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Small Patio Inspiration

Small Patio Inspiration

A tiny outdoor space may seem impossible to decorate, but with the help of some outside-the-box small patio ideas, it’s clear that there’s actually plenty you can do to make the most of your small outdoor space. A patio makeover doesn’t have to be a challenge, or a competition with greenery; in fact, with the right design, it can bridge the gap between your interior and exterior living spaces. 

Exterior of Georgian townhouse with garden seating area and large standard anglepoise lamp

How do I make a small inviting patio?

To make a small patio into a coveted alcove, provide a visual focus, like a small statue in a niche of boxwood or a sculptural tree that adorns the space, Lichten recommends. Adding a fish pond with koi, a gurgling fountain, or even a wind chime can further play into the sense of sound. A firepit checks a lot of boxes on the quest to a more inviting small patio, offering a distinct smell, sight, and sound. Installing a pergola can also create much desired shade and privacy.

a living wall, framework with plants, vertical planting, above a sunken seating area in an urban garden

How do I make my small patio more comfortable?

Extending the conveniences of the indoors to the outside is essential when creating a comfortable small patio. “Covering a patio defines it as more of an outdoor living space, giving it structure as well as extending its use throughout the day and, often, into the evening,” New York architect Eric J. Smith advises. “People can sit, lounge, or dine underneath a covered patio with flexible furniture arrangements, and adding a fan and some discreet lighting enhances the enjoyment.” A small outdoor bar or mini fridge can reduce back-and-forth trips to the house, making everyone feel more at ease, Smith adds. 

patio area with grey pergola with sofa

What can I put on a small patio?

Consider the typical elements of a living room when it comes to your patio design. A small outdoor coffee table offers a spot to place refreshments, though a side table can be used instead depending on your floor space. Think about how you plan to use the outdoor space—lounge chairs add a spot to enjoy the sunshine, while a bistro set is ideal if you envision enjoying a morning coffee alfresco. If the patio area is freestanding, building lattice panels on one side to use as a backdrop for the furniture is another solid option, Smith recommends. Alternatively, add a hammock for a bohemian makeover.  Read on for more small patio ideas hand-picked from designers and architects who know how to have a good time in an outdoor space.

patio kitchen with pizza oven and basket

patio area with dining table and chairs

patio area with white bench and cushions

garden area with pink table and chair

terrace garden with tea table and pink table


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