If you have a small patio, you may be tempted to skip decorative elements and stick to the essentials. But outdoor decor can make a big impact, even in the smallest of spaces. With the right expertise and a dose of creative thinking, you can transform your small patio into a dreamy getaway.
Maximize your small square footage with patio seating that doubles as decor, or add a fresh coat of paint to make your space feel bigger than it is. To help you create your own tiny backyard oasis, we’ve rounded up the best decorating ideas for small patios.
1. Opt for folding furniture
Small patios call for versatile, space-savvy furniture. Enter: the rocking chair. Bring the beach to your backyard with this old seaside staple. Folding chairs are a practical yet whimsical decorating idea for a small patio, as they can be easily moved around to make room for other activities. Plus, these deck chairs fold flat so they can be stacked neatly against a wall on a mounting rack or tucked away in a shed. And since they don’t have to be permanently on the screen, you can have fun with bright, bold colors.
2. Maximize space with a small corner seat
Use every inch of space with a small corner seat. More practical than chairs, a bench can be confined to a corner of your small patio, flush against a wall or fence, leaving plenty of room for a coffee table or a quick outdoor workout. This smart corner sofa design features a chaise longue, providing the perfect seating arrangement for every occasion, whether you’re hosting guests or relaxing in the sun. Scatter the sofa with colorful cushions for added comfort and a cozy, welcoming feel.
3. Bring the inside out with an outdoor rug
Outdoor rugs can help define a small space by anchoring the furniture layout and creating a cohesive color scheme. Create a seamless transition between your indoor and outdoor spaces by using a rug that showcases your style. Outdoor rugs effectively soften a concrete or stone patio and add a welcoming layer of texture underfoot. Take inspiration from this small patio decor idea and stick to a monochromatic color scheme. A planter of budding red flowers adds a burst of color and creates a striking contrast.
4. Add a Fire Pit for Year-Round Patio Enjoyment
Prepare for cooler seasons by incorporating a fire pit into your small patio setup. This will allow you to enjoy the space all year round, and it makes an attractive focal point. This cozy patio has a round stone fire pit perfect for creating memories, like roasting marshmallows or sharing stories with friends and family. A round fire pit is ideal for small patios as it takes up less visual and physical space and promotes a comfortable, intimate atmosphere. Use the surface of the fire pit as a coffee table or serving area when the flames are not in use.
5. Embrace Bold Patio Furniture
Just because you have a small patio doesn’t mean you can’t go big with style. Bring the wow factor to your backyard with large geometric prints or bold furniture choices. This patterned coffee table adds character and sets a modern tone for the rest of the patio. A pop of yellow on throw pillows and accessories makes a cheerful addition to the monochromatic color scheme. Add a final flourish with a curated selection of large plants—as opposed to lots of small ones—to keep the patio from looking cluttered.
6. Disguise walls with fresh greenery
While high fences and exterior walls offer the benefit of privacy (especially in an urban context), they can also feel imposing and make a small patio seem even smaller. Think vertical to help disguise the walls and soften the space. Add plants to make walls feel less like a sterile concrete closet and more like a tropical destination. Vertical gardens are especially beneficial when space is limited, as they free up valuable floor space for stylish patio furniture.
7. Decorate with Warm Tones
Enjoy the warmth of the Mediterranean on your doorstep, even when the sky is grey. Thanks to rattan furniture and vibrant terracotta walls, this patio has a balmy summer feel. The pillows, rug, and ottoman each add a layer of texture, creating visual interest and instantly making the small space feel more inviting. A large rattan pendant effectively defines a focal point and makes the outdoor space seem like an extension of your home.
8. Paint Exterior Walls White
Make a small patio feel bigger by painting your home’s exterior white. For a cohesive, sophisticated look, incorporate the same shade of white into your small patio decor with white patio furniture, botanical-inspired furniture, and white flowers. This small patio’s white, green and black decor feels clean and refreshing, creating a crisp and contemporary look.