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How to Make the Most of a Small Outdoor Space

Linda is a seasoned writer and bedrooms authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.

5 Small Outdoor Space Ideas

Many Americans plan to use their outdoor spaces virtually every day during spring, summer, and fall. No matter whether an outdoor space is screened-in or open-air, they're considered extensions of the home. Most of today's outdoor spaces include everything you could need. Dining, lounging, and entertainment zones are virtually the same as you have inside your home.

However, not all of us are blessed with an expansive outdoor entertainment area. Whether you have a dinky patio, narrow balcony, or a diminutive deck, you can turn it into a beautiful, practical, and fun outdoor space to enjoy. Check out these super easy tips to give your small outdoor space the big presence it deserves.

A cozy outdoor living room extends your indoor space.

A cozy outdoor living room extends your indoor space.

1. Treat It Like Another Room in Your House

You don’t have to spend much money at all on a small balcony. Leave the door or slider to your outdoor space open and make it an extension of your indoor living space. All you need is an all-weather area rug and a simple seating group to create an extra “room”—layer on a few outdoor pillows, candles, and plants to connect the outdoor and indoor.

A three-piece bistro set is all you need for a compact patio.

A three-piece bistro set is all you need for a compact patio.

2. Go Minimal

Creating a dreamy patio in a small footprint might be a bit cramped, but it is possible! With just the right furnishings, you can turn an empty patio into a stylish and sophisticated outdoor escape. A small-scale patio can inspire you to think big, no matter the size.

Even if you have a teeny-tiny patio, keep things simple. Three furniture pieces and a potted plant will do the trick. A bistro set can double for entertaining and dining to make your small outdoor space extremely versatile.

This small outdoor area is balanced with just the right furniture and decoration proportions.

This small outdoor area is balanced with just the right furniture and decoration proportions.

3. Consider Scale and Proportion

Bring in different elements for your outdoor room, such as furniture, accessories, and potted plants. If you only have a single chair in your outdoor area, it may seem way too minimal. At the other end of the spectrum, you can fill up the space. Make sure you have enough room to move around without tripping over furniture.

Create a well-proportioned outdoor entertainment area with furniture that fits the space and is stylish and practical. Add accessories a little at a time, so it doesn’t look cluttered. Use items of similar scale, so they don’t overwhelm the dimensions of your patio. Incorporate balance through shape, color, and texture for a pleasing effect.

Folding chairs and tables can be stored away to use the balcony as a cocktail bar.

Folding chairs and tables can be stored away to use the balcony as a cocktail bar.

4. Use Space Saving Furniture

Plan your outdoor furniture arrangement by choosing the ideal pieces and opting for space-saving designs. If you prefer an outdoor dining room, a conversation area for friends and family, or a relaxing lounge space, there are several compact outdoor furniture options to create the ideal arrangement.

Give yourself and your guests a little breathing room by using functional furniture that easily folds up and can move it out of the way when not in use. A folding table and chairs can come out for an intimate dinner party or prop it up against the wall when you're ready for a relaxing afternoon in your chaise lounge and side table. Also, consider a beautiful wooden bench that offers extra seating and storage to keep the space tidy.

Wall planters draw your eye up to create visual interest in a tiny outdoor space.

Wall planters draw your eye up to create visual interest in a tiny outdoor space.

5. Draw the Eye Up and Around the Space

You may not have square footage on your side, but you can give your patio the illusion of additional space by utilizing vertical and horizontal surfaces. A patio umbrella not only protects you from the summer sun it also adds height. Plant a hanging wall garden to free up floor space and give your small balcony visual interest; if you have a patio cover, install a set of string lights overhead to draw your eye up and enhance the mood.

You can also construct levels to create movement, depth, and definition in separate spaces. Use a combination of materials, such as decking or inexpensive wood pallets, pieces of stone, and/or synthetic grass, to give each area a distinctive look and feel.

© 2019 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on March 07, 2019:

Eman, that's right. It's quite easy to make one stylish and functional.

Eman Abdallah Kamel from Egypt on March 07, 2019:

Most people complain about narrow balconies. I think after this article the narrow spaces will be more beautiful.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on March 05, 2019:

Thanks for your nice comment, Liz. My narrow, small deck is just big enough for two seating areas, which is really all I need.

Liz Westwood from UK on March 05, 2019:

Our garden could do with a makeover. You give great ideas for outdoor spaces in this article.

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