small patio ideas

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Natasha Maerz

Owner/Office Manager


Most people think that a backyard retreat needs to have a large outdoor patio to be able to be relaxing and look great, but that is not the case. Small outdoor patios can be just as beautiful and calming as large ones. Just because your outdoor space is smaller than other outdoor patios does not mean that you cannot enjoy patio season and BBQ’s with friends and avoid having to do indoor dining. 

How to transform your small patio

Built in seating

If you have a small outdoor space and patio, consider having built in seating put in. This will save space, as you will not need to place chairs around your table area , or have a specific place for a dining room. This seating area can also be a lounge area by simply adding some decorative pillows, where you can get the same dining experience as homeowners who have larger patios. 

Maximize your space

Maximize your space by choosing a dining room table that is the same shape as your patio. For round patios a small round table or bistro set,  with a couple of chairs around it will allow more room to walk around, or for décor. This will be the perfect outdoor space to have brunch and enjoy patio season. 


Bright colors

Bright colors can make your outdoor patio space look larger, and accent the look of your home. While having too many bright colors on a large patio looks chaotic and overwhelming, a patio that is smaller will be enhanced by a mix of different colors.

 Furniture placement

When trying to get as much space as you can out of a small patio, put your dining room chairs, tables or couches along the perimeter of your patio. This will eliminate any wasted space. You can still have a fireplace or  fire pit  put in the middle of your patio to create a unique dining experience without making your outdoor patio feel crowded. 

Open sight lines

Open sight lines help expand the look of a small patio naturally, and can be done by having open back seating. Remember, for small patios, less is more. While heaters will keep guests warm, another way to add open sight lines is to have a small fire pit that will add warmth without overcrowding the outdoor patio. 


By adding greenery around the patio, you will create the illusion of depth. Place tall plants behind smaller ones, with a mix of different colored pots. Your outdoor space can feel like a rooftop patio with the mix of colors and you can even add vines on a pergola if your patio allows it. 


While we want to have a separate table and chairs for eating or lounging on, for a small patio you may want to think about choosing to only have some comfy chairs. Guests can still eat sitting on the chairs, and without adding a table to the space, you will be able to have more people fit comfortably on your patio. If you still think you want to incorporate a table into your outdoor space, opt for a coffee table, instead of a dining table.



A roof structure over a small patio can be make your space feel cramped. Instead of a roof or pergola, a simple foldable umbrella will do the trick to protect guests from the sun, while still allowing the space to feel open. The best part is if you do not want to use it can be put away until you need it again.

Be smart with storage

Look for furniture that can serve more than one purpose. You can find storage that also acts as a side table, or a coffee table that can also hold drinks. Lots of fire pits can act as a table when they are not turned on, and will give your patio a cozy feel.


A mirror, whether big or small, is a tiny added touch that will brighten up your patio and give it a more spacious feel. Add one to a fence or wall, and you have décor that will make your outdoor feel a little like indoors.

As you can see, whatever size patio you may have, you can always use décor and furniture to turn into a special place that you can retreat to when needed.