Small Outdoor Living Area Redo

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Summertime can make just about anyone long for a comfortable, accommodating outdoor space. Good news: This patio redo by Naveen Shakir of The Design Souk proves that even the most overgrown, oddest, and smallest spaces are eligible candidates for a redo, no matter what condition. Naveen took on a project to help a friend in her community who wasn’t quite sure what to do with her awkwardly shaped outdoor space. “Kristina’s L-shaped 180 sq. ft. patio is part of a very small rental home built in the 1980s, so every little bit of inside and outside living space counts big time!” Naveen says. Of course, there was a catch: “Because it’s a rental home, any structural changes were just not possible—any strange pipes and various doors had to stay as-is.”

The vision was to have a space that was both cozy but up to par in terms of style standards. “She loves cooking and entertaining, so being able to comfortably accommodate at least six to 10 people outside was the end goal,” Naveen says. “She also needed a space that could be done within a reasonable budget with small-scale furniture, so with all of that in mind, IKEA seemed like the best option. It’s very well priced and pieces can easily be replaced if need be.”

Naveen decided to separate the odd L-shape into two sections—a dining area, with a table that seats four, and a living and entertaining space with a big, comfy sectional. Items like the plant stand worked double-duty to serve as decor while also covering up structural things that couldn’t be removed, such as pipes.

One of the biggest standout features of the space is the black spray-painted pergola that Naveen added over the hangout spot. It was custom made by a local carpenter with the intention of differentiating her home from others in the neighborhood, while still allowing for plenty of light to get through. “We found a second-hand iron wall piece that was pretty rusty and decided to spray paint it black to match the pergola,” says Naveen.

For final touches, Naveen added cobalt blue pillows as well as wall planters from West Elm for a little extra greenery and color. “I love how bright and airy the patio looks now, almost Mediterranean!” she says. “I absolutely LOVE the beautiful moments like the custom pergola and outdoor lounging set with the blue pillows. It changes the whole vibe of the space.”

If you’re working on redoing your own patio, Naveen suggests following this very practical piece of advice when revamping bite-sized spaces: “I think it’s important when working with smaller spaces that you find furniture that isn’t too large. If your pieces are too big or disproportionate, the space looks smaller and things look out of place.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.

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