The Money Pit Series: a patio makeover + a style link up!

Following our motto of "no construction" this year; we decided to take on a host of mini projects. The patio being one of them. As you can see, it's an awkward, small patio that we eventually plan to rip out and lay flagstone down creating a larger entertaining area without elevation. Think lawn chairs, an umbrella, grills, a vegetable garden...the works!

This summer, the goal was to better utilize our space and have somewhere for our guests to sit be it happy hour or one of our girl's birthdays. Truth be told, the fence was a big project last summer and we were really craving more dinners alfresco.

As you can see - it wasn't that inviting. We had kid toys and mismatched furniture that reminded me of college. It was driving me nuts! No amount of potted flowers could pretty up this space for us.

We won't be re-staining the patio because of our plans to rip it out entirely. It was decided to add more color and a simple dining set which would improve the situation considerably. That and clearing the deck of all toys and clutter.

We found the set at IKEA at a great price; moreover, the simplicity and neutral color seemed like a great backdrop for our colorful serving pieces. This is a great time to shop outdoor as everything is on sale - 50% off...sometimes more. Thinking about adding these

place mats

 and these

chair pads

to the mix.

The plates are from Michael's last season and this weekend I added the lanterns. The


 (also available in opaque white + pink) are from IKEA and the runner (almost bought

this one)

is from Target. Our whimsical fish pitcher (love

this one


this platter

) was a gift from my parents. My serving platters are all from Michael's as well.

I'm thinking the finishing touch will be an outdoor rug. I've got my eye on

this one


this one

. Last but not least, some

twinkly lights


There you have it - our patio makeover on a dime. It's amazing what a little color can do!

For past Money Pit Series posts, check out 

this page


Last but not least, today I'm linking up with my girl, Claire over at

Little Miss Fashion Queen

. Her style is colorful and approachable which immediately attracted me to her blog. She also loves a good print and knows her way around the shoe department - two qualities I very much appreciate.

Hop on over to her


and join us today. Here are the rules:

1. Please use link up etiquette - I kindly ask you 


 your host {that's me!} and co-host this week Johanna via 

101 Things I Love

 on Instagram.

2. Please provide a link to Little Miss 


 Link-up in your post, or use the button on your blog.

3. Please comment on the link-up.

* Check out today's link ups:

Join the Gossip


I Would So Rock This


More Pieces of Me

An InLinkz Link-up