Turn your patio into a little slice of paradise that's perfect for parties or more laid-back pursuits.
Step 1: Paint the Concrete
Step 2: Cut Out the Shape
Step 3: Make the Screen Pretty and Practical
Step 4: Add New Plantings
More Ideas for Your Life's-a-Beach Retreat
Written by Ken Wysocky
All you'll need for this project are paving paint and sealer, a few new plants, and a natural screen to create distinctive space that doesn't require a major commitment of time or money.
Don't have a patio? Add a vibrant piece of outdoor furniture, or incorporate fabrics with marine motifs to capture the beachy look.
Then, just cue up your favorite reggae artist, don a pair of flip-flops—and relax, seashore style.
Sweep the concrete slab and scrub it with a mix of one part hydrochloric acid and 10 parts water. Hose it down and let it dry. Then, apply two coats of a durable, weather-resistant paint.
Use a stamp of a flower or some other shape, plus acrylic paint to create a playful pattern on the concrete. Apply concrete sealer to protect your artistry.
Grab a helper and a sledgehammer to install studded-metal utility fence posts to support the screen. Use a level to ensure that the posts are plumb. Then, use sunlight-resistant sisal rope to attach natural-material screening to the posts. Paint with a white, weatherproof paint or leave natural.
Prepare beds around the patio for new plants by adding compost first. Protect plants with plastic wrap while applying white exterior acrylic paint to containers.
1. It's all in the details. Little details, like strategically placed shells in a container planting, help reinforce this makeover's fun-in-the-sun theme.
2. Don't be afraid to go girly. Pretty containers potted with frilly blooms add just the right touch of femininity to this space.
3. Create contrast. The white and ocean turquoise color palette chosen for this patio creates clean contrast and a refreshing Mediterranean vibe.
4. Add variety. Amp up interest out back by combining plants that boast a variety of colors, forms and textures.
5. Think tropical textures and colors. Raise a thatched-roof patio umbrella to provide tiki-hut shade. Add a breezy ocean spirit by dressing tables in raffia skirts. Outfit floors with woven mats and assemble at least a few rattan or wicker seats. Use durable outdoor fabrics in refreshing citrus, surf and sunshine hues for pillows, cushions and tablecloths.
6. Create a cabana. Install a freestanding gazebo, pop-up canopy or a pergola to shade your seating area. Enclose the sides with bamboo shades or mosquito-netting panels. They can be pulled up to let the sun in or dropped down for privacy.
7. Pot-up paradise. Combine striking foliage and flowers in containers to enliven patio corners and tabletops. Use centerpiece plants like agave and hibiscus, and underwater plants with trailers like Wave petunias or cascading succulents. Train vines such as jasmine, bougainvillea, trumpet vine, passionflower and mandevilla up outdoor walls, fences or deck railings.
8. Raise nature-made screens for privacy. You can build the patio screen out of fencing material made of wood or other natural, eco-friendly options, such as reeds, bamboo, willow and brushwood. Your local hardware home-and-garden supply center is likely to sell some of these natural materials.
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