Tip from the designer: Brooke Dietrich, owner of in Costa Mesa, CA looked to bargain sources to outfit her own patio. “Ikea and Pier 1 are my kind of stores,” she says.
Black pillars and beams and a tan ceiling give the patio’s shade structure (originally green and white) a Balinese motif.
Dietrich bought the tree aloe and ponytail palm from a friend who was moving out of state. The Boston fern is from a grocery store, and the cannas are offshoots from another friend’s plants.
This rattan sofa had been abandoned in an alley; the sofa in the rear was a swap-meet find. New and re-covered cushions give each a second life. The wicker coffee table was a discounted floor sample.
A tawny stain (Mason’s Select Transparent Concrete Stain #50, in Sandstone; for stores) took a half-hour to apply and makes cold gray concrete look as warm as terrazzo.
Hanging lanterns that hold candles illuminate without the expense of wiring. Tall candlesticks, set on the ground, add romance in the evening.
Large loose-weave baskets hang from a beam. Other touches include a centerpiece of succulents, and a 5- by 8-foot rug woven of recycled plastic.
$425 Professional painter for structure’s ceiling, plus extra paint to finish lower beams
$85 Potted plants
$285 One sofa; new and re-covered cushions
$25 Concrete stain
$190 Accessories (outdoor rug, $75; lanterns, $75; baskets, $40)