This Picturesque Back Patio Gets a Makeover to Become a Cozy Outdoor Living Room

One of the best things about summer in the ‘burbs is that your home magically doubles in size thanks to the great outdoors. The thing is, most of us get by with a mix of well-loved camping chairs and indoor furniture we drag outside, and don’t quite nest in the same way as we do inside our homes. With the right mix of high quality furniture pieces and colorful decor accents, it’s easy to turn your patio, backyard, or even balcony into a second living room. For our summer installment of Make It Over, we’ll show you how we transformed a picturesque back patio into a full-on outdoor living room, complete with space to veg out, share a meal, and even do a little crafting, obvs.

Anjelika Temple here, Brit + Co’s Founding Partner and Chief Creative Officer, and city-turned-country dweller, living just north of San Francisco in the hippie hamlet of Mill Valley. The main reason my husband David and I fell in love with our house at first site is that it has more porches than bedrooms! The back patio you see pictured is the perfect space to spend an entire weekend playing with our daughter Anokhi, relaxing with our pup Turkey, and taking in the scenery, sunshine, and fresh air.

We’re also expecting another baby girl on the way (first week of August!) so wanted to create a comfortable area to spend our first couple months as a family of four without being stuck inside all day.

Scroll on to see how a few simple pieces brought the whole space together. In just the week since we made over our patio, we've spent countless hours playing outside in the back. It's even been warm enough to set up a baby pool right in the middle of the deck! Truly an oasis.

Seating
Dining Table
Decor Accents
1
So Much Seating

Folding stools, rattan armchairs, and a stellar couch, oh my!

1
So Much Seating

Folding stools, rattan armchairs, and a stellar couch, oh my!

The key to an outdoor living room is a ton of seating. And I’m not just talking a wooden bench and floor poufs. You need quality seating that you can spend hours in, and that's comfy for all ages. We recommend keeping the color palette of the furniture itself pretty basic, as the greenery in your outdoor space will add quite a bit of color. Then use decor accents to add a few more pops of color throughout your space.

We opted for a mix of three different chairs that can be moved around depending on what type of gathering we’re hosting. The armchairs are super lightweight but sturdy enough to handle toddlers climbing all over them. At the table, we’ve got a couple dining chairs as well as a few folding camp stools that can easily be stowed away.

An outdoor sectional is a big hit, especially for yours truly, aka the 9-months-pregnant lady.

Such a cozy scene, and plenty of space to entertain friends and family.

2
Dining + Crafting Zone

One table for all the things.

Outdoor dining and crafting are two of life’s great pleasures ;) This may seem like an obvious one, but having a dining table that can withstand all sorts of activities is pretty key for our outdoor space. It also allows you to create multiple zones no matter what size patio/balcony/backyard you’re working with.

On warm evenings, we love to grill outside after picking Anokhi up from preschool. She and I will bust out the watercolors while my hubby grills up veggies. We've made some pretty legit works of art, and equally legit grilled vegetables ;)

We found our dining table and bench on Craigslist almost a decade ago! Here are a few comparable options that would be just as versatile.

We have a rotation of tablecloths, tapestries, and tea towels that are all machine washable and super durable that we use as outdoor linens.

3
Unique Decor Accents

Colorful throw pillows, boho lighting, and fresh textiles.

3
Unique Decor Accents

Colorful throw pillows, boho lighting, and fresh textiles.

Finally, time to do what we do best: add COLOR! This is where your personal sense of style can really shine through. We always recommend creating a pinboard to see what mixes and matches nicely together, and meshes well with all the different textures of your furniture pieces.

For this space, we chose accent pieces with warm orange, pink, and red tones to balance with all the natural greens, blues, and browns.

On the lighting side, we found these gorgeous rustic lanterns that add a truly timeless feel to the patio. Of course, being responsible California residents, the candles in each lantern are battery-powered faux candles. These are super lightweight which makes them easy to move around depending on where you're hanging out after sunset.

I'm all about using Turkish towels as outdoor blankets because they're soft, super easy to wash, and, obvs, double as actual towels. I keep extras in a little basket tote so it's easy to bundle up as the weather cools down.

The patio-turned-living-room is complete! Honorable mention to the basket I flipped upside down when we were in need of a side table to go in between our two armchairs.

Check out our entire Make It Over Series for tons more interior design inspo — from a multifunctional guest room to a mid-century modern dining room, we've got your home makeover needs covered.

Author + Creative Direction: Anjelika Temple

Photography: Kurt Andre

Production Assistants: Caitlin Kearney, Micaela Friedman, Henry Braff

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