before and afteroutdoorSan Diego

Before & After: Ananda’s Patio Makeover

by Lauren Chorpening Day

Renting definitely has its limitations when it comes to remodeling or refurbishing. We are all about sticking to the lease rules, but we are also all about finding solutions that make a rental home feel personal. Ananda Qianyu was set on finding a way to completely transform her San Diego, CA balcony without compromising her lease and without spending too much money. Pallets for the walls, floors and furniture changed the basic stucco balcony into a colorful, lush and cost-effective patio.

Ananda had a few guidelines from her landlord to follow, but also imposed some of her own rules when planning what to do with the space. “Rule #1: No drilling into/attaching to existing walls. Rule #2: No painting existing surfaces including floor, walls and ceiling. Rule #3: We want to prove that everyone can have a gorgeous space no matter what their budget is. Rule #4: We love a built-in look, but everything we build should be easily taken apart when we move,” she says. Ananda’s home has gained additional living space that she and her husband love, without compromising their agreement or what they really want. —Lauren

Photography by Ananda Qianyu

Before & After: Ananda's Patio Makeover | Design*Sponge
Ananda's patio, before and after.
Before & After: Ananda's Patio Makeover | Design*Sponge
Ananda's patio, before. There wasn't much character or personality to speak of. Ananda wanted a space that reflected her appreciation for nature with a tropical vibe.
Before & After: Ananda's Patio Makeover | Design*Sponge
Ananda's patio, after. Ananda took apart pallets and pieced them together to create walls, floors and furniture for her space. Because she is not allowed to affix anything to the structure of the balcony, she created a free-standing room within a room to fit perfectly.
Before & After: Ananda's Patio Makeover | Design*Sponge
Ananda's patio, after. Ananda is a landscape architect and loves greenery and plants. This vertical garden was made from pallets.
Before & After: Ananda's Patio Makeover | Design*Sponge
Ananda's patio, after. Ananda's furniture and accessories bring color into this space. The balcony is utilitarian-meets-tropical-getaway, which is a pretty impressive combination.
Before & After: Ananda's Patio Makeover | Design*Sponge
Ananda's patio, after. Ananda stenciled the floor right by the door. It's a welcoming entrance to such a relaxing space.

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  • Gorgeous! I’d love to know more about the floor stencil, as I’m looking to do something similar in my entrance hallway…

  • oh. my. god.

    this is the kind of stuff i want design blogs to be full of. ananda, you totally crushed it.

  • All I can say is WOW. This is far more welcoming and colorful than anything you can buy from a retailer. Ananda, I hope you expand your landscaping services to include making outdoor furniture. Incredible!

  • I’m going out right now to make a snap together wire crate filled with rocks table. Genius!

  • What a beautiful and creative way to personalize an ordinary space, working with the restrictions. Wow. Love it.

  • Amanda, you are one clever lady! This makes me want to sell my house and get a rental just for the patio!

  • Beautiful, creative, artistic and smart! I’d like to know how do the walls stand with being attached to original wall, and how is the wood stable when not connected to the floor. Thank you.

  • This is brilliant! How big is this patio? And, same question as someone before: how do the walls stand up?

  • What a phenomenal transformation! Very inspirational for someone who loves outdoor spaces but has had to make do with little balconies all my life. Especially loved the stencil on the floor.

  • I am guessing you have a structure behind the boards of the wall pieces and then the benches etc hold it all in place. The whole thing is amazing. The ability to see this ahead in order to make it all fit together is incredible! Adding the wood floor is something I could never have imagined much less any of the rest!
    It is really fun and looks like a place you wont want to leave..

  • Amazing job by Amanda. Personally love the floor. Rental apartments with small balcony’s are a tough place to do nice outdoor spaces for extra living space. Wonderful job and excellent post (photos) thanks.