An Outdoor Space That’s Colorful, Comfortable and Renter-Friendly

Posted by: on April 22nd, 2014 | 37 Comments
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An Outdoor Space That's Colorful, Comfortable and Renter-Friendly

Sometimes those of us who rent our homes feel left out of the fun of decorating our outdoor spaces. We can’t make major alterations to the house we rent, and we don’t want to spend a lot of money on a patio that we will eventually leave behind. But design blogger Shavonda Gardner wants to show you being a renter does not mean you have to forego creating a beautiful patio decor on your back deck.

We noticed her excellent decorating and DIY ideas on A Home Full of Color and asked her to take part in our Patio Style Challenge. We sent her a patio furniture set and asked her to style her deck around it. 

She came up with a colorful outdoor space that’s comfortable and inviting, and it cleverly makes full use of her small outdoor space. And best of all, she didn’t do any major construction, and she can pretty much take it all with her when she moves. 

Read on for Shavonda’s patio decorating ideas that are great for renters and homeowners, alike.

The minute the calendar signals spring’s arrival I immediately start conjuring plans for outdoor living and entertaining. So when The Home Depot invited me to take part in this year’s Style Challenge I was thrilled! As with many renters, and urban dwellers alike, I was challenged by both space limitations and the inability make major structural changes to our outdoor space. With these obstacles in mind I set out to create a casual, comfortable space perfect for my friends and family to enjoy.

A back deck before its makeover

Dual Zones for Outdoor Dining and Lounging

Starting with a long narrow deck that was barren and uninspiring, I decided to take advantage of its length and create dual zones for entertaining. One area would be dedicated to conversation/lounging, and the other for casual dining.  The Hampton Bay Fenton Patio and Bistro sets proved to be the perfect solution.

Renter-Friendly Outdoor Space Makeover: Dual zones for entertaining

Renter-Friendly Outdoor Space Makeover: Dual zones for entertaining

Renter-Friendly Outdoor Space Makeover: Trellis with hanging potted plants

One of my main goals while planning the space was to create an area that felt like an extension of the inside of our home. Inside you’ll find colorful and eclectic rooms, and I wanted to infuse this area with the same elements. The patio set came with an ottoman, but to add a bit of interest and soften the angular lines of its rectangular size, I opted to make a coffee table out of a large tree stump I found.

Renter-Friendly Outdoor Space Makeover: A large tree stump serves as a coffee table

Renter-Friendly Outdoor Space Makeover: A large tree stump serves as a coffee table

Since I’m a sucker for succulents, I decided to carve out a small area within it for planting. It adds a little touch of the unexpected and helps soften the piece a bit.

Renter-Friendly Outdoor Space Makeover: Succulents planted in the crack in a large tree stump

A Planter Box and Lattice for Privacy

Living in the land of continual sun means the air conditioning is essential, BUT it doesn’t mean I want to stare at the unit all day either!  I created an easy hanging planter “screen” with a planter box and some lattice to disguise the not-so-pretty eye sore.  It was also a great backdrop to bring in even more color and greenery. This would also be a convenient way to add privacy from neighbors on a patio.

A little copper spray paint and neon string  turn basic terra cotta pots into fun, and affordable opportunities to add seasonal color to even the smallest of outdoor spaces.

Renter-Friendly Outdoor Space Makeover: Terra cotta pots spray painted and hung with neon string

Renter-Friendly Outdoor Space Makeover: Spray-painted terra cotta pot hung on a lattice with neon string

Working With a Small Outdoor Space

Lacking the space for a traditional outdoor dining table, a bistro set is the perfect solution for small space dining al fresco.

Renter-Friendly Outdoor Space Makeover: A bistro set is the perfect solution for small space dining al fresco

Renter-Friendly Outdoor Space Makeover: The scale of the patio set perfect for smaller outdoor spaces

Not only is the scale of the patio set perfect for smaller outdoor spaces, but the cushions also make the seating ultra comfortable.

Renter-Friendly Outdoor Space Makeover:

 After layering in lots of potted plants, candles, accessories and colorful textiles, we now have a space that’s sure to be the most sought after spot in the house!

Renter-Friendly Outdoor Space Makeover: Layering in lots of potted plants, candles, accessories and colorful textiles

Renter-Friendly Outdoor Space Makeover: Layering in lots of potted plants, candles, accessories and colorful textiles

Renter-Friendly Outdoor Space Makeover: Layering in lots of potted plants, candles, accessories and colorful textiles

An Outdoor Space That's Colorful, Comfortable and Renter-Friendly

The best part is we can easily take everything along to wherever we land next. Thanks so much Home Depot, and Happy Spring everyone!

Shavonda Gardner lives in Sacramento, California with her wife and their two children. She describes herself as a “design lover, DIYer, treasure hunter, furniture rescuer, chronic re-arranger, and lover of color and old houses.” She writes about all that and more on A Home Full of Color

Shavonda chose the Hampton Bay Fenton 4-Piece Patio Seating Set and the Hampton Bay Fenton 3-Piece Bistro Set  for her patio makeover. 

For more patio decorating 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 posts 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. Shavonda received the patio set from The Home Depot and a gift card. The opinions and ideas Shavonda expressed are her own.

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  1. [...] of Color, created her own vertical structure and DIY, colorful macrame hangers. Shavonda’s renter-friendly patio is covered in greenery and plant life (we love it!) but this hanging garden is a neat centerpiece. [...]

  2. Jamala says:

    You created the perfect tranquil space. I love your blend of colors, it has a touch of a tropical feel to the area. I love the area rug and tablecloth .

  3. Looks AWESOME Shavonda! Amazing transformation!
    -Michelle HInckley (4men1lady)

  4. Anne says:

    Great job! I especially love the trellis/planter combo. I didn’t see any instructions — did you secure the trellis to the house or is it free-standing? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Anne! Thank you so much. The trellis is not attached to the house. I made it free standing so it would work for most renter situations:) The assembly was super quick and easy. I simply placed the trellis in the planter box, filled it with with enough river rock to hold it in place, filled the remainder with soil and planted flowers within it! The trellis was even purchased prefinished. I did cut it down a bit to my preference. That can be done with either a jigsaw or circular saw. Hope this helps!:)

      • Anne says:

        Thanks so much for your reply! Sadly, where I live, we get nearly constant, strong wind so I don’t think this will work for me. I very much appreciate you sharing the full how-to! Hopefully this is perfect for someone else! : )

  5. destiny says:

    LOVE the natural wood coffee table!!! So amazing! Your space looks amazing girl! Great job!

  6. Jenna says:

    I am dying over all these fabulous pops of color you have going on, Shavonda! I love the pops of pink and yellow. You did a fab job – as always!

  7. Carrie says:

    Oh my gosh, Shavonda – It’s BEAUTIFUL!!! I just had a chance to finally devour all of the photos, and I’m in love. Fabulous job =)

  8. Love it so so much my friend! Everything is perfect and I agree with Kristin your succulent table is amazing. I think I will need my own!

  9. Wow, Shavonda! Absolutely stunning! I love the coffee table and all that color!

  10. This is one of my faves so far! I love that stump coffee table with the succulents and the patterns are amazing! xo Kristin

  11. Amber says:

    It looks awesome!

  12. Stacey says:

    Well done Shavonda! Absolutely gorgeous! I just want to curl up right there with a book and a Red Stripe!:)

  13. Love Shavonda’s patio and the stylish way she brought it to life for the season! The lattice screen is brilliant!

  14. This came out amazing! That tree stump table is to die for.

  15. emily says:

    love the planter box/ trellis idea for privacy. brilliant! I love all the color she brought in with plants and textiles..perfect for a renter!

  16. You did an EXCELLENT job! My kinda of space!! Would love the opportunity to do something like this with Home Depot! I find myself there ALOT since the weather is breaking!

  17. Brandi says:

    Oh Shavonda, your space looks amazing! I love all the plants and flowers. The lattice screen was such a clever idea. You pulled everything together so nicely. I’m so inspired!

  18. Gloribell says:

    Shavonda, you and I have so many things in common: succulents, neon colors, Buddha, just to name a few. Love your style and how incredibly gorgeous you upgraded this space. So nice to know it is a non-invasive design for those of us who live in rentals.

  19. You rocked it Shavonda! This was the one I was waiting for with baited breath and you didn’t disappoint :)

  20. Love it, Shavonda! Such a relaxing and colorful space!!