10 before and after patio makeovers you'll love

These stylish patio makeovers will spark ideas and inspiration for your own backyard transformation

A contemporary patio at the back of a white and gray home. With ornamental grasses framing the edge of the patio
(Image credit: Future)

There's nothing quite like having a peek at some stunning patio makeovers to get you inspired to update your own outdoor entertaining space. 

If your backyard is in need of a little attention to transform it into a space you can be proud of, the good news is that it could be easier (and less expensive) than you might think to give your patio a brand new look. 

We've rounded up some of our favorite patio makeovers so you can get some ideas of your own cooking. Some of them are larger redesign projects with budgets to match, but you'll be surprised by how many of these patio ideas have been achieved on a shoestring amount. What's more, all of them have plenty of clever style ideas and landscaping solutions to steal for your own projects, no matter the scale. 

Get inspired by our favorite patio makeovers

Looking for ideas for paving, furniture and decor to transform your patio space? From budget patio ideas to stylish solutions for compact spaces, you'll find plenty to inspire in these brilliant patio makeovers.

Swipe to see how these stunning patios started out, and discover our top tips for creating these looks in your own backyard.

1. A cool and contemporary patio makeover

A large, rectangular plot is in many ways the ideal blank canvas to begin planning a garden makeover. However it can be a challenge as the possibilities are practically endless. Deciding where to place the patio area in this 98x50ft plot was fairly easy, as the couple wanted it to be an extension of their home. So positioning it near the house was an obvious sensible.

Socializing and entertaining needed to be incorporated into the plans for the makeover so an outdoor kitchen area, complete with one of the best pizza ovens, was built on the right side of the patio. There are bar stools stationed at the kitchen area which means the space doubles as a casual seating area. The main dining space, which is ideal for sit-down dinners, still has a relaxed vibe, with a corner sofa as seating and an adjustable parasol. 

The owners wanted an unfussy color scheme to keep a cool and contemporary feel in the space. Steely grays and cool blues along with the pale patio paving ideas echo the aesthetic of the house. Even the displayed logs make a neutral feature which blends in perfectly.

Another important aspect to the patio makeover was to ensure that the rest of the garden provided a pleasant view to look out on when seated on the patio. So structured planting beds and some clever landscaping with timbers was used throughout the rest of the garden.

Read the full story of how this large plot was transformed into a relaxing modern space

2. A redesigned space with two patios

Measuring a modest 25x15ft, this patio makeover started out as just one large, rather outdated, crazy paving patio area. Instead of keeping a single patio seating area, the owners decided to split their garden into two with linked patio areas. One would be for dining, and the other one for chilling out in. Mixing up the patio materials in each zone also highlights the different areas.

In creating two distinct small patio ideas the garden looks so much bigger than before. The budget for the whole backyard was £5,000 ($6,500), which may seem like a lot but as the owners put it: 'you wouldn’t blink at spending thousands on a bathroom!'

And considering what they were left with was a tropical-style outdoor room, with specific spaces for dining and relaxing, you can see that this was a worthwhile investment for them.

Read the full story of how this tiny plot was revamped into a tropical-inspired space

3. A beach-style side garden transformation

If you have a side garden, the temptation can be to keep this as 'no man's land', where odd pieces of backyard clutter are kept. Usually side gardens are an awkward shape and often unfit for lots of lush planting.

Rather than continuing their habit of using this space as a 'dumping ground' the family decided to make use of this unloved area and turn it into a stylish patio with a beach vibe.

To fill out the asymmetric shape, a curved path was put in, drawing the whole space together and giving balance to the plot. The corner bench-style sofa was a DIY furniture idea so it could be custom made to the exact size required by the space, while the fire pit patio idea is perfect for creating a focal point to anchor the space.

Using shingle or pebbles and cobbles adds to the beach vibe, and you can mix the two together for a more natural look. Displaying found objects such as pieces of driftwood, buoys, lengths of rope or shells picked up on seaside holidays, can also be an effective way to add personality to your space. 

Read the full story of how this awkward outdoor space was transformed on a budget. 

4. A low-budget courtyard patio upgrade

Cost-saving was the main priority for this patio makeover. It was essentially a space which had been used for builder's rubble whilst the owners had been having an extension added to their house. The cost of the extension left them with almost no budget, and an empty courtyard garden which was in desperate need of some homey touches.

The paving they used was gifted to them by their contractor for free, as they were previously destined for landfill. This brilliant free garden idea gave them a brand new floor, once the existing concrete had been dug up and the ground had been levelled.

All the furniture was either completely free from sites like Freecycle, or from second-hand retailers like Ebay. A few thrifty touches such as a gray statement wall, meant that the owners were able to completely transform their patio for just a few hundred pounds. 

Read the full story of this budget courtyard garden transformation.

5. A simple and sleek decked patio 

You can see from the before photo of this patio makeover, that the owner's backyard had undergone a fair bit of damage whilst their extension was being built. Rather than worry that the lawn near the house had been destroyed, the most logical course of action was to lay a decked patio area which led seamlessly from the back of the house.

The sliding doors open out fully onto the new patio area so it was important that the space matched the style of the interior. The patio itself is very simple, with wooden decking ideas painted black to match the dark colors used in the bifold doors and the exterior wall paint. 

The best garden furniture was chosen to complement this, whilst hydrangeas in pots and floral print cushions add a flash of color, and are an homage to the owner's floristry business. 

Read the full story of how this neglected backyard was turned into a cutting garden. 

6. A cozy outdoor room makeover

The owners of this space wanted to make the patio feel like it could be a room inside their house. Working with limited space, the challenge was to create ample garden storage that they needed for bikes and scooters.

In order to make this work with the design, the storage was made into a feature with the addition of green roofs. And the materials chosen for the custom built outdoor cupboards were in keeping with the rest of the materials used in the layout.

What really gives the impression of this cozy patio being an outdoor room is the outdoor fireplace. This was a discarded feature from within the house, which works a treat as a focal point. The furniture is laid out to complement the fireplace and feels just like the format of an open-plan living room in an apartment. Finally, some simple patio lighting ideas create a canopy of light in the evenings for added atmosphere. 

Read the full story of how this small plot was transformed with design tricks

7. A patio transformed with colorful accessories

This garden makeover is owned by enthusiastic instagrammer @hannahscolourfulworld. As you may have guessed from the photo, Hannah is known for her bold use of color.

The patio area is at the end of the backyard and before the makeover started, new slabs needed to be laid as the previous ones were uneven and a new fence was erected. Other than that, no building work at all was needed, so the patio area itself was relatively cheap.

If you were planning on recreating some of Hannah's style in your own patio, you wouldn't be looking at a hefty bill. In fact, this is a great example of how a few cheap garden ideas can be used to create a beautiful space with some thrifty additions. 

Simple pallet furniture ideas can be livened up with bright outdoor cushions, while painted old picture frames are perfect for outdoor wall decor. And cheap and cheerful patio decor ideas don't come better than a colorful ribbon wall hanging. 

Read the full story of how the homeowners created a space that feels like a holiday at home and is full of happy color

8. A chic alfresco living room

Some of the most successful patio makeovers are all about adding a few quirky touches to give a space some added personality.

After considering the patio vs deck options for her space, the owner settled on a raised deck area to introduce some height to the garden. The deck was kept in a lighter shade in contrast to the dark-stained wooden fence backdrop, helping to reflect the sunlight upwards to make the space feel airy and welcoming.

The fire pit focusses the layout of the rest of the furniture and you can imagine how cozy it gets, gathered round it on the corner sofa in the evenings. An outdoor clock and some clever garden mirror ideas add to the outdoor room feel. 

Read the full story of how this uninspiring plot was turned into a stunning entertaining space

9. A vacation-inspired patio makeover

This budget-friendly patio makeover was inspired by a trip to Marrakesh in Morocco. The way that courtyards are used in Moroccan homes is that they are a place for people to relax and dine in comfort, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

This patio fits the bill perfectly. Plants are used at different heights to create a secluded feel. Some of the plants used are indoor plants which are taken outside over the warmer months to add to the greenery.

The table is in fact a salvaged cable drum! The rest of the accessories were either bought on the family's trip to Marrakesh or were inspired by the many beautiful trinkets they saw in the markets there. 

The owners decided to keep costs down by retaining the existing concrete patio, spending their budget on planting and accessories instead. Small, ornate mirrors add sparkle to the garden fence, particularly at night when they reflect twinkling outdoor lights.

Read the full story of how this outdoor space was turned into a Moroccan-style courtyard garden. 

10. A DIY decked patio update

To keep control of costs for their patio makeover, this owners of this garden decided to learn how to build decking and used an affordable decking kit to knock together their own DIY patio.

Once built, the patio was furnished with an outdoor corner sofa, sourced on Ebay, along with some thrifty additions. A piece of roofing timber was salvaged from a nearby skip and you can see this attached to the back wall and used as a handy shelf for potted plants. It's a simple way to brighten up a plain wall and introduce some vertical garden ideas to a space. Some pretty bunting gives the space a laid-back festival vibe.

The couple's potting station started life as a storage unit and was given a paint makeover to turn it into the ideal space for working on seedlings. 

Teresa Conway
Deputy Editor

Teresa has worked as an Editor on a number of gardening magazines for three years now. So she is lucky enough to see and write about gardening across all sizes, budgets and abilities. She recently moved into her first home and the garden is a real project! Currently she is relishing planning her own design and planting schemes. What she is most passionate about when it comes to gardening are the positive effects it has on our mental health to grow and care for plants, as well as being great for the environment too and help provide food and shelter for wildlife.