Prepping the Outdoor Patio for Warmer Weather

As you’ve seen from some of our previous posts, we’re getting our homes ready for spring! This, dear readers, includes our outdoor spaces as well. While Meredith and Kristi have beautiful and large landscaped yards and gardens, I’m an apartment dweller with a small balcony. However, just because it’s tiny doesn’t mean that it has to be neglected! Unfortunately…I neglected my balcony over the fall and winter months. [[Hangs head in shame.]] These are the horrifically embarrassing before pictures:

Dirty1

Dirty2

My sad-looking balcony needed a face lift ASAP that would be easy and affordable! So, I browsed one of our favorite websites for inspiration. Or, shall I say (you guessed it…) — Pinspiration. Here are the after shots:

Done1

Done2

For this project, I put down some recycled plastic composite tiles and poured some white stone around the border (in lieu of cutting more tiles down to size).

What do you think of the results? If you’re interested in getting a similar look, you just need to gather a few supplies and then set aside an hour or two for the actual labor. For my deck, I gathered:

  • UltraShield Spanish Walnut Outdoor Composite Quick Deck Tile (10 to a case at $6 per tile). It was a snap to assemble; they fit together with simple interlocks like puzzle pieces.  There was a shipping snafu from the vendor who supplies the tiles to Home Depot, so while it took longer than expected to complete the entire project, it wasn’t difficult to execute once all the tiles made it to my apartment. FYI, Ikea sells similar products that can work out to be as low as $2.50 per tile depending on the style that you choose; it’s definitely worth checking out.
  • White marble chips (.5 cu feet at $4.40 each). That’s 45 lbs of rock for less than $5! I was originally planning on white polished river rocks (.4 cu feet at $40.00 each), but I’m just as happy with the result that I got with my bargain bag of marble chips! My only barrier with this purchase was getting it up the stairs to my apartment. I ended up splitting the large bag into three smaller bags so that I could transfer it to my balcony a little easier.
  • Small garden shovel to spread out the rocks.

One other small improvement to my outdoor space was the addition of battery operated tea lights on timers. I’m very picky when it comes to fairylights and tea lights, so when I saw the great reviews for these little ones, I had to give them a go. I’m pleased as punch with my purchase. They flicker in a soft way – i.e., they don’t flash or look jittery – and throw a warm yellow light. I placed them in inexpensive mercury-glass-like votive holders ($8.00 for a set of 6) and spread them around the plants and shelving on my patio. My lights are set to come on at 5pm and turn off around 11pm. It’s lovely!

Want to see the flickering effect for yourself? Watch the 15-second video on our Instagram by clicking this link or the image below and it’ll take you to the video. Once you’re on the Instagram page, click the white ‘play’ icon over the candle image. (And, make sure to follow us on Insta: @tripleknots!)

Candle

I’d love to get your feedback on my balcony changes and I welcome more ideas! Please feel free to leave a comment below.

And, are you getting your homes and gardens ready for spring?

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