4 Tips for Creating a DIY Outdoor Oasis

From butterfly-friendly flowers to easy handmade furniture, these expert tips will transform outdoor living spaces.

This year’s turbulent beginnings were layered with lessons—among them, the importance of the home as a place of refuge. After spending the last three months indoors, people are in need of some quality time outside. With summer fast approaching, it is the perfect time to focus on revamping outdoor furniture, sitting areas, and gardens ahead of summer cookouts and family gatherings. Here, Leah Muller of Vero Beach–based Leah Muller Interiors shares some simple DIY projects to spruce up outdoor spaces.



Construct a sectional, chaise, daybed, planter, table, or all of the above out of reclaimed wood pallets. You can customize these pieces to fit a balcony, yard, or patio, making them an ideal solution for comfy-cozy outdoor living.

Haul: Pallets, electric orbital sander, saw or jigsaw, tape measure, hammer and nails, screwdriver and screws, drill, safety goggles, gloves, and polyurethane varnish.

Do It Yourself

Calculate the dimensions of your pallets and cushions depending on what type of furniture you want to create, then cut your pallets to size if necessary. Sand down sharp edges and splintery snags, beginning with the lowest grit and working your way up. Attach your pallets, treat the wood, then pile on the pillows.

Tip: Source discarded pallets from construction companies, garden shops, equipment stores, or small businesses with inventory.


Add cushions upholstered in a weatherproof, marine-quality fabric like Sunbrella, then shop Island Living & Patio in West Palm Beach to complete the look with Elaine Smith pillows and a Vineyard umbrella.

Outdoor Oasis

Muller suggests adding window boxes. “They’re easy to install, add color, attract birds and butterflies, and you can find numerous styles at Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Target.” Garden paths are another simple yet effective addition. “Find stones that match the architectural style of your house; an irregular flagstone looks pretty with a traditional house, while a round concrete stone looks nice with a contemporary home.”

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