Our Modern Patio Makeover With West Elm


Hello Tuesday, and all of you!  I’m so excited to share a bit more of our outdoor space today.  We just tied up all of the loose ends with the patio and our outdoor dining room is officially complete!  I know I shared peeks of the house in this backyard makeover post, but I didn’t share the before photos.  Our house used to be this greenish-grey color which never truly suited our style- so the fresh coat of Benjamin Moore pure white paint was pretty much cause for celebration.  It’s a crazy difference isn’t it?  I was jumping around like a schoolgirl when the paint was going up!


Since the patio was all concrete and stucco we wanted to bring in some organic elements with the potted plants (primarily these, these and these) and the Jardine bar from West Elm. Our amazing pal Ryan from Falling Waters Landscape helped us choose just the right plants- I especially loved his idea to put the tall spiky plants in the tall plant pots!  The Ikea dining table was inexpensive and wonderfully simple.  And the rug from Lulu + Georgia added the perfect graphic element to tie it all together and ground the space!  I kind of got carried away with photos on this one, so there is a so much more after the jump.  (I’m excitable, forgive me!)  What do you think?  It’s a pretty major improvement isn’t it?

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Reader Comments

  1. Cait|

    Stunning! Looks like heaven. Your home posts continue to inspire me to make my home clean and comfortable, a safe haven from the surrounding world. Thank you!

    • Sarah Yates|

      Thank you Cait! YES, home should be a little haven, that’s exactly how I feel! xx

  2. Victoria | Oh So Pretty|

    This is beyond stunning, gorgeous… perfection, Sarah. I absolutely love the white walls, and the plants / landscape really make all the difference. We forgive you for all the photos, seriously, excitement is an understatement for me! Beautiful!

  3. MYRNA|

    Sarah , Your home is simply perfection!!! Your eye for design and home décor is amazing. Will you decorate my house hahaha. Great photos and what an oasis you’ve made.


  4. Amanda @ girl about columbus|

    just moved into my first home + thinking about tackling the back deck soon while it’s still summer (and to catch some major sales) — I need that rug in my life! Keep the home posts coming!! 🙂


  5. Serena|

    Beautiful backyard! Where are the amazing white chairs around the fire put from? We are working on our backyard now and those chairs would be perfect!

      • Jenn|

        I love those chairs too! Any chance you remember the name of them? Do you think they could be used indoors as well?


  6. Nina|

    OH MY this is SO beautiful! Can I live here please? If you do rent your hous as planned, I hope I’ll be able to spend a night in it when I visit California next year! (though I might never leave!) I can totally understand why you couldn’t stop snapping pictures! I know I’m repeating myself but everything in this place is perfect : the opening into the kitchen, the coulours, the plants, the furniture, EVERYTHING!

    • Sarah Yates|

      Thank you so much Nina! I’m not sure where life will take us down the road, we’re just trying to settle into things after such an intense year! But if we do decide to turn it into a vacay rental I really hope you’ll be able to have a stay! xx

  7. AM|

    Love how the potted plants and arrangement add so much interest! I wish Falling Waters was here in FL! We are converting to FL friendly plants and have similar heat issues. Curious how they handled the irrigation. You’re right, the white paint just brightens everything! (That rug is fab!)

    • Sarah Yates|

      Thank you! YES, every town needs Falling Waters, they do such amazing work. As for the irrigation- each plant is on a drip system. Our gardeners are masters at knowing which plants need what. 🙂 xx

  8. Serena|

    Thank you! Looks like I’m going to Ikea 😉 Last question. What about the tall metal chairs?

  9. Kate|

    Oh man, every detail of this is perfect! I can’t decide what my favorite part is… I love the fire pit with the concrete side table, and I love the window that opens to the patio bar from the kitchen! That seems so conveniently practical AND beautiful. The rug is wonderful too. Bravo, Sarah!

  10. Julia|

    It looks so fresh and summery – I love it! What would give to be in your pool right now. x

  11. Chelsea|

    Your blog has long been one of my favorites, but following along the last few months has been getting more and more difficult. The amount of sponsored posts with random companies (Cadillac? seriously? Lowes, the winery) is too much. What was once an amazing blog full of humor and fantastic content is just like any other blog now – you’ve lost your voice in favor of money. Today is the last day I will check your blog. So so sad.

    • Amanda|

      I think she’s done a fantastic job maintaining her stunning content and unique voice while still incorporating brands. To be able to do what you love for a living is a fantastic opportunity and I couldn’t be more proud of you, Sarah!

  12. sarah|

    Kind of got carried away with the photos?! Just kidding, I love them all! They were ALL necessary.. right?! The plants look great and I love the planter variety too. Painting the house white was a stellar move! The concrete pops against the stark white. I love it alllll!

  13. Amanda @ A.Co est. 1984|


    Love the white and the fact that you have a full on dining room outside! AMAZING!

    It’s sooo nice you can open that kitchen-bar window to have a fully functioning indoor/outdoor bar, so cool! Are there bugs in PS? We have a ton in Ottawa (Ontario, Canada) so we could never get away with no screens, but I think this is just superb!

    Great job, Sarah (& Lou 😉

  14. Brandi|

    Wow, this is so amazing! Is everything fine for when it rains? I especially love the outside bar opening up to the kitchen! so nice!

  15. Elvira|

    Love! Would love to know where you bought the white chairs around the fire pit?

  16. Sherry|

    O.M.G, I have been looking for 3 years for a house, garden and space that would be as perfect as I dream. I have looked at houses that costs more than a million dollars and i have never been so in love with a home, every single detail its absolutely stunning, every placement, every corner.. ahhhh… I admire and love the hands and mind that designed this..

  17. Stacy|

    Wow, this is so fab! This totally makes me wish I would have snagged those white Ikea chairs while they were still around!

  18. Kelly|

    Gorgeous. So simple, yet so chic. I also noticed how the windows of your kitchen open towards a bar on the patio. How wonderful this must be while entertaining guests.
    Love love love this patio makeover. Too bad it isn’t suitable for our climate.

  19. Rhode Izaguirre|

    I love all the beautiful photos. I like both colors, before and after. But I can just picture you jumping around like a schoolgirl! All the special touches, the plants, planters, everything it is just a beautiful serenity garden.
    Congrats, it looks wonderful. Enjoy!

  20. consoles|

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to mention
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  21. Karen|

    Love everything you’ve done! I especially love your planters. Would you mind sharing where you purchased the two black planters?