Backyard Patio Transformation & Reveal
This post was sponsored by Jane.com. All opinions are my own.
I am SO SO SO excited to FINALLY reveal the big project we’ve been working on for over a month (and have been dreaming of for even longer.) I’m especially proud to share this because this was the first BIG home-improvement project we’ve taken on since buying our house last year. Yes, we’ve painted and bought new furniture, but this transformation involved building materials and drills and a power saw and tape measures and not going over budget. It was the biggest project we’ve done to date and we did it for UNDER 1,000 dollars.
When Dustin and I first toured our house last year (when we were still in the process of looking and buying) we both KNEW that it was our house. It was the first and only house (out of the 25 we looked out) that we could see ourselves in and we knew that we would do whatever was necessary to get our offer accepted. It was a super stressful process – the house had only been on the market for ONE day and we were one of FIVE offers. We were so relieved when we found out our offer had been accepted (it had beat the next highest offer by literal pennies) and we closed a month later.
Even though we loved our house, it needed some work and it wasn’t going to happen overnight. Our main goal for the first year in our house was to get rid of the horrid brown and olive green paint and to furnish the front living room. We finally completed that project in October of last year (and you can see the full transformation here!) and started planning our next project: the yard. The previous owners didn’t do a very good job taking care of the lawn and the yard I was so excited to FINALLY have was a place I never wanted to spend time in. The backyard reeked of rotten apples from the overgrown apple trees they let run wild. We had dandelion and pokey weeds and crabgrass galore. We had a slab of concrete for a patio for some chairs and that’s pretty much it. It wasn’t a peaceful or relaxing place to hang out in and it made me depressed to sit out there and I was ready to make a change.
My Wishlist for the Backyard Patio:
Since we entertain a LOT and constantly have family over, it was on the top of my priority list to work on improving and transforming our backyard into a space where we could enjoy our time. When dreaming up what I wanted our backyard to look like when we finished our makeover, I made a wishlist of everything my dream backyard patio would have. This is the list we based everything off of while working on the project. My backyard patio had to have:
- Shade – our house faces East which means the backyard gets ALL of the sun from about noon till sunset
- Pergola or Gazebo-type structure to spruce up curb appeal of the concrete slab patio
- Additional seating/comfortable patio set for reading books and visiting with friends
- Twinkle Lights (for magical mood lighting in the evening)
I wanted to make a significant difference but I didn’t want to break the bank. We still have a long way to go with improving the state of our lawn and fixing our sprinklers. I decided I wanted to keep our patio makeover at 1,000 dollars (including building supplies, furniture, and lighting.)
The Project – Building a Pergola:
First of all, did you know that these things are called pergolas? Cause I had no clue – I just called it a gazebo or trellis for months while talking to Dustin about what I wanted to do. He kept on looking at me like a crazy person every time I used those words and when I finally showed him a picture, he was like: “Oh, you mean a PERGOLA!” Because that’s clearly a word in everyone’s vocabulary except my own, apparently.
Anyway, this was the first thing I wanted to check off my wish-list – something to cover the concrete slab we call a patio and really give it a facelift – without spending a ton of money. We didn’t have money to buy a pre-fabricated pergola, but Dustin was confident he could build one himself for a fraction of the price. I felt like a pergola would truly be a wow-factor on top of adding a bit more shade over the patio during the late afternoon. I also wanted something that would hold up my twinkle lights across the patio and the pergola gave plenty of space/structure to hold the additional lighting up.
Dustin drew up all the plans and blueprints for this project ALL ON HIS OWN and I’m so so impressed with him. He spent hours looking for plans online that he could base our plans off of and barely found anything, so he’ll be writing a post later this month about all the exact measurements, tools, and building materials he used to build ours. (He really wants to make sure that anyone else who wants to do this project has all the information available in one place online since he pieced his plans together from about 5 different websites.) Oh, and the best part was that our 21-foot long pergola cost us just under 500 dollars to build from start to finish. That left me with 500 dollars for additional furniture, lighting, and accessories!
Friends. Let’s talk about patio furniture and how normally $500 dollars would buy you a leg of a chair for a patio set normally. Patio furniture can be SPENDY and I was initially worried that I wouldn’t be able to find anything cute and affordable. I spent a few weeks looking at every site I could, trying to find the best set for my budget that would also maximize the seating for our patio and was having no luck. One day, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw an ad for a cute patio set for $329.99 that was being sold at Jane.com.
Now, I’m super familiar with Jane.com, but if you aren’t, let me give you a rundown. Jane.com is basically the ultimate marketplace for smaller boutiques and shops – they provide a platform where boutiques can sell some of their items at a great price for a period of time. Every day, there are new deals listed and every day, there are new treasures to be found! Jane.com has been one of my favorite sites to get affordable and on-trend clothing from for years. I had no clue that they sold MORE than cute clothes, though, until I saw the ad for patio furniture. As it turns out, Jane.com has deals on patio furniture, headboards, bedding, and other home-decor items all the time.
Even though I have had nothing but amazing experiences with ordering from Jane, I was a little nervous about the quality of the furniture since it was such a steal. First of all, the shipping was free and fast! I got my patio furniture within two business days of ordering and I was expecting it to take two weeks at least. Second of all, the furniture is super comfortable and sturdy. It definitely does not look or feel cheap and it’s more comfortable then I thought it would be. I’ve spent several evenings sitting on the couch writing for my blog and I never once thought to myself: “I’m uncomfortable!” Also, Dustin said that the furniture was relatively easy to assemble and it only took him a couple hours to get everything set up. That earns this set big points in his book because there is nothing more frustrating than having poor assembly instructions or missing parts.
I really love this patio set and feel like it totally completes the space. It’s the focal point of the space and it is the perfect balance between modern and rustic aesthetics and I love that it was such a good price, giving me a little more money in my budget to invest in lighting and accessories to finish my patio transformation.
P.S. Jane’s deals come and go quickly, but my friends at Jane.com told me that this specific patio set is going to be available for purchase on their site TODAY! So, if you want to transform your patio seating and not break the bank, hop on over and snag yourself this set. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
TWINKLE LIGHTS! Okay, these lights don’t technically *twinkle* but I call them twinkle lights because they make my heart twinkle with joy. Cheesy, yes, but also the truth. I wanted to have as many twinkle lights as possible so that we could enjoy the patio well after the sun went down (and also because you can only be outside after the sun goes down in Utah during the summer.) I found the most heavy-duty LED twinkle lights at Costco for $50.00 a box. We ended up buying two boxes in order to have three lines of lights going across the pergola, but it was well worth it for the extra light. Plus, these things are super quality, so I don’t feel nervous at all about them getting wet.
With the leftover money in my budget, I decided to pick up a few accessories to complete the space and make it feel more like an extension of our home instead of a backyard area.
I picked up two hanging planters to hang in the center of each section of the Pergola. I love that this brings a little more color and life to space, but be careful. Dustin already hit his head on one and knocked it over. It will be a Christmas miracle if I can get both plants to live for the summer.
I decided to bring out the rug that I had originally used in my front living room and use it for the patio set because it was an outdoor rug. I love the colors in it and wanted to set outside of my comfort zone in color schemes when picking out accessories for the patio. I’ve been using lots of greys and light blues in my house and I wanted the patio to be a little richer and lush – so I decided to incorporate some bolder jewel tones and woven textures.
I picked up some woven placemats to use for the coffee table and a green table runner from Homegoods to bring the texture and color from the rug onto the table. I wanted to bring in some more wood textures, so I got this wooden tray for the patio table and a (fake) plant so bring some more greenery onto it. I finally had a reason to go pick up some of the pieces from the Opalhouse line at Target because the colors worked well with what I was going for (and I really wanted to get my hands on some things from that line.) I ended up getting some of the teal tumbler cups and the wooden bowl for chips to bring more color and texture onto my coffee table.
The Whole Shebang:
I tried to document the whole transformation process in vlog form to show you exactly what went into transforming and completing this space. The video below shows it all – from the depressing before, to me using a power tool, and to our first family BBQ to celebrate our new patio space!
This is currently my favorite part of my house and I am so, so excited to be able to walk outside and feel peace and happiness and joy (instead of nausea from the rotten apple trees.) This project was a lot of work but I am so proud of what we were able to accomplish and so stoked that we did it in the budget we set for ourselves, thanks to Jane.com’s amazing patio furniture deal. It’s been awesome to have a space where we can entertain our whole family with enough seating for everyone and I can’t wait for all the BBQ’s to come this summer.