In my last post, I mentioned that Matt and I spent most of last weekend prettying up our patio for spring. Our apartment is pretty small, so we love when the weather warms up and we get to add another room to our house. Since we moved to Chicago two years ago, our patio has served its function, but once we decided that we're not quite ready to buy a house and are going to be renters for a bit longer, we decided to pretty up our patio to help us enjoy our place a little more. Here's a before picture of our cozy little patio...
Keep in mind, our patio has just been through a Chicago winter, also known as the kiss of death for anything green, living, or healthy :) And now for a few after pictures...
Much better, right? We weren't working with a big budget, so we tried to be strategic, adding pops of color with new seat cushions, fresh flowers from Home Depot, a few fun accessories throughout.
Though we've been known to get in a little over our heads at Home Depot, this year we kept it simple with single plant pots in bright and cheery colors. This orange and blue combo might be one of my favorites!
This cheapie plant stand houses our tiny, but efficient herb garden and our small supply of firewood. Usually the wood has emptied out by now, but given our pretty mild winter, we've still got a bit of our stash left over. And though the larger purple plant on the bottom left was our biggest Home Depot splurge ($15), I really love how full it is. A little different from the small blue bud, just below it. It still has some growing to do :)
If you're someone who enjoys cooking with fresh herbs, I strongly encourage you to grow your own, even if you have a tiny space like us. A small bunch of basil or rosemary can cost you several dollars at the store, and for the same price, you can plant your own that will keep you stocked all spring and summer long. I mentioned these signs last year, and I still love the detail they give to our small but mighty herb box. Oh the treasures that can be found inside the Target Dollar Bins :)
And for another before picture, check out this little chicken I snagged for $2 at a garage sale. (Ok, in truth, it was priced at $3, but I haggled the lady down to $2. I know, I am such a bargain hunter!) When I saw it, I thought it would be an adorable planter, with a few changes of course.
A few coats of spray paint and some fresh flowers later, this chickadee was loving his life as a new planter!
The wall art was one of the hardest things for us to find, and after looking at several predictable wrought iron pieces and not really liking them, we stumbled upon these textured metal pieces and fell in love. We actually found them in the table bowls and baskets section of Garden Ridge, but after a few screws and hooks, they were on the wall, adding just the right amount of affordable oomph to the space.
We added three hanging baskets to the space, creating interest by hanging them a bit unbalanced with two on one side, one on the other.
And given how much we love our new space, we couldn't bare the thought of only using it during the day light. So we added a string of globe lights that give off just the right amount of twinkle! And because I enjoy a good before and after, here's another before picture...
And of course, here's another after...
A definite improvement, don't you think? And for us, definite proof that you don't have to own a home to create and warm and cozy outdoor space. Sometimes, I think as renters, we have a tendency to constantly say, "One day, when we have a house..." blah blah blah. But sometimes, it's nice to just say, let's make the most of what we have, right here, right now. And last weekend, that's just what we did with our tiny but lovely little patio.
Anyone else out there readying your outdoor space for spring? If so, leave a comment or link in the comments; I'd love to pop over and check it out!