A Builder Basic Concrete Slab, Turned Pretty Patio- Part I - Pretty Real

A Builder Basic Concrete Slab, Turned Pretty Patio- Part I

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A Builder Basic Concrete Slab, Turned Pretty Patio
I'm so excited to share our Patio Makeover with you! It's been a looong time coming! Last year we had a fence built. While that wasn't exactly a "fun" purchase, it created the privacy we needed before investing in a complete patio makeover. We wanted an outdoor spot that could accommodate our big family and reflect our style. We had a lot of issues to work around- very close neighbors/lack of privacy (welcome to suburbia), a slope-y yard, a huge swing set, and bright and harsh sun. Here's how we tackled the issues, infused our style without breaking the bank, and our future plans for the space.

Note about sources- turns out after July 4th all the outdoor furniture vanishes! If I haven't linked something it's either because it's sold out or it was a TJ Maxx/Home Goods find. Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning I get a small percentage if you purchase an item through the link (at no cost to you). Thank for supporting the blog!
A Builder Basic Concrete Slab, Turned Pretty Patio- Part I

But first, here's what we started with!
A Builder Basic Concrete Slab, Turned Pretty Patio

Our first step was to get concrete poured. I shared a few progress photos/videos in my stories. Some are saved in the "Patio" highlight. If not for the swing set, we probably would've gone the entire length of the house but we aren't ready to move that massive swing set and the kids still enjoy it. The finished measurements are 14 x 28 feet. 

A Builder Basic Concrete Slab, Turned Pretty Patio

Next, Joe built a pergola. That deserves an entire post of its own- why we decided on a pergola, how we determined the size, how I convinced Joe to build it (ha), and how he actually did it. Stay tuned for that one! UPDATE- that post is here!

Modern Pergola over a Simple Patio

And now for the fun part- creating a dining and lounging spot we could enjoy. I had a few requirements: 
1. suits my style
2. all-weather furniture
3. budget-friendly

Modern and Stylish Patio on a Budget
Sofa  |  Macrame Pillow  |  Rug  |  Faux fern*  |  Faux Olive Tree*  |  Real Olive Tree  |  Faux wood stool alternative (I just came across it and I'm in love!!)  |  *(plants pictured are real) 

Finding items within my style is easy, but once you add "all-weather" and "budget-friendly" to the mix, it's a bit tougher. I almost bought an aluminum sofa because I was so afraid that wood would deteriorate too quickly but in the end, I'm so glad I went with this one. Yes, it's white. Yes, that's scary. I was open to a darker color but most of the options I was drawn to only came in beige/white. But I refused to budge on removable and washable cushions, which these are. The fabric is also Sunbrella. As an added measure, I bought outdoor Scotchguard to protect them further (though TBH I never used it! It's not too late though!). Lastly, I bought this cover for the entire thing. So those are my suggestions if you're going to go with a light-colored outdoor piece- make sure it's washable, Scotchguard it, and cover it! 

A Modern, Stylish Patio on a Budget
The cute little aloe plant is from here  |  Stool

I LOVE that little fiber clay stool and highly recommend it. It's just so adorable and easy to move around. The fire pit, however, was not my first choice. Apparently, marriage means compromise. haha. Joe wanted a gas fire pit table. I would have loved this mod pit or a small one like this, coupled with a coffee table. The scale is a bit off and in hindsight, higher chairs would help. Eventually, once there's no swing set to contend with, we will move the fire pit a bit further from the house and use a coffee table here in this lounging area. It's not Pinterest perfect, but it works for us and is still beautiful!

A Modern Fire Pit Table- Budget-Friendly Patio Ideas
Fire Pit  |  Rug 

Modern Pergola over a Budget-Friendly Patio
Lights  |  Planter  |  Poufs

a budget-friendly modern patio makeover

I wanted to keep it real with this shot (below). In it, you can see how close we "lounge" to the swing set. If I could snap my fingers and put this entire area onto a deck, I would. But I'm working with what I have and am grateful for it! The swing set is mid makeover (and probably won't be complete until the fall because it's literally 100 degrees outside) which will include paint, edging and mulch. That should help the "view."
Ideas to Turn a Builder Basic Concrete Slab into a Pretty Patio!

Ideas to Turn a Builder Basic Concrete Slab into a Pretty Patio!

The view from the sofa:
Ideas to Turn a Builder Basic Concrete Slab into a Pretty Patio!

Ideas to Turn a Builder Basic Concrete Slab into a Modern Patio!
 I'm obsessed with this lantern. It was from HomeGoods (sometimes you can find similar ones here).
Ideas to Turn a Builder Basic Concrete Slab into a Pretty Patio!
Ideas to Turn a Builder Basic Concrete Slab into a Pretty Patio!

 Planter (check local stock- some sizes available online)

Before and After:
Budget-Friendly Small Patio Makeover!

Affordable Patio Makeover

Before and After Patio Makeover with a Modern Pergola

Gosh you guys, I love it! While it's beautiful, I kept it real by showing you how the view of our eyesore of a swing set and how close we are to neighbors. I don't share that to be negative or sound ungrateful. Of course, I always want to show my home (and life) in its best light but also the reality behind the scenes. I read a patio post recently and I love that she openly shared that what she really wanted was a deck overhaul. I can relate to being patient and making the most of what I have (you can see her stunning patio here. She's a local blogger and is such an inspiration!) and am encouraged when I see others trying to do the same.

Anyway, I love being out there! We live in the south so we won't fully enjoy it until September when the temperatures drop a bit but even now, I'm out there at some point every day. The only bad part is that my wine intake has definitely increased (but is that bad??). There's something about a glass of wine under patio lights that has me like yes way Rose`. haha. Here it is again...

Patio Makeover with a Modern Pergola

Modern Pergola over a Small Patio

 and one patio glow shot for ya. ♥
Gorgeous cafe lights over a Modern Patio
I'll be back to share the other side of the patio- the dining area. Stay tuned!

Here are all the sources I could find (with some "similar items" thrown in)!

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  1. You guys did it! It’s beautiful! I love it and it should definitely be featured in Better Homes and Gardens!

  2. Hi there! LOVE everything about this.. was searching for how your hubby made the pergola post.. it totally makes the space!! I’d love if you made a post on it, or direct me to it if you already have! Please and thank you! ☺️

    1. I am also wondering about the pergola! Did he use a kit? Thanks for the great post. Your patio is adorable

    2. I'm actually working on the post right now! Should be live next week! Thanks for commenting!

  3. I would love to know where you purchased your two chairs! They are so cute!

  4. I would love to know where you purchased your two chairs! They are gorgeous!

  5. I love your patio makeover! We have a small slab of concrete in our backyard and I’m wanting to add more concrete to create a patio lounge area. How much was it to add the additional concrete?