Before and After: This Dull Driveway is Now Super SoCal Cool

Turning a driveway and storage area into a beautiful lounge for adults and children alike seemed like an impossible feat for Ali and Evan. Luckily they had a great friend, Lake, who knew exactly how to transform this space!

From Lake Sharp of

Ali & Evan wanted an outdoor area where the whole family (two adults, one toddler and two dogs) could relax and enjoy the fresh air. The immediate concerns were keeping the dogs and toddler contained, and privacy and comfort for all. Thus the transformation from a western-facing, concrete parking area (hot!!!) to a cool, screened back patio oasis. Ali & Evan already had a lot of great ideas (for instance, using the IKEA APPLARO screens) that fit the aesthetic and also allowed us to do this makeover on a budget.

The lean-to structure immediately creates a sense of privacy and much needed shade, but still allows for airflow and light. The look of the patio is centered around the colorful Laotian lanterns that Ali showed me at our first meeting. They bought them while traveling and were waiting for the right moment to use them.

For design consistency we hacked the IKEA APPLARO storage benches to create a larger bench that can store toys and other miscellaneous outdoor tools.

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

For entertaining we added a bistro table and cafe chairs (a nod to the colonial French influence that still prevails in Luang Prabang), a few side tables, and a barrel strap chair.

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Since Ali & Evan clearly already had a strong sense of style, I primarily worked with Ali to select furniture & plants that fit into the Southest Asian aesthetic, along with a touch of French Bistro and SoCal outdoor lifestyle. Quite a transformation!

We originally used the IKEA APPLARO screens to create privacy and divide the space from the parking. Incidentally the space feels so much bigger now that it’s enclosed!

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

While Ali and Evan love plants, they have a tendency to kill them easily so Lake helped pick plants that were drought resistant and easy to care for.

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

PATIO (designed by Array Living)

  • Bistro Table — World Market
  • Parisian Bistro Chairs — RPG
  • ÄPPLARÖ Wood Shelves — IKEA
  • ÄPPLARÖ Storage Bench — IKEA (hack w/ custom cushion)
  • Black & White Striped Lumbar Pillows — World Market
  • Herringbone Cotton Throw Pillow — World Market
  • Yellow Basket Weave Lumbar Pillows — World Market
  • BITTERGURKA Hanging Planter — IKEA
  • Outdoor Rug — eSale Rugs
  • Barrel Strap Chair — Orchard Supply Hardware
  • Smith & Hawkin Heavy Duty Drop String Lights — Target
  • Multi-Colored Hanging Lanterns — Travel score (Luang Prabang, Laos)

Thank you Ali, Evan and Lake!


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