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Small Patio Ideas: How to Maximize Use of Outdoor Areas

small patio ideas

Outdoor space comes at a premium in certain areas, especially if you’re renting or own a home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of real estate to make a big statement. You just need a little imagination and a dash of planning. If you’re short on both, we’re here to help. Here are a few useful tricks, tips, and small patio ideas to help you make the most of your area:


Pay Attention to Scale

Small spaces feel even smaller with too much crammed into them. Depending on the size of a space, consider avoiding large pieces of furniture such as bulky sectionals and family-sized dining tables. Additionally, be cognizant of landscaping options and choose plants and trees that won’t grow so large that they overwhelm the space over time.

*Tip: Pair tables with matching bench or barstool seating that will slide underneath the table to save space when not in use:

Small Patio Furniture Ideas

Extend Your Interior Space

One way to make an outdoor patio or deck feel larger is to make it an extension of the indoor space. With all-weather appliances, technology, and furniture, living rooms, kitchens, or other indoor spaces adjacent to the backyard or patio are can be extended across both areas with some creative planning.

Choose Seating Wisely

Avoid buying cheap patio furniture that will deteriorate quickly when exposed to the elements. Despite a higher up-front cost, it’s better to invest in quality outdoor chairs, tables, and outdoor deep seating. Patio furniture should not only enhance your outdoor space, but also should last for many years of use and enjoyment. Buying proper covers and storage for inclement weather during the Winter months will also extend the life of any patio furniture.

Check out our Furniture Cover options

Avoid Clutter

Clutter quickly creates claustrophobia in small spaces if not kept in check. If you have a storage closet, use it and keep it organized. Also consider using wall space as a creative and attractive storage solution.

Include Bright Colors

If a patio is dull and drab, it won’t be inviting. Try spicing up drab areas with bright accent colors. Include a mix of accent pillows to brighten up a neutral sofa or add a pop of color to a patio space with a quality indoor/outdoor rug.

Pay Attention to Lighting

Planning to use a patio after dark? If so, don’t forget about lighting! Lighting offers a great way to add character to an outdoor space. Set the mood with whimsical, inspired, or charming choices in outdoor lighting.

🌿 As fall begins to appear on the horizon this incredible setting makes me want to hold on even more tightly to our remaining days and nights 🌿🌸 This magical outdoor room is created by my incredibly talented IG friend Kelley Nan @kelleynan 🌸She really needs no introduction….Jodie @jodie.thedesigntwins and I are huge fans of both her IG and her blog. She is one of the most giving decorators. She is also one of the best photographers in our home decor community! Our respect and admiration is HUGE! πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’— I'm sharing this midweek feature for our decor tag #myfavpicfriday πŸ’—πŸ’—#thedesigntwins She sure is #onetofollow πŸ’• . . . . #homedecor #homedecorblogger #outdoordecor #outdoorliving #outdoorlivingroom #outdoorlivingspace #patio #patiolife #summernight #summerstyle #pursuepretty #bloggerlife #iglove #patiogoals #decorcrushing #patiolights #homedecorating

A post shared by Julie & Jodie: Twin Sisters (@julie.thedesigntwins) on

Enclose the Space

It may seem a counter-intuitive suggestion for a small patio, but enclosing a patio creates an intimate and cozy effect when done right. For those in dense, urban environments in close proximity to neighbors, adding privacy to an outdoor space makes it much more usable on a regular basis. Ways to achieve this enclosure effect include using greenery, pergolas, and trellises.


Wish you more outdoor space where you live? Then use these small patio ideas to create an outdoor space that is both cozy and enjoyable for you and guests. When done right, a deck space or patio will be an extension of your home and becomes an area you’ll want to spend as much time in as possible.