Our Parisian inspired patio makeover is done! This whole outdoor revamp took just under two years. We’ll talk about why that is shortly, but overall I hope today’s post inspires you to take your time and enjoy the process!
Why did our patio transformation take 2 years?
Honestly, it is expensive! I got back from Paris in early March 2020, and we all know what happened to the world. It shut down.
Spending more and more time at home with our original 8×15 patio was not cutting it anymore. We had our furniture arranged in a really weird way to accommodate two doors that open to the backyard. We hated being out there!
Daniel really wanted to grill, I wanted space for entertaining, which meant outdoor living and dining room furniture. And on April 14, 2020 is when this whole process started.
Since then, we obviously added a large slab of concrete to expand our space (which meant giving up lots of grass), bought our outdoor dining furniture in 2020, outdoor living room furniture in 2021, and finally our last final touches in March 2022.
Also in between all of that, I got way TOO into container gardening, which I quickly gave up in 2020. I was so tired of watering all those containers (at one point I had 30ish container plants) on the daily. Now I have a fully IN THE GROUND garden, but more on that later.
Our Concrete Patio Extension
We got two quotes for our 10×26 foot concrete extension, and one was about $6000 and the other was $2200. We went with the cheaper of the two because Third Coast Concrete had excellent reviews.
The whole thing was done in a day, and we were able to fully use our patio extension about 3-4 days later, if memory serves me correct.
Since it was a custom pour, Pee Wee got in on the action and dipped his paws in fresh concrete which mom then promptly washed off. (See picture above to the far left.)
We have a small backyard, so giving up 260 square feet of grass in favor of concrete probably had people raising some eyebrows, but when you add it to the original patio, we have a whole extra room (380 square feet or so) in our home to enjoy almost year round.
Two years later, I admit we have some hairline cracks (that were very easily filled and covered up to paint our patio floor in March 2022), but it’s held up really well. I was adamant about NOT having the rebar go into our home’s foundation to avoid any warranty issues with our builder, and that’s something I’d definitely recommend thinking about if you’re in a newer home.
Creating a Setting or Scene for Our Backyard
Designing this space over the span of two years luckily meant we didn’t rush into anything. Well I did go all in with container gardening and learned my lesson. Exhibit A:
There were several things Daniel and I wanted in the space in terms of function, such as eating, drinking and relaxing outdoors, but moreover, it was kind of more about the vibe.
It would be easy to pigeon hole this space as “Outdoor Parisian Courtyard” or “Secret Garden Inspired” or “Palm Beach with a Twist” and all are totally accurate.
In the end, we wanted timeless. We wanted relaxing. Both of us love the color green, so we wanted to feel enveloped in lush greenery.
Moments of privacy via plants, umbrellas or well positioned furniture were paramount given we have a two-story house looming over our backyard. A water feature to drown out my singing neighbor, who thank the Lord moved a few months ago.
Having a totally livable, luxe and serene place to stop and smell the roses (quite literally) throughout our outdoor space was overall the “theme”.
Selecting Our Outdoor Furniture
Chinoiserie Outdoor Dining Set
It was pure serendipity that Target launched the Pomelo collection as part of its Opalhouse line back in April 2020. I was VERY into chinoiserie at the time, and this patio set screamed Palm Beach Chic.
I was able to get the dining table and four arm chairs for about $700. It BREAKS my heart that they do not have this collection at all anymore. It is so chic! This collection is similar in style, but very pricey.
If you are in the market for this set, I’d highly recommend keeping an eye out on Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up, Craigslist, estate sales, etc.
What I liked about this dining set, other than how pretty it is, was the powder coated aluminum frame that would be easy to care for and last a long time.
Prior to this, we had a wicker set from Big Lots that had faired pretty well considering we didn’t baby it at all, but it always looked dirty and each year the color faded somewhat on the frame.
Eventually, I plan to get custom cushions made to match our chinoiserie outdoor living room set.
Chinoiserie Outdoor Living Room Set
While our Target dining set was a relative bargain, our living room set was a “buy once; cry once” situation. We bought the chinoiserie outdoor sofa and two chairs in April 2021 and it arrived in June 2021 about a month or two ahead of schedule. (NOTE: it does appear the colors we bought are sold out).
Like our dining set, we kept the same chinoiserie style AND the powder coated aluminum finish. This set was an investment for sure. I won’t even say it was a splurge because investment definitely is more accurate.
The reason, besides aesthetics, that we chose this furniture is due to the high quality cushions that we know we don’t have to worry about any time soon. They’re thick, made with premium Sunbrella fabric, and they are indescribably comfortable.
A quick flick of the lint roller gets off random outdoor dirt, pollen, dog hair, etc. A damp towel easily removes the random bird poop that happens sometimes.
I’ve also fallen asleep a few times on the sofa, and overall, while I wish this would have been a less expensive purchase… it was worth every darn cent.
Although we did spend quite a bit on the two chairs and sofa, we would NOT have spent the money on the coordinating end tables, coffee tables, ottomans, etc. This is a good example of when to splurge and when to save.
Outdoor Decor + Accessories
Just this year, Target added a beautiful French inspired outdoor collection that reminds me of the very expensive ones from Frontgate and Ballard. While Target’s collection is definitely pint sized, the outdoor coffee table was the perfect scale for our space.
I don’t like to be too matchy matchy with furniture indoors, and I feel the same way outdoors. I love the curated vibe. The gold orbs on top of the coffee table add a bit of glam, plus the table is easy to clean with a Clorox wipe. Keeping glass clean outdoors is a full-time gig.
The cabana striped outdoor ottomans I chose are about $35 each, and if they last a couple years it’ll be well worth the price I paid for a pair. I try to remember to move them overnight, and I sprayed them with this spray to help repel water and stains.
To keep with the black and white motif, I have a pair of scalloped umbrellas that are no longer sold, but these are very similar.
Our fountain and boxwood wall are my favorite combo, and truly they are the shining star of the patio. Once I got that boxwood wall up, I knew I had to up my game to get this patio gorgeous.
The fountain is so relaxing and I could just sit out there for hours and enjoy the birds and looking at my garden.
My garden went from 30+ containers to three no dig garden or flower beds that I created all by myself in April 2021. Here’s the tutorial I used, and I highly recommend this method. I’ll do a dedicated blog post soon about my rose garden and lessons learned to dive more into that.
I’ve already done a similar post for my container garden if you want to have a read.
It would have been fabulous to find a ton of goodies for my patio secondhand, but I didn’t quite luck out.
I did find a beautiful black and gold pedestal that works well as a drink or side table. This beauty was $7 at Goodwill.
The citrus tree was a Facebook Marketplace find, and I wanted it to pair with my lemon centerpiece on the dining set. The brass planter it is in was an estate sale find, and it’s very nearly all in a covered area on the patio to preserve it.
My “OUI” outdoor bistro table is an upcycle. That table has been with us since we lived in our apartment back in 2016. I spray painted the base, created some “tiles” on my Cricut to spell out the word OUI and now it has a fresh look for not much money or time.
DIY Painted Harlequin Concrete Floor
Hear me when I say that this concrete floor of mine gives me butterflies every time I go out there. I cannot believe my husband and I created this. Is this how being a parent feels? This DIY checkered, harlequin painted concrete patio floor is our baby.
I am working on a detailed, step-by-step tutorial for this project, but this is such an affordable way to make your concrete patio look and feel like a high-end courtyard somewhere.
Seriously. At most, it’ll be about $200 for an average patio, and if you have some patience and can dedicate a three day weekend to it, I PROMISE IT IS WORTH IT.
I mean look at this! The floor is surprising easily to keep clean thus far.
The hardest part is sizing out the proper size for your patio, but once you get past that step, it is as easy as painting a room.
If you want the tutorial, stick around…my goal is to publish the tutorial on April 7.
Initially I had the idea to use a 24″ square tile, trace it and then paint the squares, and I would have to do that 100+ times. No thank you. This large scale method works and makes our space feel larger.
In summary, we love our patio and backyard. We are pleased with nearly every decision and purchase we made to get to this moment. If you’ve enjoyed this post, please share on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.
Where possible, I’ve linked to the exact item, and if not possible, I linked to something similar in style and/or price. These are affiliate links, thanks for your support!