This Renter’s Backyard Makeover Took Only Two Weekends

Posted by: on May 7th, 2014 | 2 Comments
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Renter's Backyard Makeover

Caitlin Moran’s home was in dire need of a backyard makeover. But since she and her husband hope to move soon, the makeover needed to be quick and easy and as portable as possible.

A quick and easy backyard makeover is exactly what we have from Caitlin, who writes the popular lifestyle and decor blog Style Within Reach. It’s her addition to our Patio Style Challenge–we send talented bloggers a patio set from The Home Depot, and they use it to show off their outdoor decorating ideas. 

Read on to see the simple ways she solved some common backyard problems to make her patio ready for outdoor entertaining. 

It’s always been a priority to make my rental homes feel like me. I go all out with painting and decorating so I have a cozy, comfortable place to spend my days. At the same time it’s hard to put too much effort into a house that is only yours temporarily.

However, we have a huge backyard and big flat concrete patio that we’d love to utilize more this summer! We just needed to make a few easy changes to the yard. It only took two weekends. We also built a portable bar that can go with us to our next home.

I’ve been living outside ever since!

Renter's Backyard Makeover: The patio before the makeover

Renter's Backyard Makeover

We decided instead of spending the time and manpower painting the concrete pad, we’d use rugs to cover up the ugly color (power washing is also a good idea). I fell in love with this Balta Fieldstone Slate Gray pattern, and since it’s not made for the outdoors we keep it covered when it’s not in use. It anchors the patio set and we set everything up in the corner so it would be close to the bar/potting station.

Renter's Backyard Makeover

Besides the concrete slab we also have a ton of mud in the yard surrounding it due to a drainage issue–and our dog Sullivan running through it non-stop.

We put down gravel and laid paving stones in an attractive pattern to curb this problem. It also created an extension of the patio for the bar. We plan to put our grill over there too!

We weeded the bed around the tree and added fresh mulch.

It was such an easy refresh that changed the look of the yard drastically.

Renter's Backyard Makeover: Drainage Problem

Renter's Backyard Makeover: Gravel and Paving Stones to Solve Drainage Problem

Our North Shore patio set from Brown Jordan is so ideal for entertaining. It’s super cozy, and you just want to curl up with a glass of wine and book and stay outside for hours. The coffee table creates a gathering spot and is perfect for setting out appetizers.

Renter's Backyard Makeover: Outdoor Entertaining

Renter's Backyard Makeover

Renter's Backyard Makeover

Since our yard hasn’t received much love over the harsh winter months it was in serious need of some color!

I had such a fun time picking out pots and plants and scattering them around the patio. It really is the easiest way to bring an area to life! I used a little acrylic paint to spruce up basic terra cotta pots.

Renter's Backyard Makeover

I love the idea of stringing lights over the patio, but we never quite figured out the best way to hang them since the patio is pretty large. So for now we intertwined globe string lights with a large piece of rope and have them hanging on the bar. It really adds a fun touch at night!

Renter's Backyard Makeover: DIY Bar and String Lights Intertwined with Rope

Renter's Backyard Makeover: Caitlin Moran entertaining on her patio Renter's Backyard Makeover: Outdoor Entertaining

Renter's Backyard Makeover: String Lights Intertwined with Rope

The bar was a labor of love. My in-laws helped us design and make it. I used Behr Weatherproof Wood Stain in ‘Wood Chip’ to stain. I’ll be sharing more details on how we did it soon!

Photography: Krista A. Jones

See more photos of Caitlin’s backyard makeover on her blog.

Caitlin Moran is the creative mind behind the lifestyle blog Style Within Reach, where she writes about affordable and attainable style. After working in the fashion industry in New York, she now lives in the Washington DC area.

Caitlin chose the Brown Jordan Northshore Patio Loveseat in HarvestNorthshore Patio Coffee Table and Northshore Patio Lounge Chair for her patio makeover. 

For more simple backyard makeover ideas, see other Patio Style Challenges here on the Home Depot Blog.

Follow our Patio Style Challenge pinboard on Pinterest, too, for outdoor decor inspiration.

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. Caitlin received the patio set from The Home Depot and a gift card. The opinions and ideas Caitlin expressed are her own.

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  1. What a beautiful space. I love the bar and how you strung the lights through the rope. What a great idea:)

  2. Caitlin says:

    Amazing makeover Caitlin and gorgeous images Krista!!