Space of the Week: A Lackluster Patio Becomes an Outdoor Oasis in 5 Simple Steps

Complete with an outdoor fire pit that clicks on and off with a switch.

Patio with fire pit and large umbrella
Photo: Courtesy of Lisa Chun

A weather-worn patio and lackluster landscaping greeted Lisa Chun and her family when they moved into their home in River Vale, N.J., five years ago. When COVID hit, Lisa upgraded the outdoor space so they could spend more time there. An avid (and talented!) DIYer, she built the sectional from plans she found online and ordered cushions from World Market. Then she put the couch and an egg chair around a fire pit to create a focal point—and a place for s'mores happy hour.

Choose Dual-Purpose Pieces

The concrete fire pit runs off a 20-pound propane tank, and Lisa loves that she can turn it on and off with a switch. When it's not lit, she places a tray over it and uses it as a coffee table.

Mix Shapes

The egg chair gives the space boho character, and its oval frame nicely contrasts with the boxiness of the L-shaped sofa and rectangular rug.

Cover Your Back

The 11-foot cantilever umbrella offers shade throughout the day, and the offset stand doesn't hog center stage—or space.

Get the Look:

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Step 1: Serve Some Snacks

White Pattern Garden Stool
Bed Bath & Beyond

This sturdy, weather-resistant garden stool is the ideal landing spot for drinks and snacks when family and friends gather around the patio. When setting up for a get-together, make sure each seat has easy access to a coffee table, garden stool, or another surface.

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Step 2: Roll Out a Rug

Patterned Blue Outdoor Rug
Well Woven

The #1 way to make your outdoor area feel like an extension of your home? Set the groundwork with a patterned rug.

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Step 3: Lounge in Style

Woven Patio Outdoor Egg Chair

Say hello to your new favorite reading nook. The curved design of this egg chair lends privacy, inviting you to curl up with your summer reading outdoors.

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Step 4: Gather Around the Fire

Hampton Bay Outdoor Fire Pit
Home Depot

If you've ever wished you had a fire pit (but wanted to skip all the effort), this propane-fueled fire pit is the answer. It turns on and off with the flip of a switch.

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Step 5: Throw Some Shade

Large Cantilever Outdoor Umbrella in beige with stand
Home Depot

For patios that get all-day sun, this 11-foot umbrella will shield your outdoor space, making it more comfortable. The handle lets you adjust the canopy angle to follow the sun throughout the day, while solar-powered LED lights will illuminate your gatherings once the sun sets.

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