A Patio Update with IKEA Hacks
When we first moved into our new apartment in April I knew I wanted to get our outdoor space set up as quickly as possible. With restrictions still in place I wanted to be able to host friends and family outside safely.
I tried to incorporate as many items as I could from our previous patio to our new patio. I transplanted our lavender, strawberries, peonies and more lavender. It’s still going to take time for the flowers and vines to grow in but I’m happy with how well the plants are doing so far. We get morning sun on this patio and even though it’s sunken and partially covered, the plants are thriving which was a welcome surprise!
I also brought over our 2 benches from our previous patio (here’s an old post about our mount pleasant patio) and added 3 more. I dreamed of a built-in bench and custom upholstery but I am really happy with how this affordable bench turned out. I stained the two new benches black to match our existing benches and I trimmed off the legs to make the bench appear more streamlined and built-in. Also the lower height works with the low concrete wall and I find guests aren’t too awkward with the lower seat. There is ability for storage inside the benches though it’s out in the elements so we only store beach toys and other items that can get wet.
I stained the benches using deck stained tinted black. I realized the last time I did this I made sure the deck stain was matte and this time I forgot so everything is a bit shinier than I like but painting those benches and the fence took days so I’m not about to redo it!! Oh and as you can see from the BEFORE photo I painted the inside of the fence. I made sure to leave the outside the same so it doesn’t impact any views of the exterior building. The previous tenants had painted the interior of the fence brown so I figure it was ok to add another coat a bit darker ;).
I also went with the narrow benches to keep as much play space as possible. The kids love to run around and I always prefer as much running room as possible. Also I have learned that while I love to host people, I don’t love to make dinner for large groups so an arrangement of seating in a circle for kids and adults was the best option for us for this space to encourage conversation and long nights out her but not encourage me to cook for everyone ;).
A few more space saving patio things that have served us well on both small patios….
- Beach Buckets
- Retractable hose
- Bug terrarium
- Telescoping bug nets
- bubble machine
- freestanding mister
- table top firepit converted to a firepit with some black bricks
Writing and sharing about small living for this long has connected me with some amazing companies that care about making small space living more comfortable for families. One of them being IKEA. My friends there noticed my APPLARO bench hack and offered to help me outfit the awkward corner of the patio that I wasn’t sure what to do with. I landed on two big comfy chairs (HAVSTEN) to fill in the space and some narrow shelving to hold some outdoor items like plants, bubbles, etc. The 3 shelves are the HYLLIS ones that I spray painted in a beige colour to make them feel a bit more special. I also think a good trick with narrow storage is to bank then in a row. It just feels more purposeful and fills the space. I really wanted some enclosed storage out here but everything I was eyeing was sold out. Maybe next year!
IKEA Sources… (also sorry if some of these are out of stock, stock is tricky at the moment. I would recommend trying to find these items or similar ones secondhand or sign up for alerts for incoming stock). Or make the plan for your patio now for next year and shop early!
I guess the last thing I will say is that I am so grateful for this outdoor space and to be able to gather here with friends and family. Truly it doesn’t matter what furniture is out here if we can’t be together!! And I hope that some of these choices might help you with your tiny, small or medium outdoor space.
*Some of these items were gifted by IKEA and some were purchased by me.