You absolutely do not need a grand, sweeping backyard to create an enjoyable and stylish outdoor living space. In fact, some of the most cozy and creative designs have been created as a result of the need to save on space. Whether you live in an apartment with small balcony or have a small patio or yard in a crowded neighborhood, there are tons of options for making your outdoor living space just as comfortable and stylish as if you had all the room in the world. Read on for our tips on how to make the most out of your small outdoor space.
If you are a homeowner and have the option to make modifications to your home, you should consider creating some built-in furniture for your outdoor space. Not only will a built-in piece last longer than other furniture, it will save space too. You could create a custom stone or concrete bench that is flush with the side of your house, or you could build a wood seat that fits perfectly between two columns if you have a covered space. With a custom piece you also do not have to worry about finding the right fit, and you can be sure you get the most out of the space you have as possible.
Storage for various items that are not always in use is a great way to maximize space. Pillows, throws, and entertainment items can all be easily stashed away somewhere that won’t take up room inside your home, which is a good idea in any climate. This is even better if you can reuse space that would go to waste or be unused otherwise. A bench or ottoman with a lifting top and storage capacity are great multi-use options, as is a crawl space built under your deck.
Similar to furniture that doubles as storage, other multipurpose items can be of great use in a tight space. Even in larger outdoor living spaces, flexible furniture can make your patio a lot more versatile for any type of gathering you want to host. Other ideas include a sturdy coffee table that can double as extra seating, flat stools that can be side tables when you have fewer guests but need more surface areas, or large, weatherproof throw pillows that can be placed on the ground and used as floor cushions.
A colorful rug is a great way to add a touch of pizzazz to a cozier patio and can help a small space feel more intentional. The right size rug can outline the borders of your space, which is helpful if you have a smaller footprint. Be sure to choose a rug made with materials for outdoors that will hold up better to the elements.
Another good option for covering the ground of your outdoor space is faux grass. This is an especially good choice for urban environments or balconies. You may not have the space for a real backyard, but fake grass can add some ambiance and color to your outside area, without all the upkeep that comes with a real lawn. If you want your grass to look more real, make sure to lay it across an entire defined area.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not actually need a huge amount of space, or even a yard, to create a garden outside of your home. If you have a balcony or another type of outdoor living space without ground access, you can satisfy your green thumb with a container garden. This means you will grow everything in various containers or pots. This actually affords you a lot of flexibility in design and style, as well as in moving things around and rearranging. You can use your pots as fun accent pieces to tie your color scheme together or create a jungle feel with hanging potters and vines. A great space-saving idea is to create a vertical garden with leveled shelving to house your plants in a more compact way. With a little research, you will find there are many types of flowers and edibles plants that grow well in confined spaces.
Particularly if you live in an apartment building with multiple units with balconies or your home is in very close proximity to your neighbors, you may be interested in a bit more privacy in your outdoor space during the nice season when everyone wants to be outside at home. While a wall or other more permanent barrier may feel a little claustrophobic and may not even be allowed if you rent, curtains are great way to create a little distance between you and your neighbors, while still maintaining an airy, light feel. Outdoor curtains can have the added benefit of providing some shade for sun protection. If your patio is uncovered and if there is nothing to hang drapes from, you can easily craft a simple wooden frame for this purpose.
Fire Pit Table
A fire pit is the ultimate in outdoor living luxury, but you may think you do not have room for one in your tiny outdoor living space. A fire pit table could be the solution to your problems. You can easily get a separate, storable tabletop to cover the fire pit while it is not in use, so you can use it for outdoor dining or game night. As the night wears on, you can remove the cover to generate some warmth with the fire and roast some marshmallows.
Grill Grate for Fire Pit
One of the most coveted uses for patio spaces is for outdoor cooking. However, if you have a very small patio space, you may not want to take up precious space with a bulky grill. If you already have a fire pit for your patio, whether it is portable, built-in, or a table pit as mentioned above, you can actually turn this item into your cooking station without adding an extra piece of furniture. Simply add a removable grate for grilling, and you have instantly saved a sizable amount of space for other kinds of furniture.
Use Your Overhead Space
You may be able to eke out more space on your small patio if you just look up. Whereas a shade device like a standing or table umbrella might take up floor space or be in the way at head-height with people passing back and forth, a shade sail can be just as effective without occupying valuable square footage on the ground. A shade sail can be affixed to your house and another nearby sturdy object. This also allows you to play with the height and angle of the sail to create a more open feel for your space. The same goes for lighting. If you do not have lighting fixtures already wired to the outside of your home, you may opt for floor lamps for evening hang outs. A better, low-cost and easy-install option is to hang strings of fairy lights.
If you have a more confined outdoor living space, you may need to account for every square foot you have available. However, as we have shown, there are plenty of easy ways to make your small patio feel roomy and inviting.