Try These Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover


Decorating a small apartment balcony comes with its challenges. But Amber Kemp-Gerstel, the creative mind behind Damask Love has the small patio decorating ideas needed to make her tiny outdoor space beautiful, comfortable and great for entertaining.

This is Amber’s contribution to our Patio Style Challenge series. We send terrific design and DIY bloggers patio sets from The Home Depot, and they come up with amazing patio decor and easy solutions to some of the problems we all face with out outdoor spaces.

Amber truly made the most of every inch of her Miami apartment balcony. We love the coral and turquoise color scheme she used. She also offers up some very simple decorating ideas that would work on any patio, including a darling framed chalkboard vertical garden. And the grass is so inviting!

Yes. Grass. On an apartment balcony. 

Ringing in at a whopping 60 sq ft., our balcony is small but mighty.

Well…I take that back.

Before the Home Depot Style Challenge, the balcony was small and sad. So very very sad. It housed a dead lemon tree, a pair of dirty sneakers and a plastic Adirondack chair that my husband loved – but I wanted no part of.  Basically, it was 60 sq. ft of concrete dying for some attention. Home Depot came in to save the day.

The goal with this makeover was to extend our living room room and design an outdoor entertaining area that can hold even more guests this Spring. Mission accomplished.

My first assignment was to gather up some inspiration for color…and the Behr paint sample wall gave me all the inspiration I needed.

Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover: Color Inspiration

Next up – replace the Adirondack chair…with something a little less reminiscent of a prison yard…although they probably don’t have Adirondack chairs in prison. But you know what I mean.

Amber's apartment balcony before the makover


I knew I could create something beautiful with the unfinished Adirondack chair that I picked up at my local Home Depot. Behr’s Youthful Coral in Semi-Gloss gave this baby a hefty dose of color that I love.

Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover


Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover


Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover


To add an easy accent to the side of my freshly painted Adirondack chair, I crafted up a really simple PVC pipe planter. It’s incredibly easy to make …promise.

Here, I’ve prove it!

DIY PVC Pipe Planter

DIY PVC Pipe Planter

With very little space for a big patio seating set, I chose a small bistro set that fits perfectly into the largest corner of our balcony: the Hampton Bay Fall River Set, which I slightly altered by stitching up a few pillow covers.

Amber's apartment balcony before the makeover


I really can’t believe that we lived with such a sad patio situation before.

By far my favorite part of this east wall is the chalkboard herb garden. Gardening can be tough when you live nine floors above the actual ground, but this solution is stylish and super functional. This little bistro nook also includes a few other DIY’s that you can add to your own space without too much difficulty – including simple tile coasters and a drop cloth area rug that is great for defining the deck tile area.

Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover


I mean seriously–what a transformation, right?!

DIY Drop Cloth Area Rug

DIY Drop Cloth Area Rug

Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover

To give everyone’s drink a place to live, I tackled a super simple DIY that you can add to any room in your house with just a few supplies. You can customize them with fabric or paper to coordinate with your existing decor.

Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover

DIY Easy Tile Coasters

DIY Easy Tile Coasters


Now for a look at how to make that awesome little framed herb garden…

Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover

Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover

Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover

DIY Chalkboard Herb Garden

DIY Chalkboard Herb Garden

The final piece of the patio was a last minute idea that I’m so happy about!

If you’re gonna have an outdoor entertaining space, you’d better have somewhere to serve up the drinks! Enter the Husky Two-Tray Utility Cart. It’s a steel cart sturdy enough for wheeling around heavy tools and stuff, but you’ll never look at this cart in the same way. It looks like it was pretty much created to serve beverages, right?


Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover


Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover


Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover


Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover

DIY Utility Cart Beverage TrayDIY Utility Cart Beverage Tray


Simple Decorating Ideas for an Awesome Small Patio Makeover


And last, but not least, I’m sure it hasn’t escaped you that I gave our patio a totally new look by carpeting the entire area with faux grass!

This stuff is amazing people. All I want to do is run my toes through it. A plush, grassy patio is the last thing you’d expect on a ninth-floor balcony but we made it happen and I’m so very happy we did!

Hopefully with these simple decorating ideas, you’re feeling inspired to recreate your own outdoor space –even if it’s a small one.


Take a look at the Alice in Wonderland croquet set Amber created for her apartment balcony.

Amber Kemp-Gerstel is a child psychologist by day, and an amazing crafter, decorator and DIY enthusiast by night. Damask Love is where she shares her decorating ideas, craft projects and more. She lives with her husband in Miami. 

Amber chose the  Hampton Bay Fall River Set for her small patio makeover. 

For more simple decorating ideas for your patio or backyard, see other Patio Style Challenges here on the Home Depot Blog.

Follow our Patio Style Challenge pinboard on Pinterest, too.

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


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Leave a Comment

  1. Carlisle says:

    I found the pillow that is used in the photo. The fabric is called Santa Maria Mimosa!

  2. diamant88 says:

    Hi! What a lovely, lovely space you created! Thanks so much for sharing.

    I also have concrete walls and really want to decorate them… Can you please tell me how you hung up the chalkboard onto the wall? I can’t drill into our concrete walls (risk hitting electrical wires, plus I don’t have tools that heavy duty).

    Thanks so much! Great job on your beautiful balcony.

  3. Michelle says:


    Can you please, please, please tell me the colour of the paint use on the utility cart? I love it so much and have been to so many stores looking for something close but have had no luck at all!

  4. Kamini says:

    Where did you get the fabric? I love the 2 fabrics you used for the cushions!


  5. Kathy H says:

    Great job Amber! It looks amazing!

  6. Bianca says:

    What colour was used to spray paint the cart?

  7. Angie Dav says:

    Love your space. What type (name ) of the outdoor grass was used?

  8. Patio-Pro says:

    I love the plant pot, and wine holder designs, very creative.

  9. Lisa Chapman says:

    Great job!! Love it all!

  10. WOW!!! Amber, this is AWESOMe!! I love all the colors you put together! the planters in the pipes and the herbs on the board! amazing!!! and you can also write which herb is which on the boards if you are like me and don’t know! LOL great job! thanks for sharing

  11. What a gorgeous transformation! I love that you incorporated “grass”. It totally makes it feel completely different. The herb planter is awesome too. Great job:)

  12. Linda B. says:

    Amber, this is a simply beautiful transformation your patio. Thanks for sharing your creative ideas!

  13. As always Amber nails it – amazing transformation of the patio and the items…wishing for a patio now :) Cx

  14. Chris says:

    My wife is soo in love with the pink chair and pillows combination! :)

  15. I cannot believe how amazing this turned out. The colors! The grass! The chalkboard herb garden! So, so good.

  16. Maggie Hundo says:

    OMG Ambsy! U continue to amaze me with your creativity and your practicality. Herbs on the wall, of course. And u know what they say, if there’s grass on the field then let’s play ball. AKG I wanna play ball with u. (As friends) (if u wanna be my friend) (omg I hope) You are truly a terrazza intenditore!

  17. Tammy Joyce says:

    This turned out spot on awesome and looks so much like something I can do for my front porch which is just maybe a tad bit bigger. Thanks Amber. Good job as usual and I love it. Enjoy your summer.

  18. Jennie Portwood says:

    Amazing!!! Love the colors. So refreshing.

  19. This is great inspiration! I will be having to outfit a small balcony soon and this is a great use of space :)