Our Patio Cabana

June 24, 2011

Hey all, happy Friday, and welcome to anyone who caught my appearance on the Nate Berkus Show yesterday!   I”m still on vacation, but promised a peek at our new patio.  I’ve been working on the design for this space over the past few weeks, and I’m proud to announce this patio is one we now call our outdoor oasis!   How about a quick tour?

You may recall how our patio looked a month ago, pretty lousy and void of any appeal, except for the nice view of our vines.  We started this transformation by installing a new stone circular patio which leads to this concrete patio.  We then turned our attention to this 13′ x 16′ long space  to create a place to relax and entertain.   It required an open plan with two entrances, and we didn’t want to obstruct the view from the kitchen window.

The design plan was to create an outdoor “room” protected from the sun with the feeling of an enclosed space, but still one that feels open and breezy.   We shopped four retailers courtesy of the American Express Membership Rewards program:  Home Depot, West Elm, Crate + Barrel, and Pottery Barn.   I also threw in a few of my own finds so the space didn’t look completely ‘out of a catalog’.

Here is the patio last month:

And today: 


Come take a closer peek of the inside!

I ordered some new deep seat cushions online from Home Depot, and I’m digging the fact that they’re the same color as our house, an unexpected bonus when they arrived on our doorstep.  Jute trim pillow covers from Pottery Barn. 



Instead of the mosquito netting that comes with this 12′ x 12′ cabana from Home Depot,  I hung off-white curtains instead.  The “curtains” are cotton/linen flat sheets I found on clearance for $5 at a local outlet hemmed to the height of the cabana and hung with simple rings.  Both the curtains and the cover come down in autumn when it rains, then I imagine the metal structure will look fantastic all lit up with a ton of twinkle lights.

The side tables are halves of wine barrels simply turned upside down.  I found them at a local hardware store for $20, they make the perfect rustic end table and also fit the style of our yard.  Lantern from Pottery Barn, square planter from Crate + Barrel.



Originally, I had this lantern hanging as a chandelier, but my tall husband is prone to wack his head on it on his way to the BBQ, so the two lanterns happily found a home on the side tables.

I’m loving this coffee table!  I found the wood trunk at a thrift store for $15, it was covered with stickers. I loved its shape and the fact that it was solid wood, so I brought it home, peeled the stickers off, sanded it and whitewashed it.  I’ll show the before and ‘how to’ soon, meanwhile, doesn’t it fit in nicely?


Across from the loveseat are two chairs, those accent pillows were clearance placemats, but I turned them into pillows. 

Bench from West Elm.  Green lanterns (below) and outdoor rug from Crate + Barrel. 

I stayed pretty close to my design plan, but eventually added in a few of my personal finds, including the curtains, end tables, coffee table, bench and lanterns.



I also aquired some new planters and lime trees which flank one entrance.  I love citrus trees for their evergreen leaves and fruit in winter, when all of the other trees have gone dormant. 


Here’s another view of our patio before all this fun began:

and today:

A great spot for both friends and family to hang out!

That’s the super quick tour, hope you’ve enjoyed it!  We find ourselves spending an hour or two outside these days (much more than we used to) thanks to this transformed space ~  it’s our little vacation spot in our our own backyard.  Many thanks to the folks who manage the American Express Membership Rewards Program, we were able to create this space thanks to a generous gift of 150,000 points.


Cabana:  Harbor Gazebo from Home Depot

Deep Seat Cushions: Arden Twilight Tan Deep Seat

Outdoor Rug: Biscayne Sage 8′ x 10′

Green Lantern:  Martinique Hurricane by Crate + Barrel (sold out)

Bench: Wood Slat, West Elm

Wine Glasses:  Green Acrylic

Pillow Covers:  Jute Trim, Ivory, Pottery Barn

Accent Pillows:  made from clearance PB placemats, sold out

Lantern:  Park Hill, Medium, Pottery Barn

White Cachepot Planters:  Large, Square White by Crate + Barrel


Hope you enjoyed the tour, and have a great weekend.  :)


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138 Responses to “Our Patio Cabana”

  1. Tiffany says:

    Very beautiful. Lov the wine barrel table, googling one for myself.

  2. Vel says:

    Love, love, love it!

  3. sara says:

    absolutely amazing!! i’m so jealous! it is fabulous!!!

  4. Megan says:

    Wow! What an absolutely gorgeous transformation! I want a glass of wine and want to linger on your patio! Pefect! Job well done!

  5. Cass says:

    You stayed very true to your original vision. It’s gorgeous! It definitely makes me want to get off my duff and do something beautiful around my home. Thanks for the sneak peek and inspiration.

  6. Chris says:

    I love the cabana. I went to the Home Depot site online and didn’t see anything like it. When was it purchased? Thanks! Your transformation turned out wonderful!

  7. Amy Dow says:

    You have such a great flair! It looks like a very inviting space. Thanks for sharing and hope you had a great vacation! BTW…thanks for the info on dying slipvcovers. I ended up leaving it white b/c it looked great with the new bedding and pillows. Wish all my decorating ventures were that easy! Thanks for your time and info. though!

  8. This looks amazing! What a difference the cabana makes!

  9. I make my husband sit down and look at your blog with me. I imply that YOUR husband is at your beck and call at a moments notice as Handy Helper….

  10. Laura says:

    I absolutely love it!!! It’s also inspiring to us!!! It is very inviting… Thanks for sharing!!!!

  11. I love what you did with your patio!

  12. Karina says:

    That is amazing! I love the before and after pics. It looks very cozy and warm now!

  13. Nicole-Lynn says:

    What a lovely sitting area! Love it!

  14. Rugger says:

    You have done it again. Now for a glass of Chardonnay in the shade. Well done Kate simply Centsational!

  15. Jenna says:

    Wow! What an amazing patio. This is my next summer’s number 1 project and I am gathering ideas. You have a wonderful blog! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would check out my blog and follow me too!


  16. I’m a little late here but I just had to comment on how wonderful this turned out. Around here people just stick those cabanas on top of their deck stuck right up next to their house or even randomly in the grass and they just look awful, you did it right, girlfriend! Absolutely fabulous! xoxo

  17. Tonya says:

    WOW!! What a transformation!! Your patio is gorgeous!! Love all of the details that come together to make this beautiful space!

  18. GORGEOUS!! Man the minute I pop this baby out, I’m coming over to lounge on your lovely patio whilst sipping wine. I might just sleep out there too.

  19. Oh. my. gosh. That is absolutely gorgeous. Do you have a free minute to come redo our outdoor porch area? ;) You’ve totally inspired me that it CAN be beautiful! :) And I love that you can splurge but also save like with the curtains and placemats turned pillows. You’ve really created a lovely space, once again!

  20. Roeshel says:

    Beautiful! So pretty. So relaxing! Love it!

    Have a happy 4th centsational family! :)

  21. Valerie says:

    Ohhh, Looks great!
    I’ve made your patio my inspiration for our deck patio, and I NEED lanterns like your green ones. I’ve looked online, can you recommend a place to find them or even similar ones? They are sold out at Crate and Barrel as you noted in the post and I just gotta have something like them. Any ideas??

  22. Giovanna says:

    OMG I am in love. What an amazing transformation!

  23. LOVE IT!!! could spend the entire day out there!!!
    Pink Hugs,

  24. kelly says:

    Your patio is so inviting! Love the wine barrels as end tables…..so cute! I love your blog! When you get a chance, stop by to visit my blog at chestercountycottagegirl.blogspot.com.

    Have a great day!

  25. Erica Athena says:

    Luv all the attention to detail, so many people just buy a patio set and are done with it. But your creativity really turns it into a relaxing retreat.

  26. This is beautiful! I’m sure that you love sitting out there and enjoying your outdoor living room!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

  27. Shani says:

    Absolutely drooling with envy! What a beautiful transformation. So many great ideas…love the barrels!

  28. Melissa Niednagel says:

    Can I ask you a question? Seems like everyone says these canopies aren’t waterproof etc. How has yours held up? What do you do with all the furniture if it rains? Does it stay dry? I would really appreciate your input…I love what you did!

  29. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Melissa, we take it down during the rainy season. It’s okay for a light drizzle, but it’s down right now during the winter, we will put it back up in May!

  30. Casey says:

    Hey this was featured on AP today! Not sure why it was a year later….

    Looks great! Does this mix in with where you just resurfaced?

  31. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hey Casey, I saw that, wow, cool right? Yep, the new surface is prepped and ready, we’ll be moving the cabana back on top this weekend! Here’s the link to the resurfaced patio we just finished:

  32. Polina says:

    I’m speachless!
    Do you mind going in details about these wine barrels? What kind of hardware store sells them?

    And cant wait to find out about whitewashing table!

  33. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Polina, thanks so much! Half wine barrels are available by region, usually at a local nursery or by way of a winery. I know Viva Terra is offering some this season, but they’re quite pricey (over $100) – around here they come cheap, just about everyone I know has a half wine barrel planter since they’re available at our local hardware stores and nurseries for about $15 – $20. The how to on the whitewashed trunk is here:

  34. Meredith says:

    Hi Kate, I am hoping you’ll have some insight on the wine barrel end tables, how are they holding up outside? My BF and I just bought a couple from a local winery in VA and we would like to use them outside, but I was wondering if we should put some kind of sealer on them so they don’t lose the cool red wine stains. Let me know what you think, thanks so much!

  35. Regina DeLuca says:

    The look is beautiful. Im going to incorporate this look in my back yard. I love the wine barrel….What a fabulous look. Any idea where I would be able to find some, or order in Miami Florida??

  36. Anne says:

    Hi! Love your patio. Gorgeous! Can you tell me which hardware store you purchased your wine barrel at? I’m having trouble finding them for less than $100. Thank you!

  37. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Anne, we shopped for ours at the Ace Hardware in Santa Rosa on Highway 12 but I also saw some at Lowes in Cotati last week.

  38. Jennifer says:

    Wow, absolutely stunning! I have a little patio and this is such an inspiration. I especially like the cabana like feel with the blinds that surround it. Really well done and now I have a million ideas swimming around my head on how I can do something like this.

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