Simple Apartment Patio for the Cheap Minimalist

Even though I grew up in the city of Vancouver (Kerrisdale baby!) I was lucky enough that our house was on a huge lot and thanks to my father and grandfather we had beautiful gardens! I remember on summer days not even going inside! I would steal carrots from the side vegetable garden, drink from the hose, and pick warm juicy blackberries off the vine that grew like a weed down our lane way fence. Our front yard was where I believed fairies lived with huge Rhododendron’s, Lilacs falling over archways and the Peonies that always had tons of ants in them!

Unfortunately the green thumb nor the space to have one never did get passed down to me, but I try. Even light gardening brings me back home. The real home, the home inside, and that is pretty freaking cool!

I live in a tiny condo that my husband and I rent on the west side of Toronto. We really love it and it is cool because we are on the main floor and actually have our own front door! So we do not have a patio per se because there is no sliding door, but we have a mini courtyard to the side of our front door.

When it came to jazzing up our outside we did not want to spend a lot of money. There are a couple reasons behind that. One, we live on the main floor so things could potentially be stolen. Two, money always seems to be in need elsewhere. Our Spring before we were getting ready to get married and my husbands union went on strike. This year we are in a pandemic and both our incomes have changed because of that. Not to mention spending oodles of money on your garden seems a tad insensitive at the moment when there are others that need it so much more now.

So we used some things we already had and bought some new plants and I totally think it looks fab for how inexpensive everything is.

Our furniture is from Ikea over the years. The table is left over from an old set I got in my early 20’s. I think I like it more now that it is loved and aged.

The chairs I purchased about 3 years ago. They only have them in white now but that is my favourite colour and I kinda wish I had gotten them. I thought they would get too dirty but the aqua ones are light and show dirt just as easily, it would not have made a difference. On the the flip side they are uber easy to wipe down and clean! Comfy too! Plus I think they are a tad different and more modern than your usual patio setup!

I bought really cheap black plastic pots a few years back from Walmart. I think next year I will paint them a cool colour! But these are similar

I ordered our plants from a super cool place called eco stems here in Toronto. They let you order online and chose a delivery date. Super happy, no complaints and it could not have been easier! Shop local if you can!

I also bought a Golden Snake Plant but I chose to keep it inside because it is so good at cleaning the air!

For under $5 I bought some Mint and Basil from a little corner store (Perks of living in Toronto almost every block has a fruit stand or corner store selling plants!)

I also had a little succulent plant from inside that I put on the table to jazz it up a bit!

I find we often neglect our outdoor space, especially with condos and apartments. Understandably, money and time need to go into the inside first and it can even feel overwhelming. Plus working with small spaces often gets the reaction of “what is the point?”

With some things you already have on hand and some cheap plants to add greenery you can truly get a lot for a little! My husband and I have really been enjoying having an afternoon coffee or sparkling water out there, people watching and filling up our Vitamin D!

What are some summer ‘garden’ stuff you have planned?


3 thoughts on “Simple Apartment Patio for the Cheap Minimalist

  1. It’s so true that outdoor spaces seem to get the ‘cold shoulder’. With the pandemic this year I’ve noticed so many more people in their yards and getting their hands in the dirt. It’s so good to see and I like your comments on how to make an impact without having to spend a fortune. I always enjoy simple first but somehow things get cluttered. Would you have any tips on what you do to stay de cluttered and how to keep it that way? Thanks Desi!

    1. Hey Miss Liz!

      Thanks for the love and what an awesome question!

      My advice to keep things organized and non cluttered are pretty simple!
      First, clear the space you are working with and donate, throw away things that aren’t serving you or you just do not like.
      Second, add basics. Things you know you want in the space and then live with it. As you live in your space notice the ideas that come in and out of your head. Do you constantly think a big shrub or decorative grass would rock that one corner, or do you realize you need some colour with some new pillows?
      I think when people want to jazz up a space they want before and after and either give up because you believe you need to spend too much money to get your desired look or you buy too much not really knowing how you move and live in a space.
      Less is usually more! Take your time and build on as you need it, not because you think you need it!

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