Easy, Breezy, Beautiful

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful

How is your outdoor space looking these days?  When we first moved into our house, the back patio was a sea of Astroturf and prison bars:

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful

And even after we took down the bars, scraped up the Astroturf, and demolished the little brick wall, the covered patio was cute but could use a little jazzing up, don’t you think?

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful

(As you can see, this pic was taken before we laid new sod in the backyard.)

I love the wicker furniture and the outdoor rug does a great job of anchoring the seating area, but it’s just not too exciting.  Or, I guess I should say, it wasn’t too exciting!  Take a look at that baby now!

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful

Mmmm, I love it!!  And the best part is that this total transformation was super easy – I’m talking 15 minutes.

All I did was add a pair of curtain panels from Ikea, as well as two Ikea throw pillows.  Not too shabby for under 70 bucks, right?

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful

It was super easy to hang the curtain panels – no curtain rods or fancy supplies needed!  In fact, all you need are a few nails, a hammer and a ladder.  Here’s how I did it:

1.  Fold’em.  My curtain panels were super long and super wide – and they were lined on the back (pretty fancy for Ikea, right?).  Since they were longer than I needed, I simply folded down the top of the panel about 4 inches.  Then, because I wanted my panels to look pretty from both the patio and the backyard, I just folded them in half length-wise.  That way the pattern is visible from all sides!  I didn’t worry about the panels becoming too skinny – I simply wanted them to frame the patio to give a little visual interest, so they didn’t need to be super wide or even functional.  Just pretty and fun.

2.  Pleat and nail. Now comes the fun part!  Our patio is covered, and there’s a little soffit that hangs down right at the edge of the patio (you can kind of see it in that first picture with the curtains).  I decided to hang the curtains from that soffit, so once I was up there on my ladder I just started nailing!  I began on the inner edge of the curtain – closest to the brick – and nailed right through the fabric (and all the folds) with a pretty long nail.  Then, since I wanted my curtains to be rather narrow, I folded the fabric back over itself and put in another nail about 1.5 inches from the first nail – this created a little pleat in the curtain that resulted in a pretty fold.  I kept pleating and nailing until the whole curtain was secure, and that was it!!  Super easy!

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful

As for choosing the fabric, I saw these curtains at Ikea and just went for them.  I knew they would work perfectly with the greens and browns in the patio furniture and the outdoor rug, and the pattern is summery and fun but could also work in the winter.  But we’ll see, maybe I’ll switch it up for winter!

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful

And for those of you that are interested, Ikea also sells a track system that would be perfect for installing functional outdoor curtains – I bought it myself to add some mosquito netting, but it turned out that our patio is pretty mosquito-free!

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful

I’ve been really pleased with how the patio turned out – it really feels like an extension of our home and is a fabulous place for morning coffee, entertaining friends, or just kicking back and listening to the birds.

What do you guys think?  Have you created an outdoor room at your house?

P.S.  I’d like to give a big shout out too all the lovely readers that swung by the open house at the flip yesterday – Lucinda, KristinaDesiree, and Jen, thanks so much and it was awesome to meet you!!

This post is shared with DIY Day on A Soft Place to Land.

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  1. christy says:

    I would have never thought to add curtains outdoors – but it looks totally awesome. And the pillows too! Gorgeous!

    How cool is that that you got to meet readers at your open house! I hope it went really well for you!!!

  2. love it! you did a great job – we have a similar spot & I never thought of adding fabric panels…will have to give that some thought!

  3. I just love Ikea…they help keep everything on budget don’t they :) Looks great!

  4. Love the curtains, they really soften up the space. Looks very inviting.

  5. Desiree says:

    Beautiful patio!! We have a solarium that I can’t wait to make my Sunday afternoon reading/gardening space – and I love the Ikea curtains!

    It was great to meet you too and your flip looks wonderful! Let’s get together soon – Kristina and I had dessert at La Madeleine after and it was so much fun. We definitely want to do it again and you need to come with – I mean, when you’re not selling your multi-million dollar properties. :-)

  6. Lindsay says:

    Love It!! Looks like a great place to spend an evening with friends and family!

  7. kathy says:

    curtains look fantastic! looks super easy also

  8. Averill says:

    I love the curtains — and I can’t believe they were IKEA (just goes to show you what a great resource it can be…)!

    Our new place’s backyard is just a bunch of sod and a small covered porch. There’s SO much I’d like to do with it but I feel like I need to get the INSIDE taken care of first (well, to some extent at least) before I start in the outside.

  9. You know, I am not a fan of wicker but I love yours!! It looks great! Gotta ask where you got it. And good idea on the curtains. I love them! Are they new at IKEA?

    • Liz says:

      Hey guys, I’m loving your feedback on the outdoor curtains!!

      Kristina with a K,

      I’m normally not a wicker girl either, but after searching for patio furniture FOREVER we fell in love with these! They were a fab deal from The Great Indoors in February – I never would have thought to look there but we were randomly there for a light fixture and had to buy it. :) As for the curtains, I got those early in the summer but I’m not exactly sure how long they’ve been out at Ikea.


      I’ve loved watching the construction process of your home, and now I cannot wait to see what you do with the inside! I know everything is going to be stunning.


      Count me in on the next outing! It was great to meet you at the open house. :)


      So exciting about your new design business!! Everybody, head on over and check it out! “http://www.birdhouseinteriors.com/”

      ~ Liz


      Yay, the open house went REALLY well!! We had tons of people (and lovely readers!) and lots of great feedback – of course, I would hope that no one would say something harsh to my face! :) Just kidding, I think everyone really liked it, so we’ll see!

      ~ Liz

  10. Stephanie says:

    Wow! What a difference! This looks amazing. Not just the curtains, but the entire patio. Great job!

  11. Stephanie says:

    Ooooh! I just realized I have been posting with Kimba’s link instead of my own! ugh!

    Wow! What a difference! This looks amazing. Not just the curtains, but the entire patio. Great job!

  12. Gorgeous! It never fails to amaze me how gorgeous a small space can be with a little added magic. Enjoy!


  13. Robin says:

    Very pretty space…I know you will enjoy it!

  14. That is quite a transformation! I love that fabric – sure wish I was closer to Ikea! Everything looks great!

  15. I so said “Covergirl” after reading your title! :)
    I just about died over that fabric at IKEA, I sooo need it..somewhere, I dont even care where…just somewhere! :)

  16. LOVE it!! What a transformation! It looks so awesome! Love the furniture and those curtains look great! Love the colors!

  17. Ashley says:

    Great patio update. Love that you took out those prison bars. now it looks open and happy. :)

  18. Britt says:

    This looks so good! It’s hard to believe that it’s the same space as the “before” photos. Great job!

  19. Happy squeals here!

    I made my own expensive looking Pottery Barn inspired typography basket~come see.

  20. I love that look! It totally dresses up the area and makes it cozy. :)

  21. Erin says:

    We love it! My kids and I came over from Better After and just had to tell you how much we all love the job you did with this patio. You should be so proud of yourself!