If You Build It They Will Come: 9 Patio Before and Afters You Won’t Believe

For many homeowners, the backyard is often the last place that gets any love. Whether it's the whole "out of sight, out of mind" thing or because it only gets used a few months every year, it's easy to put off beautifying your outdoor space when there's so much to do inside. But sometimes a little warm weather and the promise of a party under the stars is all you need to bust out the deck stain (or concrete stencil!) and string lights. Here are nine patio before and afters to inspire your very own outdoor oasis.

1. Total Transformation

Last spring, as part of the One Room Challenge, blogger Joanna Hawley from Jojotastic completely transformed the rundown backyard of her Seattle bungalow with paving stones, bold furniture, and fun landscaping. She called the finished product an "oasis" and we have to agree.

Before:

Patio before and after with stone pavers and fire p
credit: Jojotastic

After:

Patio before and after with stone pavers and fire p
credit: Jojotastic

2. A Pretty, Pretty Pergola

Blogger Bev Weidner slowly but beautifully redesigned her perfectly fine patio into an outdoor sanctuary. It all started when her husband Aaron built a pergola. Then she filled it in with a breezy dining set and muted outdoor rug. And we're in love.

Before:

Patio before and after with pergola
credit: Bev Cooks

After:

Patio before and after with pergola
credit: Bev Cooks

3. Small Space, Big Makeover

Blogger Brittni Mehlhoff of Paper & Stitch gave her tiny front porch a big makeover with bold blue rocking chairs, oversize planters, and an outdoor rug. Cozy textiles and plants make the small space extra inviting.

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4. Dark and Dreamy

Dabito at Old Brand New updated his outdoor living area in a few stages. But the recent makeover was definitely the most dramatic — with a black slatted screen and hand-painted floor "tiles." Swoon!

Before:

Patio before and after with a black slatted privacy screen and painted floor
credit: Old Brand New

After:

Patio before and after with a black slatted privacy screen and painted floor
credit: Old Brand New

5. Builder Grade to Brilliant

It may have taken months, but blogger Jenna Sue transformed her builder grade-boring backyard into a dreamy outdoor living space with hand-stenciled patio paint (a 27-hour process!). She completed the look with fresh landscaping, new furniture, and string lights.

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6. Dark and Dreary to Bright and Cheery

When blogger Kitty Cotten bought her home in 2015 she was drawn to the three-season porch that had the potential to work as a second living area. With some light construction and heavy-handed white paint, she reimagined the space as a dreamy outdoor-indoor den.

Before:

Three-season-porch before and after with white paint and light wood furniture
credit: Kitty Cotten

After:

Three-season-porch before and after with white paint and light wood furniture
credit: Kitty Cotten

7. The Weekend Warrior

If the idea of a major outdoor overhaul is totally overwhelming, look no further than Erin Jernigan's itty-bitty patio makeover. Her weekend project just goes to show you can do a lot with a little mulch, some fresh paint, and — of course — string lights.

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8. Screen Queen

The finished product over at The Boozy Bungalow, which belongs to yours truly, showcases a slatted privacy screen that was built with pressure-treated pine lattice strips to block the view of the neighbors' ugly garage. The fact that they got a new roof on the building at the same time was a total (and welcome) coincidence.

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9. A Big Job Done Well

Mandi from Vintage Revivals completely made over the patio of a former cafe/future Airbnb with some good, old-fashioned elbow grease, black paint, and fresh furniture from Article.

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Emily Farris

Emily Farris

Emily Farris lives in a century-old Arts & Crafts bungalow in Kansas City, MO with her burly husband, toddler son, and two rowdy rescue mutts. She's written for Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and The Cut. When not busy cleaning up after somebody, she's posting about drinks and decor on Instagram @theboozybungalow.