A small patio can be the perfect canvas for big remodeling ideas. While your deck or patio may lack for size, you can use scale, color, and texture to remodel it into a space that’s just as inviting and relaxing as those party-sized ones.
If you’re looking for some small patio design inspiration, we have some ideas that will help you make the most of your petite outdoor space.
Small Patio Remodeling Ideas
All designers love a challenge and creating comfortable and functional outdoor living in a small space is an appealing one. Since visual space is closely tied to overall aesthetic, it helps to start with a design that complements your home’s interior, seamlessly tying the two areas together through windows or doors. From there you can begin to add features that add style and beauty to your patio remodeling project.
Since space is at a premium, built-in benches are a perfect choice for saving space and creating a more open feel. For best effect, combine them with another design element like a planter or use them to create a wall between the end of the patio or deck and the yard. Choose either an open look, like the one pictured, or one that includes storage for pillows, garden tools, or barbecue utensils. Tip: Be sure to choose a material that is durable, easy to maintain, and will look great for the long-term.
Scale it Down
A major disadvantage to patio furniture you can pick up at the local big box outlet is that it’s oversized for small spaces. Tables are typically five feet or more in length and chairs and lounges have larger-than-normal footprints. Small-scale patio sets allow you to achieve a sense of coziness without feeling overcrowded. If you love the idea of a chaise or two, choose ones that are shorter and armless. Tip: Stackable all-weather wicker patio chairs are great for accommodating larger crowds.
Tiltable patio umbrellas are a great solution for providing shade, but in a smaller area they can block the view from both indoors and out. There are several alternatives to choose from:
- Pergolas are an excellent solution for getting the sun and shade that you want. Tip: Use a pergola to define a space such as dining or seating.
- Retractable awnings can be installed on your home or pergola, turning your patio or deck into a nicely shaded outdoor room.
- A rolling umbrella base that locks in place lets you take the shade where it’s needed most.
- Depending on your patio’s configuration and proximity to anchoring options, one or more shade sails may be the way to go. They come in squares and triangles in a variety of colors and sizes and are great for either temporary use or as more permanent shade structures.
One of the best ways to bring texture to your smaller patio is with pavers. They do require some upkeep, like weeding, so if you want something that requires less upkeep, choose concrete that is stamped or stained to look like stone. Tip: On a patio, integrate local materials that coordinate with your landscape for a seamless look.
Some final thoughts:
- If you’re building a deck, we recommend using a mix of real wood for handrails and balusters and composite deck board for the rest. With all their fall-off, composite is an excellent choice for heavily treed areas, too.
- If you like large scale, go ahead and use it, but consider limiting it to decorative pieces like oversized urns.
- Just because a patio is small doesn’t mean you can’t have a water or fire feature. The key is in scaling them down. A fountain against one wall or a smaller circular fire pit are equally at home on small patios as they are on bigger ones.
Don’t forget to add landscape lighting. No one wants a spotlight shining in their eyes as they’re trying to relax! Softer lighting around a deck, on the ground, and mounted on the house creates a much more pleasant atmosphere.
Big or small, patios are a great place for relaxing after a long day at work, to curl up with a good book, or to entertain family and friends. If you want to learn about more fun small patio remodeling ideas, talk with one of our designers today. We look forward to helping you design the small patio of your dreams!
Megan’s passion for design extends beyond her workplace. In her free time, Megan enjoys all types of crafts, including knitting, crocheting, and rehabbing/reupholstering furniture.