Five Tips for Designing a Small Patio

Small spaces can be cozy and quaint, but designing a small patio can also be a challenge. You don’t want to overwhelm you space and make it feel cramped. Instead, follow some design rules to keep it feeling charming—like a secret hideout away from the hustle and bustle of the world. Here are five tips:

designing a small patio

Go All In With Color

Small patios can feature bright colors that might overwhelm a large space if used in a similar proportion. Bold primary colors, like red, yellow and blue can also give your space a rich feeling. Mix bright blue and green for a seaside feel, or use pastel or ice cream colors for a whimsical sense of fun.

designing a small patio

Find the Right Scale Furniture

Choose furnishings that look more streamlined and won’t eat up your floor space. You can find chairs, sofas, dining tables and even sectionals in a smaller scale. Or consider a backless settee or ottoman that can be used as seating as well as a table. Furniture with sleek frames are visually lighter and create a more open feel in your patio.

Choose Bench Seating

For dining, select a table that has a bench, which will take up less floor space and will tuck under when not in use, providing more area to walk. You can also use a bench with a back against a wall, which has a similar feel and benefit to banquette seating that saves space in a small kitchen.

Include a “Ceiling”

Make the space feel cozy and intimate by creating a ceiling. You can use a large umbrella, especially one that is on a cantilever that frees up floor space. Another option is a pergola. Or simply string lights from one side to another.

Add an Outdoor Rug

An outdoor rug help define a space and in a small patio it can give the impression of more square footage. Stripes lengthen a space, or choose a light neutral color.


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