10 attractive little patio ideas to consider when spring arrives
WWhether you’re looking to host your friends and family outdoors or want to create a quiet retreat for yourself, with a few smart design tips, you can turn your small patio into an outdoor oasis all your own. From must-have exterior design features, creative ways to install privacy walls, and the choice of furniture that matches your design needs, these little outdoor patio ideas will help you create an outdoor space that will allow you to sneak outside just to enjoy your view.
1. Make a small space appear bigger
álo + Hane Design / aloandhanedesign
Use the same design tips to decorate small spaces indoors as you decorate outdoors to make your small patio look bigger. Choose space-saving furniture and avoid extra large pieces that will clutter up your space.
When choosing a rug, the bigger the better. A large area rug will fill the space and not make your patio look small and hectic. Instead of a large table, go for smaller tables that can be moved around the patio and can be used as side tables, ottomans, or additional seating. Take advantage of the vertical space for decoration, plants and storage. It will also catch your eyes and make the patio look bigger than it is.
2. Be creative with your privacy walls
Melissa Gerstle Design / melissagerstledesign
If your neighbors are feeling a bit too close for comfort, a privacy wall can give you the seclusion you need so you can enjoy your outdoor space without the prying eyes nearby. While a fence will do, a less traditional option gives you the privacy you want while creating an interesting focal point for your small patio.
A hanging wall of greenery looks like a natural piece of art on the outside, but if you need a less permanent option, hanging exterior wall hanging panels or bamboo blinds can create a whimsical wall. Strategically placed climbing plants or flowers can easily keep neighbors across your patio while providing pops of color.
3. Have fun with your furniture
Christine Pena / christinep_lifestyle
While you will need to choose furniture that can withstand the elements, outdoor furniture doesn’t have to be boring or even traditional. Instead, choose pieces that match your personality and the aesthetic of your design. Whether it’s a great accent chair or an outdoor daybed, or a sofa that doubles as a swing, you’ll need furniture that gives you the space you need. entertain, relax and enjoy the outdoors. So if a matching set of chairs and table isn’t right for you, pick pieces that work.
4. Add style to your flooring
Amy / mypdxhome
Beautiful floors aren’t just for the interior of your home. There are many exterior flooring options that can instantly enhance your patio. Choose from options like large pavers surrounded by river rocks or grass, wood tiles that sit directly on your existing floor, or faux turf that will look pristine all year round. Since you will be covering a smaller space, changing your patio flooring will be more economical and will have a big payoff for your patio design.
5. Incorporate water into your design
Melissa Gerstle Design / melissagerstledesign
While a swimming pool might not be part of your small patio design, you can still incorporate a water feature that adds natural ambiance and relaxing sounds without the need for a lifeguard. Traditional water fountains are perfect for small spaces and are easy to maintain. There are also more permanent solutions like fountains that attach to the walls of your patio or bubbling sources installed in the ground. So, depending on your design and budget, there are plenty of water features to choose from.
6. Warm up your space with fire
Melissa Gerstle Design / melissagerstledesig
Create a comfortable and warm outdoor space by adding a fire element to your patio. Keep flames small with a tabletop fireplace or set the mood with an outdoor fireplace. Looking for more of your fire? Then, a fireplace is the perfect option to increase the heat on your small patio. Not only will the fire element serve as the centerpiece of your patio, but you can enjoy more nights outside, even if the weather turns cold. S’mores, anyone?
7. Bring color to the outdoors
Tatanisha and Derrick Worthey / thiswortheylife
Whether your patio color scheme coordinates with your home’s interior or you’re taking a completely different approach to the outdoors, remember to bring color to the outdoors. Mother Nature gives you a lot of work, but there are plenty of places to add hues and personalize your space. Cushions and pillows on your furniture, rugs that add color, pattern and texture to the painting of exterior items like fences and privacy walls, add pops of color and bring your space to life outside.
8. Create art outdoors
Sam / my.interior.tales
You’ll want to spend more time outdoors if your small patio looks like a well-designed outdoor room. So use the untapped wall space to add character and well-placed art. Whether it’s exterior signs, hanging gardens, or painted murals, there are plenty of ways to make your exterior walls inviting and show off your designer skills. Just be careful that the items you choose can withstand life in the outdoors or you will trade your art every season.
9. Use creative lighting solutions
Diana Fernández / where the heart resides
When the sun goes down, life in the great outdoors has just begun. However, you’ll want to make sure you’ve built in plenty of lighting options so that you and your guests don’t get left in the dark. Usually, outdoor spaces have a ceiling light. While this is great for safety and for illuminating the entire space, these lights are sometimes harsh and the fixtures are outdated.
Fortunately, this is an easy upgrade and one that you can modify yourself. Now is the time to consider more fun lighting options. String lights give off a soft glow and add character to your outdoor space, and electric lanterns and candles are fun design additions that double as lighting options.
10. Share the space
Diana Casadora Designs / casadoradesigns
Even if you are working with a small space, creating zones on your patio allows you to fit more of what you want and need into your outdoor oasis. Share the space by designating the area where you will eat outside, if necessary, mark out an area for your garden or where you will have fun. While some areas will need to be multitasking, planning the spaces before you design will help you maximize your patio space.
More from the advisor
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.