Create an Outdoor Oasis for Less Than $1,000

A concrete patio is turned into a Mexican-themed outdoor room.




This small patch of concrete is an eyesore that needs some design attention.


Vivid color and creative seating make this patio inviting, exciting and livable.

Design Details



Kristan Cunningham, Dave Sheinkopf and Spencer Anderson work together to create a Mexican-inspired outdoor space.

Plants and Pottery - $290


• A collection of terra-cotta pots hold various cacti. Sheinkopf enhances a pair of pots with an aged finish made of stain, varnish and paint thinner. Turpentine is splashed on over the finish to give it an aged look. (pots and plants: Mainly Seconds; pot: Crate & Barrel - 05155150875549; chimenea and outdoor pots: Pottery Etc.)

Accessories - $261

• Cunningham creates a shade awning out of a drop cloth. After she cuts it in half she attaches the ends to the house and lets one curtain fall down the side of the house to hide the meter. The other half is stretched out over the patio and secured via grommets to a pair of poles she's anchored in pots with concrete.


• A custom fountain made by Anderson becomes the focal point in the grassy area. He makes the piece out of lightweight fiberboard, which he paints with rubber paint and covers with copper foil. He stacks the pieces so that when the water cascades down the sides it will create a ripple effect. The base is lined with slate. After he hooks up the irrigation system, he sprays an aging patina on the copper to tone down the shine.

• Since the patio faces a busy street, the design team uses bamboo thatching on the wrought-iron fence to give the space more privacy. A pathway from the gate to the patio is defined with white landscaping rocks. 

Furniture - $243


• The low concrete wall is made functional for seating and stepping with a two-level redwood bench made by Sheinkopf.

• A new table and a pair of chairs provide a spot for dining. Pillows in striped outdoor fabric add comfort to the chairs and bench. (fabric used for cushions: Jo-Ann Fabrics - 6647416/Sage/Terracotta/Sand/Outdoor Fabric; outdoor table: Target - 009010904)

Incidentals - $113
Paint and Supplies - $86

• The concrete is painted turquoise and the half-wall is painted a terra-cotta color. (paint: Behr - Greensleeves - 490D-7; Mojave Sunset - 220D-7)

Project Total - $993

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