7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Compact Patio Space
Transform your small patio into a comforting refuge with these effective decor ideas to maximize the space.
It may be compact, but your patio can pack a powerful punch with the help of a few well-thought-out decorative elements. Find easy ways to give your outdoor space a more complete appearance, including using plants and flowers to bring color and privacy. If a green thumb isn’t something you have, you can also give your patio an instant boost in ambiance through lighting and flooring additions, among other things.
Regardless of what you decide, one thing is clear: It won’t take much to make your compact patio more welcoming. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
1. Designate a Bar Area
If entertaining is something you enjoy, then your patio should include a bar or refreshment area. It can be as simple as a designated space for housing a container of iced beverages, plates, cups, utensils, and a small grill. A patio too compact for a bar console or cart can simply make use of a tray to hold the drinks and snacks — versatile and efficient.
2. Fix Up the Floors
Painting or staining underfoot with an attractive accent color is a great way to tie your entire outdoor space together. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try some sort of pattern. Floor materials that can be painted? Wood, concrete, or even less-than-attractive tiles. Just be sure to go through the proper preparation steps and choose an appropriate paint or stain product for the surface.
Another way to bring a little individuality and coziness to the area is with an outdoor rug. Rugs can also define a space, delineating lounge areas from walkways or dining spots. If your patio has a little extra room to work with, consider placing a rug beneath the sitting area to give the illusion of space within the confines of your small patio.
3. Add Plants and Flowers
One of the easiest ways to inject a little life and color into your patio is to incorporate flowers on tables and side stools. Simply arrange some fresh flowers in a favorite vessel. A small detail? For sure. But it’s one that can have a large impact on the overall appearance and feel of the space.
Potted plants are another element that you can do a lot with — particularly when mixing various styles, colors, sizes and heights. They tend to bring an eclectic, collected-over-time feel to a space. Alternatively, try using a collection of the same type of plant in the same kind of pot throughout the space for a cohesive look that is minimal, but cozy.
4. Be Thoughtful About Seating
A carefully laid out seating arrangement can consolidate space on your compact patio. If seeking to maximize lounge-style seating, try incorporating outdoor dining chairs that feature cushioned seats and arms for comfort, but aren’t as large as other types of loungers.
Tip: Small, stocky outdoor stools make great additions as a double-duty solution for additional seating, or a table surface for holding refreshments and other small items.
5. Go for Bold Color & Patterns
Incorporating a variety of bold patterns and colors into the space can make your patio feel double the size in an instant. Use color coordinated styles in both subdued and vivid hues to make your decor stand out.
6. Use Fire for Ambiance
As long as your space isn’t confined by an overhang or ceiling, fire bowls are a powerful way to bring cozy vibes to an outdoor patio. Plus, the warmth from the fire will enable you to stay outside longer — well into the cooler months.
If a full-on fire pit isn’t something that will work in your patio space, consider smaller elements like candles or string lights to create that warm ambiance. String lights are ideal to line walkways, while distributing candles throughout the space (on tables and around pots and planters) creates a pretty visual. You can also take it a step further by putting the candles into lanterns.
7. Include a Game Table
What’s more entertaining than gathering family and friends around the table to play a game? Quite simply, every home needs a game table — one that is small enough to fit in the space, but big enough to accommodate your favorite games. When a game table doesn’t fit inside the home, simply add it to your outdoor space.