Before & After: A $500 Redo Turns a “Nothing Special” Patio into the Perfect Hangout

updated May 16, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Before: plain gray patio
Credit: Madison Bess

When you live in a small space, you have to maximize every square inch — and that often means taking advantage of any outdoor space available. Madison Bess of The Blushing Bungalow can attest: The Florida bungalow she shares with her husband Carter is only 696 square feet in size, so the little patio out back serves as an extra living space where she can work, eat, and get some fresh air. “While living in such a small space, we’ve learned to utilize the inside and out,” Madison says. “Before we fixed up this space we actually still spent a lot of time out here, but it was… blah. Nothing special, but I knew it had a lot of potential to be great.”

Credit: Madison Bess

The old owners had left a plain concrete slab, plus their old patio furniture — not exactly a welcoming hangout, but it was generously sized and the concrete was in pretty good shape. Madison wanted to give the space a refresh without spending a lot of money, so she made the patio redo her first project of 2020.

Credit: Madison Bess

First up: a new look for the old concrete. Madison used paint and a stencil to refinish the concrete slab with a geometric pattern in a blue and white color scheme, which makes it look like fancy tile. The old chairs the previous owners left behind were in good shape and just needed a color swap, so Madison repainted the black chairs white. It was an instant refresher and made the chairs look brighter and more modern. Add in fresh cushions and the chairs look brand-new.

Madison got the chiminea secondhand, too, so all it needed was a fresh coat of high-heat black paint to become a cozy outdoor centerpiece. Madison also added a rattan side table that she found for free and painted black.

Credit: Madison Bess

The rest of the wood furniture was new, but the total cost for this charming patio redo was just $500 — a total steal considering the outdoor hangout now has a completely new look. “This has to be one of my favorite makeovers I have done in my bungalow since moving in,” Madison says. “Being able to have a beautiful space and appreciate it is what it’s all about. Carter, my husband, loves the little fire pit. It really does set the mood.”

Madison’s best advice for anyone looking to redo their outdoor space? “Go for it!” she says. “Especially with paint. I actually painted the white chairs green first thinking that was what was going to look the best and it didn’t. But, I am so glad I went with it. Those experiences help me to trust myself.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: A $500 Redo Turns a “Blah” Patio into the Perfect Hangout