Before & After: A Patio with a Rotting Wood Deck Becomes a Stunning Tropical Oasis for $3,500

published Sep 26, 2021
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Credit: Amy Garrison

During the pandemic, many people stayed safe by spending more time at home. And often that’s meant making the most out of whatever outdoor space is available — whether it’s a small balcony or a sprawling yard.

Finding herself spending lots of time at home and outside, Amy Marie Garrison decided it was finally time to give her dusty old deck a refresh 17 years overdue. 

Amy and her husband, Wyeth, have lived in their home for almost 20 years and love spending time in their garden. They consider their entire backyard space an extension of their home. That’s why it was getting harder and harder to ignore the decaying deck taking over the majority of their yard.

Credit: Amy Garrison

“We tried our best to work with what we had but desperately needed to rip out the old deck,” Amy says. The deck was rotting in a few spots and was no longer safe to use, so they decided to get rid of it and create a new outdoor space they could be proud of. 

As the spring approached, Amy and Wyeth put their other home projects on hold and decided to focus on their outdoor space in order to enjoy it for the entire summer. Like all of their other home projects, this one was a DIY effort. Instead of repairing the wooden deck, Amy and Wyeth completely removed it and replaced it with concrete. 

Credit: Amy Garrison

Amy ordered 20-inch-by-20-inch pavers to act as the foundation for their new outdoor space and used black rocks to fill the gaps instead of gravel or grass. The previous deck was much higher and made her feel like their patio was sort of “on display.” The new concrete pavers offer a sturdier foundation and a bit more privacy. Now, there is a large concrete slab on each end of the paved area creating a lower, extended patio.

Credit: Amy Garrison

When it came time to redecorate, Amy took a maximalist approach and gave it a tropical, bohemian vibe. All the plants and greenery make the space feel very welcoming and relaxing. The angled outdoor fireplace from Anthropologie is a super stylish alternative to a fire pit that makes the patio extra cozy. Since privacy was a bit of a concern, Amy opted for a wooden slatted privacy fence built around the main seating area, too. 

Credit: Amy Garrison

Amy used a furniture set she already owned and a pair of lounge chairs she won in a giveaway to furnish the space. Not having to buy new furniture opened up their budget a bit. The entire project cost around $3,500. “A ton of our 100-pound pavers came in chipped,” Amy says. So she ended up having to reorder a few and got a big discount, because the original ones were damaged. 

This project came out better than Amy could have imagined. “I spend nearly every day out here,” she says. “I work from home, play with the dogs, fuss with my plants, and just relax. The payoff was well worth it.”

Credit: Amy Garrison

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: A Patio With a Rotten Wood Deck Becomes a Stunning Tropical Oasis for $3,500