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Pint-Size Patios Pack a Punch
No room for a dramatic deck or a traditional terrace? You can still savor the delights of the outdoors with a small patio
Houzz Contributor. Fresh out of journalism school, I fell into decorating media and immediately discovered a new passion. An Atlanta native, I spent several years as an editor for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine before making the leap to national publications and websites such as Houzz, Better Homes and Gardens and Southern Accents. I live in Birmingham, Alabama, with my husband and son, who’ve gotten used to coming home and finding the furniture rearranged. When I'm not dragging case goods across the floor, I enjoy good food and wine, college football, music of all kinds, and traveling.
Houzz Contributor. Fresh out of journalism school, I fell into decorating... More
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This time of year, al fresco living feels like sheer luxury: satiny blue skies, lush trees and gardens wild with colorful blooms. But what if you're short on outdoor space to enjoy spring at its peak? No matter — you can turn even the smallest of patios into an inviting retreat. Take a look at these eight spaces for inspiration.
Spring-fresh furnishings with strong, sculptural lines spark this otherwise basic patio. The sea green of the bench and chairs brings out the greens of the plants, while the tabletop evokes the impression of flower petals.
The angled sofa makes smart use of this diminutive outdoor nook. By not chopping up the patio, it makes the space feel larger than it really is and provides ample seating for a cozy gathering of two or three friends (or more, if no one has personal space issues). Upholstery that's the same creamy hue as the brick walls also expands the patio visually.
With a minimalist, Zen feel, this little courtyard invites quiet contemplation. The narrow built-in bench is designed to not waste an inch of space, and its subtlety keeps the focus on the beautiful pattern of the pavers and plantings in the center.
What do you do when you have just a sliver of outdoor ground space? Think vertically. Despite its Lilliputian size, this patio has enough breathing room above to prevent it from feeling cramped.
Sometimes a simple approach is all you need. A pair of chairs tucked casually on this petite patio offers an ideal spot to perch for a bit and inhale the fresh air.
A patio doesn't have to be attached directly to the house. Situated to one side of the garden and surrounded by thick plantings, this one has the feel of a secluded retreat.
Instead of squeezing in a full-size table and chairs, these homeowners went straight for comfort — and who could blame them? Roomy chaise longues are just right for afternoon siestas in the shade.