DIY Ideas for a Loud, Laid-Back Patio Makeover

Posted by: on May 1st, 2014 | 12 Comments
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DIY Ideas for a Loud, Laid-Back Patio Makeover

Design blogger Mandy Pellegrin describes her patio makeover as “loud and laid-back”. We weren’t quite sure what that meant until we saw the photos of her newly styled deck. It’s an exhilarating explosion of pink, yellow and blue in big, vibrant patterns. And there’s plenty of space to put your feet up–a hallmark of any good patio.

She also came up with some terrific DIY ideas for this contribution to our Patio Style Challenge series. She shows us the clever and colorful DIY ways she added seating, serves the cold drinks and rolls away the cooler. Her blog Fabric Paper Glue is full of great DIY and craft ideas, so that shouldn’t be a surprise. 

Read on to see how her brash patio makeover came together. 


DIY Ideas for a Loud, Laid-Back Patio Makeover

Last September, my husband and I moved from a DC-area condo to our very own little house in Nashville–complete with the most delightful backyard. We both love to entertain, so as we embark on our first spring with our very own outdoor space, we wanted to transform our patio into a relaxing–but decidedly fun–entertaining area.

The centerpiece for this awesomely laid-back space is a set of patio chairs from The Brown Jordan Collection that literally lay back. No kidding, these suckers really recline. Then, I made the space all mine with the brightest, boldest outdoor fabrics that I could get my hands on, beautiful potted flowers, enough seating options to make you dizzy, and a healthy dose of DIY.

The Blank Slate


DIY Ideas for a Loud, Laid-Back Patio Makeover: Before and after

We began with about the blankest slate one could imagine–a simple platform deck that just needed a little lovin’. We replaced the lattice with pressure treated 2″ x2″ slats, built a much-needed step, and delineated spaces for cooking, dining, and sitting.


DIY Outdoor Bench

DIY Ideas for a Loud, Laid-Back Patio Makeover: DIY Outdoor Bench


DIY Ideas for a Loud, Laid-Back Patio Makeover: Creating a DIY Outdoor Bench

For some additional seating, I created a super simple DIY outdoor bench.

I attached mounting plates and legs to a pressure treated 2″ x 12″ board that I had the folks at my local Home Depot store cut down to 5′.

I used my electric drill and a 3″ hole saw bit to drill two holes in each end for a few little potted plants.

For comfort, I added a removable cushion by upholstering a piece of foam from the craft store. A few oversized pillows covered in more lovely fabrics provide even more seating options for larger crowds.


Potted Flowers

DIY Ideas for a Loud, Laid-Back Patio Makeover: Lots of potted flowers for color


DIY Ideas for a Loud, Laid-Back Patio Makeover: Colorful flowers, pots and mugs


DIY Ideas for a Loud, Laid-Back Patio Makeover: Colorful flowers and a decorative lantern

Part of our “blank slate” beginnings also meant a real dearth of landscaping. Eventually, we’ll take on that task, but in the meantime, a bevy of potted flowers and plants add a little life to the space — including impatiens, wax begonias, salviasportulacaverbenamarigoldssnapdragons, and a philodendron.


 DIY Rolling Cooler Ottoman

DIY Ideas for a Loud, Laid-Back Patio Makeover: DIY Rolling Cooler Ottoman


DIY Ideas for a Loud, Laid-Back Patio Makeover: Making a DIY Rolling Cooler Ottoman


I created a DIY rolling cooler ottoman for a convenient spot to stow and grab cold beverages and to add even more seating (will the seating possibilities ever end?!).

I started by building a plywood box to fit the dimensions of a plain Styrofoam cooler.

I gave it a bright paint job and attached casters to the bottom.

Then, I upholstered another piece of plywood for the lid, affixed a couple of leather handles with screws, and attached the lid of the cooler.


DIY Serving Tray

DIY Ideas for a Loud, Laid-Back Patio Makeover: DIY Serving Tray

No ultimate entertaining area is complete without a tray for serving up snacks.

I made this extra large one using an unfinished pine circle from the lumber department, a color-block paint job, and a set of handles made by screwing on a couple of leather straps.

For this project, I used Behr paint samples in PoinsettiaElectric Orange, and Tropical Smoothie.


 Garden String Lights for Nighttime

DIY Ideas for a Loud, Laid-Back Patio Makeover: String lights illuminate a deck at night

As bright and happy as our new space is during the day, the addition of a couple of strands of garden lights really brings this space to life at night–the perfect spot to gather with friends on a beautiful summer night.

I just know that this is a space that we will enjoy for years to come–relaxing, eating, drinking, and laughing with each other and our friends and families.


Mandy Pellegin writes about handsome crafts, delightful beverages, DIY ideas and other fun stuff on her blog Fabric Paper Glue. Take a look at the colorful small urban balcony she styled for a friend in her previous Patio Style Challenge. She lives with her husband in Nashville.  

Mandy chose Brown Jordan Vineyard Patio Motion Lounge Chairs in Meadow for her patio makeover. 

For more patio makeover ideas and inspiration, see other Patio Style Challenges as well as our  Patio Style Challenge pinboard on Pinterest. And browse our online Outdoor Living Department for everything you need for your patio, backyard or garden. 

Style Challenge is a series of articles from guest contributors who aim to bring you fresh inspiration and ideas for your home and garden using a single Home Depot product as a starting point. Mandy received the patio set from The Home Depot and a gift card. The opinions and ideas Mandy expressed are her own.

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Leave a Comment

  1. Kanan says:

    The rug is looking beautiful guys! Thanks for using recycled plastic rug from Fab Habitat

  2. Lindsay says:

    Where is the rug from? I love it!!

  3. [...] blogger, Mandy, of Fabric Paper Glue really wowed us with this bright and geometric cooler project. You’d never know there’s a simple Styrofoam cooler hidden inside. It’s an easy [...]

  4. Chris says:

    I don’t like watermelons but the 2nd to last picture is soo beautiful, I wouldn’t mind having a watermelon right now!! :)

  5. Mandy! I love this so much! Its so colorful, and fun and fabulous. I love all the awesome DIY’s. So inspiring. Great job!

  6. What an amazing transformation! I looove all the colors.

  7. Amy says:

    This is such a fun space! I love all the bright colors and the rug too.

  8. Lauren Steidl says:

    It looks great! And what lovely guests on your patio..

  9. That bench is so amazing- I’m in love! And reclining outdoor seats??? Seriously?!!? I’d never leave.

  10. The bench! the cooler ottoman!!!! Mandy, you’re amazing.

  11. So bright and colorful! It really brings a warm sense of friends gathering! Lovely.