create a comfy patio from scratch

Maybe you’ve recently moved into your first apartment (congratulations!), or into a new home. If you’re anything like me, if the patio isn’t cute and comfortable, I won’t bother with it. If your patio is occupied by spiders, spider webs, and one sad and lonely flower pot filled with dry dirt, I dedicate this blog post to you. I’m going to give you a few basic options to create your patio from scratch.

New home or new beginnings: create a comfy patio from scratch

New home or new beginnings: create a comfy patio from scratch

A patio or balcony space isn’t necessarily high on the priority list, but it’s a nice way to stretch your space or escape the non air-conditioned house when the hot weather hits. It’s August already…yikes! It’s not too late, there is still time to create and enjoy a comfy patio, deck, or balcony. In Southern California we are lucky enough to enjoy outdoor dining and entertaining almost year round. I’m from Washington State so it’s very hard for me to say this, but cold to us in Southern California is 60*. It’s sad but true. When it does get “cold” we just throw a fire pit in the back, a few blankets & sweatshirts, and continue to enjoy our outdoor space. I know this isn’t the case for my friends in Minnesota, but there is still time left this summer to enjoy the patio.

Since we all want more than the basics for our patio space, I’m going to follow up in a couple days and share some DIY projects to layer on the cuteness. And then ANOTHER blog post to focus on outdoor dining and entertaining.


patio furniture:

You need somewhere to sit right? Depending on the size of your space and the size of your budget, your patio furniture may be a full patio dining set, or a couple Adirondack chairs (love) or a pair of beach chairs and a small side table. If you follow me on Instagram or my blog, you know that I’m an estate sale junky. Our patio is an eclectic collection, but I think it’s a cute hot mess that’s been in the making for 6+ years. Last week a friend gave me an ottoman she found while driving through an alley in Newport Beach (if you’re not familiar, Newport Beach is the Malibu of Orange County CA). The ottoman is a super cute beachy wicker piece, but sadly it had missing chunks of wicker. The piece is in awesome condition, and I’ll share that in my next post, I bought an outdoor fabric to make a slip cover for it. My sewing skills are not quilt ninja master skills, but the ottoman actually looks like I had it custom made.

Estate sale find - a pair of wrought iron lounge chairs and ottoman

Estate sale find – a pair of wrought iron lounge chairs and ottoman

“Where would I go to find patio furniture”, you ask? This will vary by where you live, but the Salvation Army in our area always seems to have patio furniture. Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be “patio” furniture. You might find a great farmhouse style table or a drop leaf table at Salvation Army, when it just happens to be 50% off furniture day. Don’t limit your options to white plastic furniture. Estate sales can be hit and miss on the patio furniture, but they almost always have flower pots, which I mention below.

  • TIP: I love old junk, and I especially love getting high end vintage pieces for next to nothing. If you don’t want to spend a lot on your patio be sure to check out estate sales and thrift stores, and try to be patient. The perfect patio furniture will find you.
  • estate sale links: &
  • retail, I’m at a loss. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you know what to do (wow, i took a peek and lots of clearance patio sets)

container garden:

Patio Sun Drapes create a comfy patio from scratch - container gardensThere are always a ton of flower pots and containers of all shapes, sizes, and colors at estate sales. While writing this up, I honestly can’t remember ever seeing flower pots at the thrift stores.

  • TIP: My thumb was green in Washington, but horrible under the hot California sun. After sacrificing many potted plants, I’ve found my perfect low maintenance mix to be geraniums, a variety of grasses and bunches of succulents.


Twinkle lights strung around your roof line, pergola or patio cover makes everything sparkle. We purchased our patio lights 3+ years ago – “vintage series string” lights. We had to replace a few bulbs, but I’m very happy with them. Link to the Amazon shop we purchased from. This is not an affiliate link, only providing as a FYI.

A couple tiki torches stuffed in your flower pots look great too; just don’t have too many Margaritas and set your hair on fire. Maybe it’s because we are in CA, but I see tiki torches on a regular basis at the thrift store.

sun block drapes:

I should have hung sun block drapes on the patio years ago! They actually work. This one is a simple DIY that I’ll share in my next post. The canvas drapes are from Ikea, so I think this means I’m actually going to give you an Ikea Hack. I never thought I would be blogging an Ikea hack!

Patio furniture jackpot at this estate sale

Patio furniture jackpot at this estate sale

Estate Sale Find - Wrought Iron Lounge Chairs and Ottoman

Estate Sale Find – Wrought Iron Lounge Chairs and Ottoman

Painted Flower Pots - Container Gardens

Stop by in a couple days for some Patio DIY, tips for painting flower pots.

KC Signature

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