See how a mum transformed drab courtyard into cosy monochrome hang out for just £100

Do you have a neglected courtyard ready to be given a new lease of life?

Whether it's a garden, balcony, or courtyard, any outdoor space should be used to the max. One thrifty mum has transformed her drab courtyard into a cute and inviting outdoor living space for just £100.

Related: Outdoor living room ideas – how to create the perfect living space in your garden

Previously looking a little neglected and uninspiring, the courtyard is now a lovely space to hang out with friends and family.


patio area with white windows

(Image credit: @21oakham)

'With summer fast approaching, we wanted to create a space to relax and chill in but on a budget,' Becky Lane tells MyToolShed. Her courtyard had some higgledy-piggledy paving which they decided to paint using a sandstone colour masonry paint.

This instantly brightened up the space and made it feel bigger. However, the old paving needed a little TLC before there was any painting.

'We started by jet washing the whole courtyard. I then removed all the dead shrubs and weeds,' Becky says.


patio area makeover with grey sofa and carpet

(Image credit: @21Oakham)

'Once the paving was washed, we painted it using white masonry paint.' This acted as a primer and allowed them to see all the cracks in the paving.

Next, having watched some YouTube videos on using ready-mixed mortar to fill in the cracks, Becky's husband got to work. They also painted some old pots left behind by the previous owner using the white maisonry paint.

Some patterned monochrome accessories later and the courtyard is totally unrecognisable. We love the outdoor cushions for extra garden seating ideas, and the consistent use of black and white makes an impact.

patio area with white floor and potted plants

(Image credit: @21Oakham)

It looks perfect for evenings with some friends, cocktails, and your best BBQ burning away. The fairy lights and candles make for a very cosy set up. They've thought of everything with the blanket, plus the raised bed and pots resting on the white wooden fence makes great use of the vertical space.

The swing frame is from Facebook Marketplace - Becky and her husband spray painted it black and added the rope swing chair. Bamboo screens are a genius garden fence idea for this space, creating privacy and bringing some texture and beachy vibes.

patio makeover with black swing and plants

(Image credit: @21oakham)

'It’s amazing what a second-hand chair or pot off Facebook Marketplace looks like after you blast it with a can of spray paint!' Becky says. Follow Becky Lane on Instagram @21oakham.

Related: See how a DIY fan saved £100s on garden decking by using an old industrial pallet

If you're feeling inspired, take a look at our budget garden ideas piece. Becky's top tip is to make a mood board using your favourite Instagram and Pinterest accounts. Starting with a vision will help you keep focused, and stops you buying bits you love that don't really fit with the overall scheme.

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.