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For as long as I can remember, my parents have wanted a patio off of their house. This summer, they finally added a French inspired, gravel patio, giving them more outdoor space to eat, read, and entertain.

This project was single-handedly completed by my father who claims this is the perfect DIY for someone with "more brawn than brains." If you don't have a lot of experience, or a lot of help, this is a great project because it is very straightforward and can be managed by one person. This project is also very budget friendly and was finished for less than $1,250!


1. Enough 4x4 pressure treated wood to frame out the exterior wall of your patio

2. A powerful drill

3. 1/2" drill bit

4. A sledgehammer

5. Rebar (metal stakes which will secure the pressure treated wood into the ground)

6. A chop saw

7. Gravel. We purchased ours from Bedford Gravel Supply. Your local rock store can help you determine how much gravel you need if you give them the dimensions of the space you want to fill.


1. Determine the footprint of your patio 2. Lay out your pressure treated wood to form the exterior wall of your patio

3. Drill holes in the pressure treated wood every 2 feet 4. Hammer the rebar through the drill holes and into the ground with your sledgehammer. Continue this process until your entire patio is framed out

5. Lay down the landscapers cloth on top of your grass (pictured below)

6. Pour the gravel into the framed out area

7. Rake out the gravel and you are finished!

A few things to consider before you take on this project. Make sure you have a place VERY close to your project site to store the gravel when it is delivered. Also confirm that the company delivering your gravel can get as close to the project site as possible. I'm telling you this because the truck that delivered our gravel couldn't fit in our backyard. They ended up dumping the gravel on the driveway which is on the opposite side of the house. This made for many, many, many, many, many, many trips back and forth with a wheelbarrow. My dad estimates it added an extra 12 hours of work to the project. If the truck was able to make it into the backyard, they could have dumped the gravel directly into the framed out section; all he would have had to do is rake it out! #regrets


Eventually the pressure treated wood will fade to an ashy gray and blend in with the stones.

We found these shutters at New England Antique Lumber and painted them Bavarian Forest by Benjamin Moore.

My parents found three giant urns on craigslist for a total of $170! They wanted the patio to be very sculptural, so they decided to plant boxwood inside them.

There were a few colors of gravel to choose from, but they ended up with this white/pink/gray mixture. When picking a gravel, make sure to look at it when it is both wet and dry.

Eventually, they would like to replace the round metal table with a long French farm table.

We set up a potting table on the side of the house. The clock hung above it is from Infinity Instruments.

From inside looking out. For those of you who have been following along for a while, I'm standing in the arsenic green living room.

A photo of my mom and nephew in the French window

Looking to redo your space?

I'd love to work with you! Say hi!


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