Welcome to Chez J – Update 4 (Patio Design)

Spring is my absolute favorite time of the year!  The days are long enough to allow for a trail run or hike after work, and will continue to lengthen for a couple more months.  The jasmine is blooming.  The days are warm but breezy… Well, at least they are in Southern California.

It’s the time of year when I like to freshen up Chez J, the three-story San Diego townhouse I call home.

Townhome - Exterior Elevation

My focus right now is on the patio outside my office.  This space has two challenges:  First, it’s tiny at just 94 square feet, (not counting the unsightly AC unit).

Second, it’s not locked, so anything can theoretically be carried off by a thief or prankster.  I live in a pretty low crime area, but I have seen community postings about missing planters and the like.  Therefore, I hesitate to buy anything I’d cry hard over losing.

Third, our community by-laws prevent us from attaching anything to the walls, so I’m limited in what I can do.

Nonetheless, I will have a pretty space that I can enjoy using and looking at!

Here’s what’s already there

The walls surrounding the patio, (and the walls of my adjacent office), are this color. I like a visual flow between indoors and outdoors so I chose the interior color based on the exterior.

CJ4 - Paint - SW


(Photo Courtesy: Sherwin-Williams)


I’m not generally a fan of resin furniture, as most of it looks cheap and ugly.  These chairs caught my eye, though, because of their interesting shape and pattern.  They’re not trying to look like something they’re not (e.g., Adirondacks), which I prefer.  They’re also surprisingly comfortable, and don’t require footstools to stretch out your legs.  And at $65 apiece, I won’t be heartbroken if they disappear one day.

CJ4 - Ouytdoor Chairs

(Photo Courtesy: Lowe’s)

Because of the chairs’ busy style, I opted for a simple side table to hold drinks, munchies and a paperback.  After trying numerous options that just didn’t work well, I found a concrete planter and turned it upside down as a side table.

It’s the perfect height for the chairs.  Its simple, square lines complement them perfectly… And it weighs about 75 pounds, so no one is going to casually walk off with it!

CJ4 - Planter Table - Lowes

(Photo Courtesy: Lowe’s)

Decorating the patio

I like outdoor rugs and will choose one similar to this one, as its colors tie in the chairs, walls and planter table. Plus, it will complement the striped rug on the office floor, visible through the sliding patio doors.

CJ4 - Outdoor Rug - Lowes

(Photo Courtesy: Lowe’s)

I’ll add a few planters, one with a succulent garden, one with an herb garden for my slow cooker meals, and one with fragrant jasmine.  They’ll probably look like this one, complementing the chair and table colors.

CJ4 - Planter - Target

(Photo Courtesy: Target)

Hiding the AC unit

This is the most challenging piece of the project.  I don’t care for most of the resin screens I’ve seen on the market, and don’t think they’ll fit size- or style-wise with the rest of the space.  What I’m going to play with is stacking cinder blocks that match the planter table as a removable wall and putting glass votives in their openings.

Then I’ll start doing more than shielding my eyes when I come through my front door!

For more Chez J updates, please visit these posts

Chez J Update #3 – Garage and Bedroom Suites

Chez J Update #2 – Powder Room

Chez J Update #1 – Office and New Floors



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Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS,  MCCWC

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, MCCWC
San Diego, CA

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