Small patio decorating ideas

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Fun Garden Accessories

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Decorating on a Budget

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Just because you don’t have a big backyard doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the fresh air. Use these ideas to make whatever you’ve got into an outdoor oasis.

1. Keep It Cheerful

Victoria Pearson

On the brick patio of a tiny California bungalow, designer Krista Ewart kept the mood fresh and playful to match the decor inside. A white 1960s lawn furniture set is perked up with a pink patterned tablecloth.

2. Get Creative With the Floors

Dulcet Creative via Passion Shake

Amber Throne of Dulcet Creative dressed up her tiny patio with an outdoor fireplace, minimalist seating, and a few throw pillows. But that detail that really pulls it altogether is the patterned floor.

Tour the rest of the house “

3. Don’t Dismiss Your Rental

Courtesy of A Piece of Rainbow

Ananda of A Piece of Rainbow thought outside the box when she redecorated her rental apartment’s drab patio. From shipping pallets, she and her husband made free-standing walls, floating floor tiles, and furniture — all of which could be easily removed when it’s time to move.

Take a look at the transformation “

4. Rethink What You’ve Got

Victoria Pearson

Don’t write off a small patch of land because it’s overgrown with weeds or is awkwardly located. Designer Myra Hoefer was inspired by the way Parisians turn balconies or pathways into “poetic spaces for lunch, drinks, or dinner.” She transformed her tiny front yard into a pocket paradise, a walled courtyard with graystone pavers, a fountain, Adirondack chairs, and a marble-and-iron table.

5. Be Strategic About Furniture

Freshome via Apartment Therapy

Invest in some space-saving furniture like folding tables and chairs, nesting tables, or two-in-one pieces like storage ottomans and benches.

From Freshome via Apartment Therapy

6. Add Plants

The Desi Wonder Woman

This seems like a no-brainer, but in small apartment balconies like blogger The Desi Wonder Woman’s, it’s important to mix in greenery to offset the urban environment. To create a “jungalow” feel, she added wicker chairs, vibrant pillows, a leather footstool used as a side table, and a striped rug.

See more of her balcony “

7. Hang a Mirror

Victoria Pearson

Mirrors can work magic indoors and outdoors, helping to expand a small space. Designer Dan Marty loves to entertain friends and family in the patio of his Los Angeles apartment, so he added interior accents such as a mirror, chandelier, and plenty of candles.

More Outdoor Design Tips:

  • 10 Easy Outdoor Decorating Ideas
  • Rooms We Can’t Believe Are Outdoors
  • 7 Incredible Outdoor Kitchens
  • 12 Reasons to Dine Alfresco

Sarah Yang Web Editor I’m a web editor at,, and

If you’re seeking inspiration to spruce up your small patio or balcony space, we have some fabulous design tips to help you get started. During the warm summer months, we tend to spend a lot more time outside, so it’s time to design or re-design your veranda to create a cozy ambiance that will encourage you to spend more time in the great outdoors. Try to make the most of your space without spending a lot of money or time by using plants and accessories to your outdoor space. From re-arranging furnishings to increasing your small space with the use of a mirror to even adding an outdoor area rug, these practical tips should help to spark your creative juices. Be sure to let us know which outdoor patio was your favorite!

In case you missed it, we posted an article last week with an incredible collection of inspiring outdoor room design ideas, be sure to have a look here.

Add plantings

Fresh, vibrant plants can transform the look and feel of your patio, so any investment you make here is well worth your while. Give existing plantings a little TLC, remove dead leaves and spent blooms, and water well. If you have empty pots to fill, make a trip to the garden center and choose new plants. Be sure to select healthy plants that are suited to the light levels of your patio — and don’t hesitate to ask for advice if you need it.

Add a small, charming note

Sometimes, especially on a small patio, all you need is one just-right accent to make the whole space come to life. A potted lavender plant (or any other outdoor plant with colorful flowers) on a small side table may be all you need for that extra burst of color.

Add plump pillows

Fresh throw pillows can freshen up the look of a space in an instant. Outdoor fabrics are best, because they are designed to resist sun bleaching and mildew. If you can’t resist using indoor pillows on your patio, simply keep a storage bench in a protected spot at hand to throw them into, and they should last outdoors for a long time.

Define the border

Edging your patio area with plants can help your space feel more inviting and intimate. Planters filled with shrubbery make an excellent border. In a patio that is open to a larger yard, they can stand in as a fence alternative, but even in a small space, they can soften the fence line.

Choose a color scheme

Sticking to two or three colors throughout the space will help your patio look polished and put-together.

Use an indoor-outdoor rug

An outdoor seating area instantly becomes cozier and more welcoming with the addition of a rug. For a dining area, the rug should be large enough to fit beneath the chairs when they are pulled out slightly. For a couch seating area, the rug can fit either under all of the furniture or just beneath the coffee table and reach to the front feet of the furniture.

Add a freestanding umbrella

On an uncovered patio, an umbrella is a must. The freestanding type gives you much more flexibility to place it where it is needed, and will work with any table or chairs.

Create a focal point

Think about what you use your patio for, and what you would like to use it for in the future. Is the furniture arranged in a way that makes sense for your needs? Just as in your living room, it usually looks best to pull the furniture away from the walls. Experiment with different arrangements until it feels right.

Make a fresh start

Giving your patio a top-to-bottom spring cleaning can do wonders. Sweep away leaves and other debris, clean patio furniture, wash exterior windows and hose down the floor. Throw away any junk that has accumulated in the area.

Soften corners with plants

Sharply angled corners are not only a challenge to decorate, but if left empty they can make a space feel cramped and uncomfortable. Fill in tight corners with potted plants to soften the angles — tall plants and topiaries work especially well.

Think about the style and mood you wish to create

Sleek, modern and cheerful? Moody, lush and eclectic? Try to nail down the look and feel you want in a few words, and use them to help you make decisions when you are out shopping.

Hang a mirror

Hanging a mirror on an exterior wall or fence is a great way to create a feeling of spaciousness on a small patio. Choose a mirror frame that can stand up to the elements, and hang it in a covered area.

  • Need some small patio ideas for your balcony or other outdoor space? Do you imagine it as a calm spot to sip your coffee in the morning and a welcoming retreat to come home to at the end of your day?

    Here’s a few small patio decor ideas to help you bring that image to life.

    Real quick – We work hard to find great stuff you’ll love! If you buy something through the links on this page, we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Full disclosure here. We hope you enjoy our tips and product suggestions!

    25 Small Patio Ideas and Decorating Tips

    1. Pick a purpose for your small patio

    Before deciding what to do with your little outdoor space, think about how you will use it.

    Do you dine out there and entertain guests or is it a spot just for you to sit and relax with a beverage? Maybe you want it to be your own private sanctuary where you paint, write music, or meditate.

    However you use it, let that determine how you furnish and decorate it. For example, there’s no reason to buy an outdoor table big enough to have a meal on if you won’t be dining there. Makes sense, right?

    In the small patio below, this homeowner decided it would be a place for her and friends to kick back and relax. I love the small patio decor idea of using pillows instead of chairs to give the space a charming, relaxed feel.

    Like this small space patio idea?

    To get this look with less upkeep, use outdoor patio cushions! They work great as floor cushions and who says you can only use them on furniture? Check out these cushion and accent pillow sets below. They come in tons of colors and have fabulous reviews!

    Outdoor Floor Cushion Set Comes in a Ton of Patterns!Outdoor Accent Pillows in Loads of Colors!

    2. Think of it as an extension of your home

    A patio or balcony can add some real usable square footage to your small space. Keep your small patio decor in the same style and color scheme as your home so it feels like another room and is cohesive with the rest of your decor.

    3. No small patio is too small

    Even a tiny outdoor balcony can be utilized as additional living space. This homeowner obviously wanted an outdoor nap spot and their dinky balcony did not deter them from getting it!

    A hammock is a great idea for a small patio. It gives their space a laid back, Jamaican vibe.

    Like this small patio decorating idea?

    Me too, mon! Below are a couple deals on a highly rated hammock and hammock chair to add this vibe to your small patio decor.

    Indoor/Outdoor Hammock in Choice of ColorsIndoor/Outdoor Hammock Chair Swing

    4. Keep your small patio clear of clutter

    Clutter makes any space look tiny and disorganized and it’s no different with an outdoor space. The best small patio idea is to have a spot to hide unsightly clutter. Make sure the things you place in your small patio decor are intentional and add to the beauty of the space.

    Do you love the side table in this small patio decor idea?

    You can find a similar one below. This red one is cool because it’s seating, storage and table all in one and comes in several colors!

    Patio Side Table/Seat with StorageRattan Outdoor Table with Storage

    5. Get creative with the floor

    Here’s a few small space patio ideas for your outdoor flooring. There are actually many ways to make the floor of your tiny outdoor retreat not look like a sidewalk.

    Peel and stick linoleum, interlocking floor mats, or even painting the floor (if you’re not in a rental) are great small patio ideas to make it more finished and feel like another room.

    I love the look of this cozy small patio decor!

    Below are some good brands of interlocking floor tiles to help you get this look in your small patio space.

    Easy Interlocking Patio PaversIkea Interlocking Tiles – More Color Choices!

    6. Warm up your small patio decor with rugs

    Rugs are one of the easiest small patio ideas to implement. They are an inexpensive way to give an outdoor floor a makeover and add warmth and texture to your little space.

    The outdoor rugs below are highly-rated and come in several sizes and a huge array of colors and patterns. Rugs are a fabulous small patio decor idea!

    Fab Outdoor RugMarbella Outdoor Rug

    For a really inexpensive and outdoor friendly rug, try making a painted dropcloth rug. This video shows how to do it. The patio in the video is large, but if you’re making a rug for a small patio, this is a quick and easy project.

    7. Potted plants are a gorgeous small patio decor idea

    The best thing about the outdoors is fresh air and greenery. Plants add life and charm to balconies and patios and are one of the best small patio ideas to enhance your outdoor space.

    Even the tiniest of balconies, like the one below, can be a lovely spot to have morning coffee and it’s more than just having a table and chair on it. The little corner of green gives it a cheerier ambiance and it just wouldn’t be the same without it!

    8. Go vertical with your small patio accessories

    If you need all the floor space you can get for seating, go vertical with your plants and accessories, like they did in the image below.

    Like this small patio decor idea?

    Below are some beautiful outdoor plant and accessory stands to help you go vertical on your small patio too.

    Bamboo Plant and Accessory StandWood Indoor/Outdoor Plant Stand

    Another neat small patio decor idea is to use painted cans and hang your greenery on the wall or fence, like they did below. So cute!

    9. Install bench seating on your small patio

    Bench seating is a practical small patio idea because it’s narrower than chairs and utilizes corner space. It’s especially useful in a narrow patio space.

    In the picture below, the owners used built-in benches on one side of a rectangular table and nixed chairs on the opposite side so there’s plenty of room for traffic flow.

    10. Make bench seating out of milk crates.

    If rental restrictions prohibit built-in bench seating, make your own out of milk crates. You can make these as long or short as you like and you get bonus storage underneath for gardening supplies, or a place to store outdoor pillows when it’s windy.

    Simply use zip ties to connect the crates together, and buy or make a cushion for the top. This is one of my favorite patio ideas for small spaces!

    11. Add a folding shelf to your patio balcony

    This adjustable folding balcony table is a cool small patio idea! It attaches to your balcony or terrace railing. Pull it out when you need a place to set drinks, and fold it down when you don’t need it. What a great small patio space saver!

    12. Use patio furniture of the right scale

    Just like your indoor small space, you want to use furniture that’s the proper scale for your outdoor space so as not to overwhelm it.

    13. Use multifunctional furniture

    Choose patio furniture with more than one use, such as a chair that contains storage. The Suncast Chair with Storage (pictured below) comes in 3 colors and is a big seller.

    Little benches like the one below are perfect small patio ideas because they pull double duty as both a table and seating. They’re inexpensive if you can pick one up from a yard sale or thrift shop. They’re so cute too!

    If you can’t find a small bench you like, you can make one simply by adding 2×4’s to this cool bench building kit!

    Garden stools are another great small patio decor idea for their multi-functionality as well. They’re both a chair and table in one! Plus, you can find them to match any decor.

    Set of 3 Outdoor Garden StoolsBeautiful Ceramic Garden Stool

    14. Use furniture that’s visually light

    Patio furniture with open legs tends to make a small outdoor space look less cramped. The ability to see through the legs makes the area appear larger.

    This Outdoor Patio Bistro Set below is a fabulous small patio idea because it’s lightweight and folds up and out of the way when you’re not using it. Plus, it comes in several colors and comes highly recommended!

    RELATED: 15 Apartment Balcony Furniture Ideas to Help You ROCK Your Tiny Terrace!

    15. A terrarium coffee table is a cool small patio idea!

    Add an interesting piece of furniture to your outdoor room with this beautiful terrarium coffee table that you can make yourself surprisingly easily. Watch the video to see how. I love this small patio decor idea!

    16. Transform your small patio with wood pallets

    It’s amazing what you can do with an outdoor space even if you’re renting. The renters below came up with this small patio idea and renovated their patio using pallets. It’s all temporary and can be taken down when they move out. What a fantastic small patio idea!

    17. Make a drop front bar for your small patio

    Furniture that folds out and back up again is a perfect decorating idea for a for a small patio. And you can build this one yourself!

    This drop front bar can be installed on the wall and turns any space into an entertaining hot spot. Watch this video to see how to make one.

    18. Add a portable bar into your small patio decor

    Speaking of bars, here’s a fun addition to your patio or balcony – a patio table and cooler all in one!

    19. Add privacy to your small patio with greenery.

    Create “walls” for your outdoor space using greenery, like these tall bamboo shoots.

    20. Or add privacy with curtains

    A beautiful small patio idea is to use curtains hung from a closet rod or tension rod. You might want to check with your apartment manager or HOA regarding hanging fabric on your balcony, though.

    Below are some inexpensive outdoor curtains to add some privacy and beauty to your small outdoor space.

    These Patio Curtains come in 5 ColorsThese are More Sheer but still Durable

    21. Include some lights in your small patio decor ideas

    Twinkle lights make any space more beautiful and I just have to include them in our small patio ideas. I do love me some twinkle lights! Add them to your outside room for a romantic and festive atmosphere in your small space.

    25Ft Globe String Lights33Ft Fairy String Lights

    Here’s a neat small patio idea to do with lights – use some icicle lights and a hula hoop to make this adorable outdoor chandelier.

    22. Add a mirror to your small patio decor

    Mirrors visually expand any space, indoor or outdoor. Put one one your patio to make it feel bigger and add glimmer and sophistication at the same time.

    23. Hang some art in your small outdoor space

    Your walls outdoors need some adornment, just like they do indoors. Look around your house for art you’re not using and if it can fare well in weather, include it in your small patio decor.

    Framed posters, wrought iron, or wood signs are good choices for decorating a small patio. Even some empty painted frames add an interesting element.

    Live Laugh Love Wall DecorCome Sit on the Porch Metal Sign

    Here’s a cool small patio decorating idea – Paint a rubber doormat and hang it up for a wrought iron look without the weight. I’ve seen these painted in everything from neon to shabby chic and they look fantastic!

    Scrolly Doormat to PaintPicture this in Shabby Chic

    24. Make a fairy garden for your small patio

    If you don’t have room for a garden or as many plants as you’d like, make a fairy garden. You can use a basket, box, pot, or planter tray and turn it into a tiny version of your ideal garden space. Add some lights and you have a whimsical piece of garden art for your patio or balcony decor!

    Do you love this small patio decor idea like I do?

    You can find the most adorbs fairy garden sets to get you started. And I have to move on now, otherwise I’ll get lost browsing them all online!

    Fairy Garden Starter SetFairy Garden House Kit

    25. Use textures and layers in your small patio decor

    When you’re decorating your small patio, don’t forget about the little touches of pillows, throws, and rugs over rugs to add some warmth to your outside room. These elements truly make a difference in the whole look and feel of a space and make it a more enticing spot in which to relax.

    I hope these small patio ideas help you transform your tiny outdoor space into something that makes your home a little more sweet!

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    Fortunately with just a little hard work and creativity it isn’t tricky to earn a little room appear larger and produce a more spacious appear in a little space. So there’s zero need to feel like you must devote the full day out-of-doors because do not have any option. Don’t let residing in an apartment save you from enjoying a lovely garden. Among the most best strategies to produce the look of a bigger room is just to lower the amount of clutter in a room. There are a number of suggestions and images you may look up by utilizing Google images and trigger your thoughts as to a number of things you are going to be in a position to do by employing a Murphy bed.

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    Extra storage is very critical in a little apartment. Additionally, you may want to be certain the space you’ve got available is suited to relaxation, including in the event the space is shady. Step one is to determine what fits in your new space. One thing which you’ll definitely need to do is simplify based on the space of your lawn.

    While the playhouse floor and wall construction appears fairly straight forward, I believe the roof framing will be a little bit more complicated. In the event the room doesn’t have a great deal of pure light, you may add extra lighting fixtures to the room to make it appear larger or simply use increased wattage bulbs in your present fixtures if at all possible. Organize and decrease the quantity of items to produce your room bigger visually. Hopefully you’ve picked up some great strategies on ways to produce your small room appear larger. Consequently, if you eventually made a decision to renovate your apartment on your own, you’re going to need a few really very good high quality gear.

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    Here we have 90 Small Apartment Balcony Decorating Ideas. Enjoy!

    Having a small deck doesn’t mean it can’t have a huge dose of personality injected into it. With these simple small deck decorating ideas, your backyard will quickly become your own personal oasis.

    Thank you for joining me as part of the Easy Summer Styling Blog Hop, hosted by Kelly of The Tattered Pew. If you’ve been following the hop and are joining me from The Design Twins, then welcome! Julie & Jodie always share the best design tips, right?! By the way, you can read more about me and why I started this blog here (if you’re interested!).

    On to our deck. It wasn’t lookin’ so hot after a rough New England winter…

    The deck paint was chipped and worn. And some of the wood was beginning to splinter.

    Looking For More Summer Decorating Ideas?

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    I revived it with a coat of Behr’s Deck Over product, which sealed the wood as well as any paint chips and splinters, making it almost look brand new again!

    Once we put all our furniture back, along with a new rug and some accessories, it quickly became a true backyard oasis.

    This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

    Just because it’s a small deck, doesn’t mean it can’t be a beautiful, functional space. Not only did we fit a 4 person sectional out here but the overhead string lights mean that we can use this space well into the night. If you’re going to use your outdoor space, it needs to be comfortable. So having furniture you will use as well as appropriate lighting is essential.

    The ottoman in the center serves a dual purpose – foot rest and coffee table. Depending on what we need, the tray stays or goes.

    A three-wick citronella candle is essential to keep the bugs at bay in the evenings, although the string lights also seem to act as a natural barrier.

    Do you remember these blue planters from my Instagram Stories? I shared some tips for summer planters a few weeks ago and look how big they’ve grown since! I have the same blue planters on my front steps, too, and I just love how the pink and green pops so nicely against the blue planters.

    Simple touches like layering the planters with other objects like the lanterns and varying the height and texture, go a long way to making the space feel special. Don’t be afraid to bring in lots of greenery. It really helps to add color in an organic way. We are lucky that we are surrounded by beautiful, green mature trees and adding these natural elements to the deck helps make it feel cohesive with the surroundings.

    I dragged my faux fiddle leaf fig out here just for these photos (it’s not UV rated and so lightweight that it would just keep falling over) but you could achieve the same look by purchasing a young tree (a palm would be awesome!) and placing it in a large planter. The navy blue garden stools were purchased at Target last year and are no longer sold, but I’ve linked similar ones above.

    I think my favorite tip for an outdoor space like this, especially a deck, is to add an outdoor rug. It instantly makes it feel cozier and it feels really nice underfoot. They are not difficult to keep clean. I just sweep mine every few days and it stays in great shape, despite the fact that it’s got off-white stripes, plus it dries really quickly after rain (the water just pools and then evaporates). Also, let’s take a minute to just stare at those stunning blue striped pillows from Annie Selke. Unfortunately, I do not get to keep them as they will be the prize for my next giveaway. I’m very jealous of whoever ends up with them. They work so perfectly with my rug!

    And because I know you’ll ask – we have these deck boxes behind our deck where we store our couch cushions every night. Inevitably if you leave them outside, the cushions will get mildew or be damp. This has been the best solution for us – ain’t nobody got time to be dragging a million cushions inside the house! And they have stayed perfectly clean for 3 years. In fact, we haven’t clean them even once! We also have a third deck box that we use exclusively for the boys’ outdoor toys.

    Now, with all that said. When the sun begins to set, the magic really happens out here…

    A small deck with string lights, is a pretty deck any day, right? Everything gets bathed in a wonderful warm glow. The fact that we can use our deck all day and now all-night, too is a huge bonus. We’ve already had so many wonderful evenings out here with family and friends, it truly is our little suburban oasis!

    I will share a full tutorial on using the Behr Deck Over product as well as how we hung our string lights soon, so keep an eye out for those!

    Now, it’s time to continue the Summer Styling Home Tours and hop on over to the wonderful Brendt of She Gave it a Go for tips on how to get the red white & blue look this summer.

    Also Sharing Their Homes Today…


    She Gave It a Go // Aratari At Home // Grace in My Space // Midcounty Journal

    Little Nest of 4 // The Tattered Pew // The Design Twins // Jenna Kate at Home

    And sharing tomorrow…


    CityGirl Meets FarmBoy // The Turquoise Home // Crisp Collective // Adventures In Decorating

    Designs by Karan // My 100 Year Old Home // Bless This Nest // Dreaming of Homemaking

    Floor cushions from Walker Zabriskie Furniture and a lounge chair by Dedon furnish the terrace at Josie Natori’s Palm Beach, Florida, home; the pendant lights are by Property.Björn Wallander

    7. Light It Up

    Give yourself plenty of light for late-night hangouts by installing an outdoor pendant or sconces. If you’re renting, go for string lights or outdoor lanterns.

    8. Hang a Chair or Hammock

    You may be in the city, but there’s no reason your balcony can’t feel like you’re on vacation. A hanging chair or hammock create a laid-back vibe.

    9. Opt for Folding Furniture

    If you’re short on space, try installing furniture that can be tucked or folded away when not in use. This folding table disappears to free up floor space.

    10. Design a Spot For Cocktails

    What’s better than happy hour outside? A coffee table and two low chairs are all you need to create a space to kick back and catch up while the world passes by below. Or go for a pouf topped with a tray so you’ll always have extra seating.

    The balcony of a New Orleans home affords views of the surrounding French Quarter.Eric Piasecki

    11. Surround Yourself with Flowers

    You may not have room for a dining area (or even a chair), but there’s always space for flowers. Install planters along the balcony railing to sweeten your view and add to your home’s curb appeal.

    At a guesthouse in Austin, Texas, a private balcony off the second-floor master suite offers views of the lake. Juan Miró and his partner Miguel Rivera covered the glass walls throughout the residence with custom shutters from Barcelona, Spain.Robert Reck

    12. Add a Spot to Recline

    Whether you want to soak up the sun or curl up with a book, an outdoor daybed or lounge chair is all you need for a restful retreat. Add some outdoor pillows to make things extra comfy.

    13. Give Yourself Some Privacy

    If your balcony is right up against your neighbor’s, add tall plants like bamboo to create a natural wall. You can also hang bamboo shades that can be raised and lowered as needed.

    The terrace of Jay McInerney and Anne Hearst’s New York penthouse, shaded by an awning made of a Sunbrella fabric, was landscaped by Stuart Schechter of Interior Design Foliage; the tables are by Richard Schultz, and the sofa is by Carlos Motta for Espasso, as is the armchair, whose seat cushions are clad in a Perennials fabric.Joshua McHugh

    14. Add Some Shade

    Enjoy your balcony in any weather with a retractable awning that will protect you, rain or shine. Go for a classic stripe, or opt for a bold color to make your balcony stand out.