Before and After: Pea Gravel Patio on a Budget

Summer in Minnesota! Such a beautiful thing. After being cooped up inside all winter, when springtime hits we are ready to be outside. This space was born out of a desire to make being outside way more comfortable.

DIY Modern Pea Gravel Patio

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen a few peeks of this space. This is one of my favorite projects we've ever completed because it feels like we have added a room to our home. Having a comfortable place to sit outside is such a treat and allows us to enjoy our yard all the more.  It also gives me a semi-private spot to feed the baby while keeping an eye on the girls.

The project was especially satisfying because we redeemed unused space, got our hands good and dirty, and did it all on a very tight budget. Want to see what it used to look like?

Pea Gravel Patio Before

This spot had been an eyesore of rocks and weeds. I am going to save the planning and construction details for another post, but as you can see, this was a pretty fun transformation.

DIY Outdoor Pea Gravel Patio
DIY Pea Gravel Pation with IKEA VAGO Chair

A friend on Instagram asked about the IKEA VAGO chair. It is super comfortable! I even found it comfy last summer when I was pregnant. It is low so kids can easily get on it, and there is a drain hole in the seat for when it rains. I was thankful to have found this one in the as-is section, so I saved a few pennies there.

The outdoor sofa was the biggest hurdle for me. I had some money saved up and I wanted to buy something quality, but I didn't want to spend a ton. I looked and looked but couldn't make a decision. My sister helped me figure out a good price point. I considered an L-shaped sectional, but opted for this one from Target instead. I truly love it. The white is a bit risky, but the fabric came Scotchgarded and has held up well even in rain. I also considered that white fabric might not fade in the sun like a dark color would. My husband likes lounging on it, which makes me really, really happy. All in all, the sofa is super comfortable and I would definitely recommend it. (I caught it on super sale and I also applied some gift cards.)

DIY Pea Gravel Patio
Modern Outdoor Patio Coffee Table

The coffee table is an instance of the beauty of Craigslist! I had been eyeing this one from Target's Modern by Dwell Magazine line. On a whim I searched for it on Craigslist and what do you know! It popped right up—brand new, already assembled (!!!), for $50. Yes, please. It is a really heavy piece, great for snacks and even sitting on by the littles. The base is really cool, too, although here it is buried in the gravel.

Last but not least, my parents gifted me a few strands of these string lights for my birthday in May. They add such a lovely ambiance.

Outdoor Patio String Lights Twinkle Lights

Like I said, budget was a big concern here, so I filled in with planters I already owned. I relocated some of my beloved indoor plants out here for the summer, where they seem to be happy. I split off some of a thriving perennial sedum from my front landscaping and potted it back here. For now, I don't have any throw pillows because I haven't found any I love. But looking at these pictures, I kind of like the simplicity of the space without them. What do you think?

Pea Gravel Patio Outdoor Lounge Space

I plan to write another post sharing the details/instructions of how we put down the pea gravel. If you have any specific questions on this space, please let me know!