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Back Patio Makeover

    For just over a year, our back patio has sat unused. When we moved in, there was a large pergola covering the patio that was charming, but not quite right. Besides being bulky and causing the patio to sink in the corners, it also blocked a lot of light into the house. Since we’re surrounded by lush trees and already struggle with natural light, taking the pergola down was an easy choice.

    But once we took the pergola down, we were left with a plain patio with nothing on it. And therefore, it sat unused and a bit tired looking. Most of all, it felt like such a bummer to not sit out there with such a pretty yard to enjoy.

    Well, all that changed when Ryan bought me an outdoor table set for Mother’s Day and Article partnered with us to give us the perfect furniture to turn our blank patio into a welcoming retreat.

    I’m seriously so happy to now step out the french doors off the kitchen and see a cozy place to sit, to dine, to relax and be outdoors.

    Here’s a pulled back shot of the back of the house to help make sense of the space:

    The french doors on the left lead to the kitchen, that set of three windows sits above the kitchen sink and to the right is the dining room.

    Eventually, we’d like to build a deck or extend the patio across the whole back of the house to connect the two spaces and give us more outdoor living area, but (as with just about every house project at this point) we’re waiting until we’re sure on the future kitchen layout before making any updates. We’ve considered removing the french doors into the kitchen and putting a long bank of windows across the back. We’ve talked about putting three sets of french doors along the back. We’ve thought about pushing out the dining room and using that unused porch for more interior square footage. We’re just not sure.

    So until then, we’re using the patio as is and wanted to make it more attractive and usable in the meantime.

    Even though we were outfitting an in-the-meantime patio, we still wanted to choose furniture that would work in the future when we do build a deck or expand the patio.

    We started with a simple metal dining table and chair set from Target (unfortunately no longer available).

    I searched and searched for the right outdoor furniture (sofa + chairs? sectional? wood? metal? woven?) and when I saw these teak chairs from Article, I knew they would be perfect.

    At first I thought about getting the matching sofa and pairing two chairs with it, but then Ryan suggested a grouping of four chairs and it all came together.

    The chairs are classic, clean-lined, well-made, and durable. And – BONUS! – the seats are wide and super comfortable. They are made of solid teak which means they are heavy and substantial and also weather-resistant (a must for our Pacific Northwest weather). Just to preserve the furniture for as long as possible, I do put covers over them each night and we’ll store them indoors during the winter.

    We layered the seating area over an eco-friendly outdoor rug also from Article. It is made from hand woven strips of recycled bike tubes (you can see the rubber along the perimeter) which makes it both cushy and good for outdoor use. Again, we’ll roll it up during our wet months to keep it looking good.

    How handsome is our Atlas pup?!

    The chairs are arranged around a new propane fire pit that I altered to give it a more modern look (tutorial coming soon!).

    Of course, I couldn’t resist adding a few new pillows to my pillow collection and these woven ones were a lucky find at Home Goods.

    I love the combination of the durable rug, the modern, straight-lines of the chairs with the concrete on the fire pit, woven side table (also from Home Goods), cozy textiles and lots of greenery.

    I’m so happy that now the back patio feels like an inviting spot to curl up with a book, eat meals, and gather around the fire.

    If you are on the hunt for outdoor furniture, be sure to take a look at all of the Article offerings. The quality is excellent, prices are great and shipping is only $49. They also offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee which makes ordering online a little less intimidating.

    Article sent the chairs and rug to me in exchange for sharing with you which I’m so grateful for. But I also want you to know that I am truly impressed with the furniture and customer service and my experience working with them. It is a company I will support again in the future!


    chairs| Arca Vintage Brown from Article

    rug | Velo White Rug from Article

    dining table + chairs | Target, no longer available but here’s a bistro set

    fire table | Rocksprings Fire Table from Target, modified by me (tutorial coming)

    woven side table + pillows | Home Goods

    patio lights | String Lights from Costco

    hanging chair | Swingasan chair from Pier One

    Any other source questions or thoughts on the makeover? I’m happy to answer in the comments!

    38 thoughts on “Back Patio Makeover”

    1. I have been looking for chairs like this for inside- I am curious to know if you think they would work in a modern space and how comfortable they are. Thanks.

      1. I could totally see using them inside. The bottom cushion is definitely firm, but I still find it very comfortable. And the size is great. I might use them inside during the winter!

    2. Emily,

      The patio area is so beautiful. I hestitate to mention that the chairs are on sale for $599 each. How wonderful that the company partnered with you and I’m sure a % of your reading audience may spend $599 for an outdoor chair, but I’m guessing a greater % does not. I’m shocked that the company charges shipping after one spends $599 for a chair. The rug is on sale for a resonable price $199. So total package as seen: $2600 without the fireplace. (Sofa is $1299 on sale). Also, I read on another site that you can purchase a spray waterproofer for pillows from Home Depot. I haven’t tried it yet. Congratulations on your makeover.

    3. Do you need coasters for the little wicker side table that you’ve shown? Or can you set a cup on them without them tipping over? I noticed one in a photo and it made me curious?

    4. Your back yard makeover is lovely! Wondering if you could tell me how you fashioned the lights. Did you use poles? If so how did you attach the lights to them? Would love a picture of that.

    5. I love it, Emily! From the furniture and rug to the fire pit and lighting, it’s a fantastic update. But I especially love the photo of your handsome pup, Atlas. More shots of him in the future, please!

      Also, just want to say how terrific your photos are in this post. They show off the patio very artfully. I’d love to see one taken at night with the patio lights on.

    6. How do you have your lights strung? Anyway you could show this? I would like to do something similar but have no idea what to attach them to. Thanks.

    7. This is just so lovely! I totally want to come over for dinner… Not weird at all, right? :)
      Before seeing the pergola I thought, ‘aw, why take down a pergola’ but it was SUCH a good call! It looks bigger and so inviting.

    8. So with the rug being made from bike tubes, does that mean it will hold up to rain/moisture?! Similar climate here (Vancouver) and having an uncovered patio means I have never done an outdoor rug…just too much stress/work to take it in and out! This might be the answer!

    9. So about the lights…do they attach from the house to the trees? We have the same lights but don’t have a place to hang them away from the house on our new porch. Didn’t think of using the trees!

    10. How did you secure the lights? My patio is similar to yours. Did you to the trees? Any squirrel problems? Chewing through wires?

      1. I cover the chairs and fire table each night with outdoor covers from Lowes to keep leaves and moisture off. We will roll up the rug once summer is over and bring the chairs in to store – probably in the garage. I want to keep them looking good for as long as possible!

    11. Beautiful. If you had an umbrella set up out there, where do you think you’d put it? Off to the side of the chairs?

      1. We don’t need shade out here, so there wasn’t a need for an umbrella. If I were to have one, I would probably put it in the table. But I suppose we could get an umbrella with an arched pole and set it off to the side of the chairs to cover the main seating area if we needed to shade the chairs.

    12. Looks so comfy! I love it! I noticed you have some lights up too. With the fire and lights it must be amazing sitting out there at night too. 😊

    13. Do the covered cushions not begin to mildew or smell? Do you store your woven pillow outside too? I love the rug made of bike tubes. Mt husband road bikes and we recycle his tubes at the bike shop. I guess I know where those go now!

      1. The cushions are outdoor approved (but I’ll pull them in during rainy season) but the pillows are not. I would imagine they would begin to mildew if I left them out all the time. I cover the chairs each night and that has done a good job of keeping things dry and clean.

    14. What a beautiful space you’ve created. I love the idea of teak for durability for the PNW weather (we live in Portland). We are in the planning phases of a back deck/patio redesign and I absolutely love what you’ve done! Thank you for the inspiration.

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