my very good friends Courtney and Ray (and their cat Kristo)!
Since they recently made the move from apartment living to renting a duplex with a yard, I figured that assisting with a backyard makeover would be the perfect house-warming gift for my favorite couple. Not to mention, hopefully ensure my invitation to backyard gatherings all summer long. OK, so my motives weren’t entirely selfless. What can I say? I’m a hopeless cook who loves homemade burgers. And great company, obviously.
Finding the perfect patio set was key to the makeover. However, since the backyard is really narrow and has a relatively small patio, choosing a large, traditional patio table wasn’t really an option. Instead, we set our sights on finding a set that came with separate pieces that would utilize the space more effectively.
The Martha Stewart Morris 4-Piece Patio Seating Set from The Home Depot turned out to be more than we could have hoped for. Complete with two cushy armchairs, settee, and a crazy-gorgeous slate coffee table, it has the perfect amount of seating for entertaining a small group (like, say, yours truly) and a casual, conversational feel. It’s kind of fabulous to say the least.
Of course, furniture alone only goes so far in establishing a relaxing, happy hour and grill-ready haven. However, as Courtney and Ray were decorating on a budget, deciding upfront what goals they had for the yard was really important.
Given that they’re renting, they understandably didn’t want to invest too much into landscaping, but still wanted the yard to feel lush. Potted plants, especially hearty succulents and cacti that will survive the Texas heat, were a perfect solution for adding greenery to the space. Inspired by The By & By’s resident green-thumb Sarah H., we even created a DIY tabletop succulent garden to add a pop of color to the table. The bonus of gardening with pots? We essentially created a mobile garden that will be easy to take when Courtney and Ray move in the future. Multitask designing at its finest.
Besides adding some much needed vegetation, color made an enormous impact on the space. Because the yard is so small, the house paint color, patio, and fence play a huge part in the overall color scheme – which, regrettably, is largely beige. By adding pops of a contrasting cool color, in this case blue, we were able to cool down the space and add visual interest. A mix of inexpensive throw pillows and colorful pots made a world of difference.
And while it’s no secret, never underestimate the power of a few well-placed accessories. When attempting a makeover on a budget, utilizing pieces you already own is a great way to save a little cash. Courtney and Ray happened to have several really cool tree stumps hanging out in their garage that we were able to use throughout the space as plant stands, and as a make-shift serving tray for the coffee table. Finally, adding a few eclectic lanterns provided a finishing touch to the space.
It was such a blast helping my friends style their yard, and I couldn’t be more thrilled that they’re excited about the makeover. Gotta say, I’m such a fan of the new patio that invitation or not, I foresee spending a lot of time hanging out there this summer. In fact, when’s dinner guys??
For more thoughts on home, design, and life, follow Sara and the other ladies of The By & By daily on the blog or on Twitter. Thank you, Sara for your terrific ideas on creating a Southwest style patio.
Take a look at the other articles from guest contributors in the Patio Edition of our Style Challenge series.
Style Challenge is a series of posts from guest bloggers who aim to bring you fresh inspiration and ideas for your home and garden using a single Home Depot product as a starting point. Sara received the patio set from The Home Depot, but The Home Depot provided no other compensation. The opinions and ideas Sara expressed are her own.