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Do you wonder how to refresh your patio?

Does it seem like an impossible task?

Are you interested in an attractive space but don’t want it to cost too much?

And do you want it to be low maintenance?

Well, folks, I’ve got you covered. In my California home, I have a courtyard patio right in the middle of the house. I know that sounds crazy, but the house was built in a square with a central concrete patio and fireplace in the middle of the layout.

It’s neat and over the four years that we’ve owned the place, we have gradually decorated it to be a colorful, low-maintenance oasis. See if you agree.

In this post...

How to Refresh Your Patio

We started to decorate our patio with a basic rattan couch, loveseat, and a cocktail table. It came from the factory with basic white cushions. Since we live in a desert, windstorms occur regularly with subsequent deposition of LOTS of dust and sand. Thus, the white cushions didn’t stay white for long. We tried washing the cushions but it was a big project. We bought patio furniture covers, but since the patio is right in the middle of our house, it wasn’t very fun to look out at covered stuff.

Here is the start of how to decorate your outdoor space with basic patio furniture, empty flowerpots and window boxes.

So we replaced the cushions with custom-made Sunbrelle cushions in the color “jockey red”. As you can see, that looked nice but kind of boring and unfinished. We needed more accessories. We needed flowers, plants, and artwork!

The gist of how to refresh your patio is to add items that add color, texture, and fun to the space!

Six Ways to Refresh Your Patio (for just a bit of money)

Idea #1 (for How to Refresh Your Patio)

Buy some artwork. On my patio, there is a natural focal point of a fireplace. Find a spot on a wall or fence and hang some artwork. Mr. G.Q. and I found this oil painting at a consignment store where we paid $50 for it! We had it framed at Hobby Lobby for $200. Here is something similar.

Here's a picture to serve as a focal point on our patio refresh.  It's getting a coating of UV protective spray.
Here's the painting mounted on the chimney as a focal point.  You can see the green topiary balls and a bit of the geraniums in pots adjacent to the fireplace on the concrete patio.

I was worried that it wouldn’t hold up to the heat and sun-related UV exposure. I consulted with my painter girlfriend Colleen Parker (@cpainter100 on Instagram) and she suggested a UV-protecting spray. I just brushed off any dust with a dry paintbrush and then sprayed three coats of this spray over the painting, letting each coat dry for fifteen minutes. I redo a coat each spring. This works like a charm. Also, since it gets to 130 degrees here (!) in the summer, (when we’re in Chicago), we store this artwork in the air-conditioned house while we’re away.

Here's the UV protective spray for the artwork.
This is the product I sprayed on the painting to protect it from the sun.)

Here is a video that shows me doing all the steps listed here to refresh my patio:

Idea #2 (for How to Refresh Your Patio)

Buy some pillows. Since it’s an outdoor sun-exposed space you need to purchase pillows made of a sun-protected material such as Sunbrelle. I found these and bought them in jockey red, bright yellow, and royal blue. I also found these inexpensive flowered print pillows which I LOVE! They go with all my geraniums. I also added a galvanized container with more faux geraniums.

Here are the colorful Sunbrelle photos in red, yellow, and able as well as a geranium print pillow on the rattan patio furniture.

Idea #3 (for How to Refresh Your Patio)

Buy some flowers. For the first two years that we lived here, I would trek to Home Depot and purchase potting soil, flowers, and the like. But because it’s an enclosed space, all the dropped petals would just mess up the space. Our landscapers don’t go in this space because you have to come inside the house to get there. I finally decided to give faux flowers a try.

Here I am holding two silk geranium sprigs before adding them to the flower pots.

I already had pretty pots (similar, here and here). I just filled them with cardboard and any leftover soil before filling the pots with silk geraniums. As the video shows, the pots each needed four separate branched geraniums and three silk ivies.

Here I am holding up three bunches of ivy for my patio posts.  Flowers are a great addition when figuring out how to refresh your patio.

The window boxes were each first filled with a piece of flat styrofoam that I hot-glued to the inside bottom of the container. Then each box took three branched geraniums. Adjacent to the two windows on my patio, I put up shutters that I spray-painted red. They’re so cute!

I keep the flowers protected from the sun by spraying them twice a season with this floral UV protectant spray.

Here is a close-up of the plastic flower pot with a rectangle of green styrofoam glues inside.  This serves as the base for the silk flowers.  I wedge the flowers into the styrofoam and then cover any bare spaces with he Spanish moss.
Here I am holding one of the three red silk geraniums I will put in the flower boxes.

Idea #4 (for How to Refresh Your Patio)

Get some greenery. I saw these green plastic topiary balls and wondered how they would look. I had the terra cotta pots from my gardening days. I just took one half of each ball (they come split apart) and wedged it in the top of the pot. It looked terrific! Easy-peasy! And greenery adds a spot of coolness to a space that can get pretty hot on a warm day.

This is one half of a plastic (but really real looking) topiary ball that I'll wedge into flower pots adjacent to my fireplace.
This is how the ball half loos in the pot.

Idea #5 (for How to Refresh Your Patio)

Find storage items that still look cool. Like this bronze hose storage pot. It’s practical, yet attractive. (Yes, we still need a hose to wash off the furniture and patio after duststorms!).

Here's a good-looking bronze hose holder for my patio refresh.

And check out this plastic storage chest. We use it to store the pillows when we’re out of town or if we remember before a storm.

Here is a large brown plastic storage box in which I store pillows during storms.

Conclusion (for How to Refresh Your Patio):

Here is the end product from how to refresh your patio.  See the colorful red, yellow, and blue pillows, the silk geraniums in pots with trailing ivy.  There's two window boxes with adjacent red shotters and a colorful Mediterranean picture over the central fireplace.

Here is the finished refreshed patio! Isn’t it so colorful and inviting? Have I motivated you to consider how you can refresh your patio? With the Spring weather approaching, it might be fun to spruce things up a bit. Use color (pillows, cushions, accessories), texture (flowers, greenery), and artwork as starting points for your outdoor space refresh. I think you’ll enjoy the results.


Dr. Julie

PS Here are a few more posts for you to enjoy:

Dr. Julie’s Fun Friday Finds – Guest Room Essentials

A Gorgeous Summer Tablescape!

The Best Dry Rubbed Grilled Chicken

Spring Fashion for Women Over 40

REALLY CUTE Spring Tops for Women

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