Patio Makeover + Potted Plant Arrangement Ideas

Does anyone love being outdoors as much as I do? An outdoor space can truly be transformed into an outdoor room. I’m happy to share my small patio makeover with you.

I live in Tucson, AZ where the weather is conducive to outdoor living all year round. My covered back patio is north facing so I can be outside and enjoy it even in the hot summer months. 

I create content about gardening indoors and outdoors so, of course, this isn’t only about patio furniture and patio accessories. The plants play a starring role and bring tons of visual pleasure and it’s satisfying to see them grow.

I moved into my current house 15 months ago. I had 2 patios at my former home and was combining the plants and furniture into 1 space.

The outdoor plants ended up in or around the patio the night of the move and there they all stayed. The colors of the pots were a mish-mash. I just wanted something a bit more toned down but with a pop of color here or there.

Take a tour of the patio makeover:

I’m breaking this patio makeover DIY into 3 categories. I hope this better illustrates my thought process and the vibe I was going for. The patio and the pool are right off the kitchen through a sliding glass door so everything needed to be an extension of the family room that’s part of the kitchen.

You’ll find a collage at the end showing all items purchased for this patio facelift along with links.


None of the plants are new. I repotted two of them (the Snake Plant and the Sticks On Fire) and created the two succulent gardens on the black stands from a couple of other pots combined.

The only pots I bought new for this makeover are the set of 2 pots you see above. They’re inexpensive ($33.00 for both) and look great. I did paint them to darken a bit and look less plastic. 

By the way, I love resin pots for larger plants because they’re easier to move around. Speaking of moving, I swapped the location of the Hoya topiary (badly sunburned last year but growing back) with that of the Aeonium. The latter is growing into a small shrub and was creeping in on the dining space.

The smaller plants are fine in ceramic pots or clay pots. A few of them are Talavera style which is popular here in the Southwest. My Elephant Bush is in a large, vibrant Talavera pot that goes well with the new color of the dining set. 

My Variegated Elephant’s Food in its newly painted pot. Now all 3 hanging pots match color-wise.

I love the look of terra cotta and painted quite a few of the pots (including the 3 hanging pots) this color by combining leftover samples of house paints. 

The desert neutral color palette (or as I call them the “desert blahs”) has been making the rounds on Instagram for the past few years. I wanted to make my patio more cohesive color-wise, but have a bit of color mixed in here and there.


Dining Area

Speaking of color, I decided to jazz up the dining set. It’s from the 1940s and was passed down by my mother. It had been some shade of royal blue for about 15 years. I used my favorite spray paint, Painter’s Touch 2X in the color satin paprika, to get the job done.

I did a tutorial on painting and revitalizing this patio set a few years ago. When you spray lattice furniture, you lose some of the paint through the holes and it takes more than you think it will. I always like to put on protective topcoat (also by Rustoleum), especially here where the sun is so intense.

Cans of spray paint used: 11   Cans of topcoat used: 3

I painted the Hoya pot a combo of purple/orange/brown. The stand the mixed succulent pot sits on was white and gold but is now black. Spraying the latter was a day of decision and I thought that area needed an accent of black to tie in with the other black plant stand on the patio.  I need to elevate the fleshy succulents because the ground squirrels like to snack on them!

The new doormat.

Seating Area

I kept the loveseat because it’s in good shape and I like the size and look of it. In late 2019, I had my local tailor-make new cushion covers. The old ones were dull gold/tan and I chose melon-colored Sunbrella fabric that I like much better. 

the seating area of a patio with a seating seat, loveseat, small tables, & plants

The previous resin wicker seating set was only 5 years, but the backs had cracked due to the heat. They were too big for this space anyway and I wasn’t getting rid of any plants!

a black & tan seating seat on a patio with plants
My new seating set.

I choose the black/tan resin seating set because it’s light, airy, and easy to move. We’ll want to carry them over to the chaise lounge area under the African Sumac with killer views of the Catalina Mountains at some point.

close up of a talavera cat planter with a jade plant & a large aeonium in the background
That’s my beautiful Aeonium in the background. The cute Talavera kitty planter was a housewarming gift from my real estate agent.

The 2 lattice side tables also belonged to my mother.  They’ve changed quite a few times, but I sprayed them the color they are now (Rustoleum cinnamon) last spring. 


The dining chair cushions are new because the old ones had gotten very dirty and faded. The color is called spice but there are many others to choose from. I cut the ties off so they’d fit better.

close of of a succulent-themed lumbar patio pillow
These pillows are just the ticket for the Arizona desert!

The lumbar pillows on the loveseat are new too. I love the colors and that they have a succulent theme. I, love tropical motifs, but I do live in the Sonoran Desert!

The half-round doormat replaced an old ratty old one left behind by the previous owners. I have a larger, lighter one at my front door.

The brown rug in the seating area replaced the blue one which moved over under the chaise lounges near the pool. I like these recycled plastic rugs because they’re easy to clean and feel good under bare feet (especially on a hot day!).

These roll-down shades have been great to filter out the early morning sun in summer here in the desert. My Hoya topiary burned last year so these should help this year.

2 photos side by side showing 2 white geodes & a cactus dish garden
The cactus pots sit right outside the patio area. The geodes are from the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. I have them scattered about & like the little pop of sparkle they add.

I’ve had most of the accessories for years. Quite a few people have asked where they can get the terra cotta star ball, but I don’t think it’s made anymore.

I hope this patio makeover gives you some inspiration. I’m enjoying this outdoor space so much and look forward to spending many more hours out there!

a collage showing patio accessories to purchase online

Shop all my favorite patio decor seen above here.

Happy gardening,

Signed by Nell Foster

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