• Nicola Cummins

A Moroccan Oasis

Even though the weather has turned, now is still a great time to plan a patio update. If your patio less than impressive, Fear not. I have some tips to show you how to upgrade your patio to provide a retreat, for a relatively small budget this summer. If like me, you were planning on jetting off somewhere sunny, to enjoy a nice roof garden or terrace, an exotic beach... why not enjoy a holiday from home instead, have a stay-cation.

I started this project by looking back on inspirational trips to Valencia and Marrakesh. I want to share with you the process i went through to create a little idyllic oasis of calm and a space I feel energised in, all on a shoestring budget.

It all started with a blank wall at the side of the house, and less than impressive square of concrete. I always start a project with a mood board too!



Beautiful tiles in Valencia!


All the elements I wanted to bring in - eclectic and unusual items!


Preparation is key! Like with any Interior project the success of the makeover is always in the prep. I cleaned all the bricks and made sure there wasn't any loose render. I jet washed the patio and swept the area the day before I intended to start work on.


Various stages of the wall and floor!


The wall took 2 coats of Leyland Trade smooth masonry in 'Rainbow Bright'. To apply the paint I used a long pile roller - this got in the gaps and covered well. I did have to touch up areas and cut in with a large masonry paint brush - because it wasn't perfect!


The paint was colour mixed from the Decorating Centre Online (one of the only places still operating during lockdown. They kept reaching their daily limit on orders so it did take quite some time before I could get my order in, but it was worth the wait - and they were very speedy all things considered) If you want something similar try Designers Guild 'Cobalt Blue'. It was quite a task trying to find a shade with just enough brightness but also depth - I didn't want it to come across as a primary blue.


I then used the same paint on the patio floor, again with a long pile roller. I got a stencil from Etsy, which was easy to use. They recommended applying with a sponge - but the surface was so uneven i opted for the roller instead. I know this won't exactly stand the test of time, it can be touched up however using the stencil again when it needs it. But the overall effect is quite distressed and imperfect, which i like. I would have liked some Encaustic tiles, but being tight on budget and given we might make changes to this area in future, decided on a semi-permanent fix.


I love these from spanish brand Marrakeche - votaire allmoge


I saved some of the old drawers from the kitchen rip out (much to the Hubby's dismay - 'what on earth are you going to do with those' i distinctly remember him staying) Along with an old DVD display case, and a wire basket we no longer used. We were also very lucky that the greenhouse is the gift that keeps on giving - we inherited an old rickety greenhouse, it has been a major supplier of pots, baskets and equipment, thanks to the previous owners. My advice is - don't throw out anything on a whim - can it be re-used or repurposed?!


Here it is, the completed patio and walled Moroccan garden, complete with a few plants too, perfect for sunny evenings...oh but it's raining now... typical British weather!!



I've also created a checklist if you're starting your own project - check out my blog post 'how to update your outdoor space'. Please feel free to comment and let me know if you found this useful.


I hope to see you here again soon!


Nicola



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