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Small Patio Ideas

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Having a small patio doesn’t have to be a negative — a compact area is ideal for creating a cozy and intimate outdoor retreat. Of course, you’ll have to use space wisely, but with carefully selected furniture, plants and decor, your small backyard will be full of charm. While you search for small patio ideas for your home, keep the following design tips and guidelines in mind.

1. Pick One Function and Run With It

When considering your patio design, it’s often best to choose one purpose for your backyard, whether it’s planting a garden, having a dining space or a spot to read and lounge.

2. Hang a Hammock or Swing Chair

Even if your patio is on the very small side, you can hang a hammock or swing chair and create your own private nook.

3. Potted Plants Galore

If you live in an apartment, you may not be able to plant your own garden. Not to worry — simply arrange as many potted and hanging plants around your patio as possible for a lush garden escape.

4. French Bistro Dining Set

You can still dine in your small outdoor patio with a petit bistro-style dining set. Whether you’re having a summer breakfast or some evening drinks, you’re sure to enjoy the old-fashioned charm.

5. Add Some Shade

One of the easiest ways to add a cover to your patio is with a shade sail, which can be attached to your roof, a tree or a fence to create a cool spot. Alternatively, you can plant lush and leafy vines around a wooden pergola or arbor.

6. Hang String Lights

Good lighting is key in a small backyard, and will make the space inviting for intimate get-togethers in the evening. Set a festive mood by hanging string lights across your yard.

7. Install a Water Feature

Adding a fountain, bird bath or trickling water feature is an ideal small patio decorating move, as it doesn’t have to take up much room, but goes a long way in creating a serene and relaxing backyard.

8. Add a Fire Pit

Ambiance, warmth, backyard s’mores — with all this a fire pit can add quite a lot to any outdoor space.

9. Incorporate Color

If you’re in need of some budget-friendly small patio ideas, simply add comfort and color to your yard with vibrant throw pillows or an outdoor rug.

10. Enjoy a Cozy Couch

Having an outdoor sofa in your yard will instantly make the space feel more inviting. If you have limited room, opt for an outdoor loveseat and a lounge chair or two.


Whether you want inspiration for planning a small patio renovation or are building a designer patio from scratch, Houzz has 11,316 images from the best designers, decorators, and architects in the country, including Old Dominion Design and Redecorate Today. Look through patio photos in different colors and styles and when you find a small patio design that inspires you, save it to an Ideabook or contact the Pro who made it happen to see what kind of design ideas they have for your home. Explore the beautiful small patio ideas photo gallery and find out exactly why Houzz is the best experience for home renovation and design.