If you have a small patio, you may be tempted to skip decorative elements and stick to the essentials. But outdoor decoration can make a big impact, even in the smallest of spaces. With the right know-how and a dose of creative thinking, you can turn your small terrace into a dreamy getaway.
Maximize your small square footage with patio chairs that double as decor, or add a fresh coat of paint to make your space seem bigger than it is. To help you create your own little backyard oasis, we’ve rounded up the best small patio decorating ideas.
1. Choose folding furniture
Small patios call for versatile, space-saving furniture. Enter: the sling chair. Bring the beach to your backyard with this old seaside staple. Folding chairs are a practical yet playful decoration idea for a small patio, as they can be easily moved to make room for other activities. In addition, these loungers fold flat so they can be neatly stacked against a wall on a mounting rack or stored in a shed. And since they don’t have to be on permanent display, you can enjoy bright, bold colors.
2. Maximize space with a small corner sofa
Make the most of every inch of space with a small corner sofa. 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. Featuring a chaise longue, this clever corner sofa design provides the perfect seating area for any occasion, whether entertaining guests or relaxing in the sun. Spread out the sofa with colorful cushions for extra comfort and a cozy, welcoming atmosphere.
3. Bring out the inside 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 shows your style. Outdoor carpets effectively soften a concrete or stone patio and add an inviting layer of texture to the feet. Take inspiration from this small patio decor idea and stick to a monochromatic color scheme. A planter with budding red flowers adds a pop of color and provides a striking contrast.
4. Add a fire pit for year-round patio fun
Prepare for cooler seasons by including a fire pit in your small patio setup. This allows you to enjoy the space all year round and makes an attractive focal point. This cozy patio has a circular stone fire pit that is perfect for creating memories such as roasting marshmallows or sharing stories with friends and family. A circular fire pit is ideal for small patios because it takes up less visual and physical space and promotes a casual, intimate atmosphere. Use the fire pit surface 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 in 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 touch of yellow on throw pillows and accessories makes a cheerful addition to the monochromatic color scheme. Add a final bloom with a curated selection of large plants—as opposed to many small ones—to keep the patio from looking cluttered.
6. Disguise walls with fresh greenery
While high fences and exterior walls offer the advantage of privacy (especially in an urban context), they can also feel imposing and make a small patio look even smaller. Think vertically to hide the walls and soften the space. Use plants to make walls feel less like a sterile concrete box and more like a tropical destination. Vertical gardens are particularly 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 back door, even when the sky is gray. Rattan furniture and lively terracotta walls give this patio a sultry summer feeling. The pillows, rug, and ottoman each add a layer of texture, adding visual interest and making the small space feel instantly more inviting. An oversized rattan pendant effectively defines a focal point and makes the outdoor space look like a continuation of your home.
8. Paint exterior walls white
Make a small patio bigger by painting the outside of your house 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. The white, green and black decor of this small patio feels clean and refreshing, providing a fresh and contemporary feel.