Small Patio Decorating Ideas by Kelly of View Along the Way

Posted by: on April 16th, 2013 | 62 Comments
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Small Patio Decorating Ideas: A colorful backyard patio with a new deck and a new patio dining set


In our Style Challenge series, we ask some of our favorite bloggers from around the web to surprise us with their ideas for creating a stylish and functional space using Home Depot products as a starting point.

For her Patio Style Challenge, Kelly from View Along the Way built a gorgeous new deck to house her brand new Barnsley Patio Dining Set. With the help of a few family members, she gave her small patio a fresh, colorful start, just in time for spring! Read on for Kelly’s very practical small patio decorating ideas. 


We like to joke around about how tragically neglected our backyard is, despite that fact that we live outside in the warmer months. Exhibit A, my attempt to replicate this gorgeous outdoor space by Tanglewood Conservatories– but on a virtually nonexistent budget:



Ha! Pretty sad right? Even worse when you get up close and check out that poor, sad little patio:


Small Patio Decorating ideas: A small, unattractive patio before getting a makeover

Small Patio Decorating Ideas: A small, unattractive patio


All together now: awwwwww. So sad.

We actually invited people over for barbecues on that patio. (If you’ve ever been to my house for a barbecue, I’m so sorry, my friend.) But good news! Thanks to a little motivation from the great peeps at The Home Depot, we’ve finally given that spot the attention it needed.

Hellooooo lovah!

Kelly's deck, after

First step was covering up that cracked, stained patio with a fancy new deck. Just between us, my main motivation for adding a deck was because I thought it would look better. My husband and my dad, who actually made the thing happen, were convinced all along that a new deck would change the way we used our backyard. I’m so happy to report that we were all correct. You can see the whole build process here, but let me just say: it was a relatively quick, instant-gratification project. We are in love with it.

Small Patio Decorating Ideas: A man, nail gun in hand, pauses as he builds a small deck over an existing concrete patio


New Deck, you have rocked my world. You will rock it off its axis when we can stain you a dark color in a few months once you have acclimated to the weather and are ready to accept stain.

The Home Depot hooked us up with the beautiful six-person Barnsley Metal Top Patio Dining Set. We were so excited for it to arrive, but at first we were kinda disappointed. It didn’t look like the pictures, and it was slightly uncomfortable:


Small Patio Decorating Ideas: A young boy finds a patio furniture set uncomfortable because it hasn't been unpacked from its shipping boxes


But then we took it out of the box. *wink*

It’s absolutely stunning and super cushy.

Small Patio Decorating Ideas: A beautiful back deck with a patio dining set and a blue outdoor rug


I wanted our outdoor area to be comfortable, bright and colorful, so I did a little shopping for inexpensive outdoor rugs and found this pretty navy one, then I painted the white backdoor with some leftover red exterior paint we had from a previous project.


Small Patio Decorating Ideas: A little plays on a new backyard deck next to a new patio furniture set, planters and a dog

We’ve already enjoyed many meals on our new furniture, which I topped with a beautifully patterned runner and bright flowers.

Small Patio Decorating Ideas: A colorful table setting for an outdoor dining table


The lush, beautiful greenery, flowers and planters all came from our local Home Depot store.


Small Patio Decorating Ideas: New flower planters adding color to a backyard deck

Small Patio Decorating Ideas: A beautifully decorated outdoor dining set

Small Patio Decorating Ideas: An Outdoor Dining Set with Flowers and a Floral Runner


The whole shebang has gotten an enthusiastic thumbs-up from old and young alike.


Small Patio Decorating Ideas: A cute little boy enjoys a glass of lemonade on his beautiful new backyard deck


Kelly blogs about do-it-yourself home projects at View Along the Way, where she chronicles her family’s attempts to fix up a beaten-down foreclosure, with a healthy dose of self-deprecating humor to keep it all in perspective. They share easy step-by-step tutorials, ideas and inspiration for improving your home on the tiniest of budgets.

As a jumping off point for her updated backyard deck, Kelly used the Barnsley 7-Piece Metal Top Patio Dining Set with Textured Sand Cushions.

For more small patio decorating ideas, see other Patio Style Challenges, as well as our Style Challenge pinboard on Pinterest.

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. Kelly received the Barnsley Dining Set from The Home Depot and a gift card, but The Home Depot provided no other compensation. The opinions and ideas Kelly expressed are her own.

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  1. kim says:

    What a beautiful transformation you did on what was once a total eyesore. I love your use of ocean blue and white to really draw attention to the deck. Great job. It’s a winner.

  2. [...] Outdoor Entertaining from Brittany, BrittanyMakes [...]

  3. [...] warm, welcoming feel that you’re trying to accomplish in your outdoor space. Why not build a raised deck structure to define the area like Kelly Marzka of View Along The Way did here. This idea applies to any [...]

  4. Melanie says:

    That is absolute perfection!

  5. [...] tragic foreclosure” home. She lives with her husband and two children near Atlanta. See how she decorated her small patio in a Patio Style Challenge here on The Home Depot Blog. [...]

  6. [...] Small Patio Decorating Ideas by Kelly of View Along the Way [...]

  7. kat says:

    The deck area behind the head of the table needs a railing. Its dangerous for folks backing up out of the chair.

  8. Natalie Lincoln says:

    Looks wonderful! I only wish I could do the same. Mineblooks worse than your before picture.

  9. Alan says:

    The beautiful conservatory and outdoor space was designed and built by Tanglewood Conservatories, a US company specializing in unique custom conservatories, greenhouses and skylights.

    It would be great if you got the facts right and gave the right people credit for their work.

  10. [...] Head over here to see the finished product! (HUUUGE thanks to Home Depot for allowing me to join in with such an incredible group of DIY bloggers for this fun Patio Style Challenge! I seriously loved every single second.) [...]

  11. Lauren says:

    I’ve been reading through some of the posts in this series, and your “old” patio slab is exactly what we have as a patio. Love what you did to make it so big and functional. I’m getting lots of good inspiration!

  12. Marie says:

    Wow, I’m impressed. I don’t have a green thumb for plants or decorating, but this looks like something even I could manage. The back of my house looks pretty much like their “before” picture – concrete slab, bbq grill and some dog water bowls. I’m preparing my “honey do” list now so we can try to get something like this done by July 4th bbq. Thanks for the inspiring post ;)

  13. Mary Ellen says:

    Love this project! After 6 summers of talking about doing something about my old block patio, this is really inspiring. Sad to see that lovely little pool house go, but you have to make room for progress. :) Congratulations on a job well done!

  14. Beth says:

    What kind of wood did you use ? Was it treated for termite prevention ? If not, how will you protect it for the next 10 years ?

  15. [...] outdoor spaces designed by some of our favorite design and DIY bloggers. Whether it’s a lovely DIY deck or a small-space spruce-up, we’ve been inspired by all of the helpful tips that our bloggers [...]

  16. [...] outdoor spaces designed by some of our favorite design and DIY bloggers. Whether it’s a lovely DIY deck or a small-space spruce-up, we’ve been inspired by all of the helpful tips that our bloggers [...]

  17. [...] outdoor spaces designed by some of our favorite design and DIY bloggers. Whether it’s a lovely DIY deck or a small-space spruce-up, we’ve been inspired by all of the helpful tips that our bloggers [...]

  18. Belle T Coats says:

    I thik it was beautifule and a practical idea if you are on budget. Later she can add a roll out canapy when the weather gets hot for shade.

  19. Char Bransky says:

    Loved your article, you have a delicious sense of humor (then we took it out of the box). Great job, I’mi inspired to do something to my own tiny patio, besides ignore it. :)

  20. Riene says:

    This is so beautiful, looks just like a place you would love spending time during any season. Has inspired me to have my son and daughter in law try to replicate this at their home. Their outdoor space is very similar to yours and they can see the result of all of their hard work which will make the job much easier to endure.
    Thank you for posting this, I LOVE IT

  21. KRT says:

    Pretty. The plain concrete patio would’ve sufficed with a cleaning and appropriate paint. Could even have gone a bit creative using different color paints in whatever pattern you wished. I once spruced up a plain concrete basement floor with two different grey colors to make it look like stone. Half the folks who walked through thought it was real. Tedious but not that hard.

  22. laurie holasek says:

    where do you get the building plans for the conservatory?
    it’s beautiful.

  23. FreudianSlip says:

    Love all the homeowner effort in this but wondering why a nail gun was used to nail through the face of each piece of decking board. Deck clips with hidden fasteners would leave all wood deck surface free of nails, indentations and rusting problems. Then it would look like a beautiful unblemished wood floor outdoors and easier on little bare feet too.

  24. Lisa says:

    That deck is beautiful!! I love the table and chairs, and all the colors brought in with flowers and the table accessories. What a great space!

  25. Wow……I have an awesome patio but would really love this upgrade!!!!!!

  26. Jennifer says:

    I! LOVE! IT! Gorgeous. Yay Kelly! :-)

  27. Vicki Miller says:

    I thought the makeovers were lovely.I am looking for some unique ideas for a car port on my mobile home

  28. Oh my goodness Kelly! The before and after are amazing!!! I really love that pop of red on the door in contrast with the blue. I’ll see ya tonight for dinner! ;-)

  29. Kelly!
    Look at you! Congratulations on hitting the big time! (And, of course, on the GORGEOUS new deck!) I”m sure you’ll all enjoy spending time out there now. Although, I do miss the pool house… It was fabulous, dahling.


  30. Absolutely love it! It all came together so nicely!

  31. Kelly’s patio is the perfect blend of fun and class. Just like Kelly herself! :)

  32. Love it! Looks great Kelly :) xo Kristin

  33. Ha ha, that photo of your son sitting on the “uncomfortable” Home Depot furniture is awesome. You definitely had me at first! Everything turned out beautifully…and you are a styling genius, my friend! I especially love the bright and bold flowers and the galvanized tin bucket and yummy looking soda. Those little details just complete the look. (And the rug looks AMAZING in these pics…even better than the shop image.) Well done, Kelly. (And Home Depot.) Well done!

  34. Angela says:

    It all turned out so fabulous, Kelly! I bet you’re ecstatic!! Enjoy!!~~Angela

  35. Erin says:

    Gorgeous! Great transformation. The new deck totally kicks sad patio’s booty. You made some stellar choices decorating out there. That woven looking table top is killing me right now–love!

  36. Ann says:

    Oh my gosh…what a transformation! I love, love, love the rug and the way the back of the chairs matches the rug pattern. You have a way with color combinations too. Good job!

  37. Kelly I just love it! And I love how you styled it as well! Congrats on the feature lady!

  38. What a huge difference! That patio is gorgeous and inviting … so when do we get the invite for the BBQ? :)

  39. Jen Marrs says:

    That is it… pulling up a chair- kickin’ my feet up and drinking some lemonade with that cutie… here I come! Love the deck, the colors — this is rockin’ !!

  40. So pretty! You guys did such a beautiful job Kelly!
    The patio set looks wonderful; I am sure you will enjoy it all for many years to come!

  41. Heather says:

    Love the rug and the back of the chairs is so pretty! Looks like your all set to entertain and chillax this summer on your beautfiul patio! Great work!!

  42. That deck is impressive, Kelly! Big kudos to your husband and Dad! Everything looks great – love the colors!! Awesome before and after. xo

  43. Jenn says:

    Kelly knocked this out of the park – such an amazing transformation! Her family and friends are going to have so much fun out there this summer :)

  44. cassie says:

    what a dramatic difference! and i love the newly defined dining area!

  45. What a great transformation! We almost built a deck too, but I lost the nerve lol. You make it look so painless! I love what you did with the rug and the tablescape, and the bright colors of the flowers you chose really tie everything together. I love it all!

  46. B-E-A-U-tiful job, Kelly! I love all of the colors and patterns you used and can’t get over the before and after transformation! Happy to hear the furniture is comfortable ;)

  47. Amy Renea says:

    I LOVE IT! You are making me want to go to town on our beat up porch Kelly!!!

  48. SO awesome Kelly!! I’m on my way with some desert now. :)

  49. Carrie says:

    That’s a stunning transformation! I love the dining set and bright blue rug, and what a great way to turn a boring concrete patio (no offense, wink) into a totally gorgeous deck. Looks like you are all set for summer, Kelly!

  50. Beautimus!!! Love all the bright colors, Kelly!! You rocked it out of this world! :)

  51. Craig Allen says:

    I nearly spewed coffee on my desk when I saw the Nailed It! image.

    True story.

    -Craig, from The Home Depot

  52. Bliss says:

    Anyone who loves a good read with good ideas and tips should stop over at Kelly’s blog View Along The Way. She’s funny and I always enjoy her posts…. like the humor of sitting on the boxes instead of the patio furniture.


  53. WOW!! What an incredible transformation!! Way to go Kelly!! Your new patio look FABULOUS!!

  54. Gwen says:

    Girl, that is FABULOUS! You’re so funny. You make me laugh!

  55. This turned out SO beautifully. It’s been so great to see how this project came together and I love how colorful and inviting everything is. Awesome job Kelly!!!

    Now, I can’t wait to finish our own patio make-over and start enjoying our out door space! What an inspiration!

  56. I love Kelly’s style and she really made her yard sing! The deck covering that old patio was a great choice and the rug is amazing! So glad she took the furniture out of the box – although that’s a look too!!

  57. Kelly is amazing and I love to read her funny posts. This is such a great before and after and they did an awesome job! LOVE

  58. I love it! It’s colorful, beautiful, AND functional. Right now our back door steps out onto nothingness (literally just dirt) and I think a deck might be in our future. Thanks for adding to my husbands to-do list Kelly, I’ll make sure and tel him it was your idea ;)

  59. Looks absolutely GORGEOUS! I love that table and those chairs!