I recently helped a friend makeover their small apartment patio and the results were so wonderful that I wanted to share it with you in case your small outdoor space needs an update. With only a few items and some sweat equity, we came up with some great ideas for an apartment patio makeover on a budget. Have you ever made over a small outdoor space to maximize its use? Share your ideas with me in the comments! In the meantime here is what we did.
Great Ideas for an Apartment Patio Makeover on a Budget:
Start by cleaning, cleaning cleaning. We swept absolutely everything to remove old dust and debris.
Then I got a bucket of soapy water and scrubbed down all of the surfaces.
Then I used this high quality exterior paint in “Super White.” That is my go-to color for both indoor and out. It brightens up any space and creates the perfect base color to add texture and color with furniture and accessories.
I taped up the glass areas so I kept a clean look and painted both doors on the patio. The windows were vinyl so I left them and just gave them a good scrub.
This is the before picture. Wait until you see how much it pops with the new coat of paint and the plants we added!
Next on the floor I used these wooden tiles that snap together. They come in two colors, I chose the brown:
It’s amazing how quickly they fit together and you can cut them down with a hand saw to smaller pieces to fit around corners.
Once I had the floor done I added some simple wooden folding chairs and tables in a teak wood.
Then I moved on to wooden planter boxes. I considered building my own but then saw these at Home Depot and decided to make my life a little easier. They didn’t fit perfectly on the railing, they were a little wider but that was good because it allowed for drainage without causing the banister to get to wet. I also used a lot of metal L brackets to keep them set in place.
This is what they look like after a few months. See how quickly the ivy has grown? Once it is fully cascading down it will make the interior seating area feel even more cozy and charming.
Here is a cozy little corner for sipping morning coffee.
To each box I added two boxwoods and ivy plants. There are many different types of ivy but I chose one with a delicate looking leaf to keep with the small scale feel. Ivy plays well with other plants and along with the boxwoods, stays green year round which is what I was looking for. Eventually the boxwoods will grow together and form a hedge and the ivy will work around it nicely.
In the box on the short side of the patio, I added a strawberry plant between the boxwoods. Mostly for playfulness and because it is fun to watch things grow and harvest something to eat no matter how small your space is.
On the longer side of the boxes I planted creeping rosemary because it will stay green year round, smells wonderful and is edible! And it looks beautiful.
Here is a closer look. I’m amazed at how quickly it has grown.
I added one flowering annual for some variation and because it will take some time for the perennials to mature and grow in. It is called Snowstorm Giant Snowflake Bacopa (Sutera) and is sold at Home Depot. It cascades and grows quickly which was key here.
So here you see a mixture of scent, edible, and year round greenery as well as cascading.
This brings me to more edible and scented things, which are key to a cozy outdoor space.
On the ground I planted creeping thyme, as well as multiple pots: jalapeno peppers, tomato plant (not shown), a sunflower (not shown here), creeping fig (not shown), and jasmine on the far left which will eventually crawl through and up the fence and create a wonderful aroma.
Here is a close up of the thyme. You know the best part?
It has a beautiful purple flower for part of the year that looks like a purple carpet as it grows!
On the left there you can see I snuck in a tomato plant.
It loves this sunny spot. That is what is great about growing in pots, you can move things to the sun! See my post on the advantages of container gardening for more on this.
Here is a more recent photo of the tomato plant which already has at least 5 tomatoes on it!
This is the creeping fig which is already starting to climb up the vinyl siding. It is next to the gutter so it is getting plenty of water.
Here is the sunflower growing in a pot next to it. There’s nothing like a sunflower to make you smile.
I can’t wait for this thyme to grow together like an aromatic carpet! In the meantime I’ve added mulch to it to help keep in the moisture and make it look pretty.
As a bonus, I also snuck a planter on stilts by the air conditioning units! There has already been a full harvest of kale and radishes and now it’s on to carrots and beets and more kale. It’s amazing what you can do with a very small space.
Have any tips to share? Leave them in the comments! Or post your own patio makeover on social media and tag @GeorgiaPellegrini using #ModernPioneering.
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