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Summer is in full swing, so it’s finally time to step out of the living room and move the party outdoors. Whether you have a small, cool patio or a huge backyard with a pool, you should be making the most of your space. Of course, like renter Elaine Wittert, you may need to do some work before your patio can become viable.

“It was a completely wild, overgrown space that was filled with weeds,” Elaine says of her outdoor space. “I even began to feel embarrassed about what my friends and neighbors thought when they saw it.”

But Elaine knew that there was potential there, and with a little TLC, she could turn the weedy area into a usable hangout.

First, Elaine hired a landscaper to clear out all the grass and overgrown weeds. Once she could see how much space she had, Elaine measured the area and started researching patio furniture options. She decided on the Äpplarö collection at IKEA, which she used to create a seating area that features a wood dining table nestled between a bench with a backrest and two reclining chairs (just $460 for all of it).

After living here for over 20 years, Elaine feels like she finally has a beautiful sanctuary where she can work, relax, and entertain. Elaine and her husband share meals outside, and her friends come over every Friday night for happy hour drinks. “Even my neighbors approve,” Elaine says. “This patio project has completely changed the way I feel about my apartment.”

Savannah West

Home Assistant Editor

Savannah is a master binge-watcher and home cook. When she’s not testing new recipes or re-watching Gossip Girl, you can find her on Facetime with her grandma. Savannah is a news producer turned lifestyle blogger and professional homebody. She has a bachelors in journalism from Clark Atlanta University, a certification in Digital Storytelling and is earning her Master’s degree from Harvard University. Savannah believes every day is a good day and there’s nothing good food can’t fix.

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