Empty Nest Refresh | Back Patio Update For Summer

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell
woman over 50 wearing tie die tee and white shorts sitting on a chair with her back patio behind her

Bob and I love hot weather. That’s a good thing since our residences are in Texas and Florida, right? 🌞 In both places, we live on our back porches. The big difference between the two? The view of course!

lanai of beach condo looking out at table and chairs and palm tree and beach
This is the view from the back patio of our beach condo in Sanibel Island, Florida!

Last year, we decided to do an empty nest refresh on the back patio of our Texas home. We had two main objectives:

  1. Create a visual transition from the family room to the back yard.
  2. Create a space that reminded us of our beloved beach in Florida.

Patio Update: Let’s Catch Up!

I published a post last year about our initial patio update, but a lot has changed, so I’ve refreshed that post (kind of like the patio!) with all new information, and I’m sharing that with you today! Here’s a rundown of the basics.

8 Great Things About Empty Nesting

Download This Exclusive Content!

Already subscribed?
Enter your email—you won’t be subscribed twice!

The Furniture

We bought our sturdy iron patio furniture when we built the house in 2004 from now-defunct brand Smith & Hawken. It was a big investment at the time, but we made the decision to go for high-quality furniture that would last. We haven’t regretted it for a moment! If you’re in the market and you’re going for well-made, high-quality furniture, I would recommend .

The Fabric

When we purchased the cushions that came with the furniture, we opted for a very plain taupe outdoor Sunbrella fabric that wouldn’t show the dirt! After all, we had three young children in the house back then!

When we decided it was time for an update, I shared our vision with the interior designer, and she helped me select the outdoor fabric, and arranged for reupholstery. Since I wanted to use the space to visually transition from indoors to out, I selected a fabric that had plenty of blue that was similar to the blue I used in my family room decor. Then we wanted green to mirror the grass in our backyard!

colorful back patio

The Rug

Although it’s fairly common, I still really love the we selected for the outdoor spaces when we built our home, and I knew I didn’t want to cover too much of it with a large rug! I opted for a smaller indoor/outdoor rug from Frontgate. (They have a great selection of indoor/outdoor rugs!) It also comes in and . They’re on sale right now! We clean ours with the garden hose a few times a year! 😂

Back Patio Update: The Decor

Throw Pillows

I love throw pillows because I think they make a space look cozy and inviting! I wanted , and also a monogrammed with an “M” for our last name. Frontgate to the rescue again!

outdoor sofa with blue and green striped fabric cushions
outdoor chair with blue and green striped fabric cushions

I ordered the pillows in a shade called “Air Blue” from Frontgate and chose the monogram option. (But, of course!😁) Since our main fabric is so busy, I selected pillows with simple piping, but you can also opt for fringe or tassels for a more customized look. has a fantastic selection of outdoor pillows in tons of colors and patterns! You can browse the entire pillow collection HERE.

I loved the blue pillows, but when I put them in the corners of the sofa, I thought it looked a little boring! (Suzy, always the color-lover!) So, to add a little bit of extra fun, I added two square Lilly Pulitzer pillows behind the blue ones! They’re not available anymore, but you can find similar options HERE at Redbubble or find my fabric (“Cheek to Cheek”) HERE on Etsy.


I absolutely adore blue hydrangeas, and I knew I wanted a beautiful blue hydrangea wreath on our back patio.

closeup of blue hydrangea wreath

I found mine at Frontgate, but it has since sold out. I looked high and low, and found lots of beautiful, similar choices for you!

My metal wreath stand is something I’ve had for years. I love it because it allows me to put a wreath anywhere, and move it around, without committing to a specific spot on the wall and making a big hole! Here are some similar wreath stands.

Back Patio Update: The Accessories

If you saw my post on how I’m currently accessorizing my new home office, you know that I love this part of the decorating process! Once we decided on a beach theme, it was pretty easy. (And we’ve had the best time adding to it!)

Coffee Table Books

I knew I wanted to work in some beachy coffee table books into our back patio decor. I ordered those first and had so much fun looking through them for inspiration! I’m that person who actually reads coffee table books! 😂

Surface Decor

close up of beach decor used on back patio

Since we’ve gone to Sanibel Island most of our lives, Bob and I have a pretty impressive shell collection, if I do say so myself! (Sanibel Island, Florida is known as one of the best shelling islands in the world. In fact, the National Shell Museum is located on the island!) One of the things that was really important to me when it came to updating the back patio was to find lots of opportunities to display our collection! First, I added a 10″ oblong glass vase. Then I ordered this 20-piece preserved starfish set to add in with some of the sand dollars we’ve collected in Sanibel over the years. (If you don’t have sand dollars, but love them, you can order them HERE.)


What’s a beach-themed room without a beautiful piece of coral? I wanted to pull in the blue, if possible, so that’s what I looked for first! I found THIS one and I loved the fact that it was realistic-looking resin. At 6.5 In. X 9.8 In. X 10.6 In., it was also the right size! As I was searching for just the right thing, I pulled some others that might inspire you!


I knew I wanted some white lanterns to add height in a couple of spots on our patio, so I started searching! I ended up deciding on a set very similar to THIS set of two. There were so many good options (see below), that I had a tough time making a choice! I added some flameless candles, and I was good to go!

Coffee Table

colorful back patio

The coffee table was a fun combination of new things and things I already owned! I already had the handled bamboo serving tray. (I found similar for you HERE.) The white ceramic bird planter was a gift from a friend, and I found similar for you HERE.

About a year ago, I bought a variety-pack of artificial succulents, and they’ve been a great buy! I’ve used them in various places throughout my home.

Next, I grabbed a short clear vase I already owned (similar HERE) and added a few pieces from our (vast!) shell collection (similar HERE.).

I grabbed a tall glass vase with a metal handle (similar HERE) that I already owned and ordered these blue silk hydrangeas to go inside. (The quality is outstanding!) Once the blue hydrangea wreath came, I didn’t really need them on the table, so I’ve been playing with them in different locations, both indoors and out!

End Table

patio end table

On the end table, I put the taller of the two lanterns filled with flameless candles. Then I filled another tall glass jar with starfish, sand dollars, and some shells from our personal collection (similar HERE), and I added another succulent in a white ceramic planter.

Bistro Table & Chair Set

Right after our nest emptied, Bob and I decided it would be fun to have the option to eat out on our porch, at a cozy little table.

I found this lightweight aluminum bistro table & chair set, and surprised him with it for our anniversary! I bought a set of four round chair pads since this table sits near the edge of the patio and I knew it would be exposed to the elements. It’s good to know I have replacements right on hand. The yellow silk Kalanchoe is from Amazon! It looks so real and I love that I don’t have to remember to water it.

Back Patio Update: The Annual Clean Out!

During the winter months, we cover our outdoor furniture and outdoor TV with Amazon Basics Outdoor Patio Furniture Covers, which I highly recommend! They are absolute essentials for us and came in especially handy this year when our pool was remodeled. It was SO dusty!

A few weekends ago, Bob and I did a massive clean out of our patio area, and now we’ve restored the space to a place we love! It’s been raining a lot in Dallas, lately, but we love to sit out there and watch the rain! As the final stage in our empty nest remodeling project, we’re having some work done on our landscaping and pool deck, so stay tuned for more!

woman over 50 wearing tie die tee and white shorts sitting on the arm of a chair with her back patio behind her

Tie Dye V Neck Tee ($11.99!) | 7″ Inseam Long White Denim Shorts (I’m wearing them rolled up.)

Do you have an outdoor space you love? How did you decorate it? I’d love to know! Leave me a comment and fill me in, okay?

We love our back patio update! Thank you for letting me share it with you! In case you missed anything, I added a boutique below to give you another look at everything I mentioned in this post. Click on any image you see for more information!

Thank you for sharing my content!
custom signature for suzy of empty nest blessed.smallversion

Similar Posts


  1. Shannon,
    I love that! A lunch date on the patio! Thank you for sharing that wonderful idea with me! Have a great weekend and thanks fo your sweet comment!
    xoxo Suzy

  2. Robben,
    You are so sweet! I’m glad you liked it! It was fun to put together! Renovating and updating the pool is one of our upcoming projects! So fun! We lived in it this weekend with the fam!
    Thanks so much for your comment!
    xoxo Suzy

  3. Hi Suzy, love what you’ve done with your back patio, it’s warm and cozy, can’t wait to see the redo of your pool. I so enjoy your blog and posts, I wish you and your family a wonderful Blessed summer!

    1. Nathalie,

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! I will show you the finished pool as soon as the deck is ready. The pool company is having trouble restoring it to its original condition and we are riding the struggle bus on that one right now! Hopefully, it will be resolved soon and I can share the finished look!

      Thanks for your kind and encouraging words!


Comments are closed.