8 Simple Tips for Buying Patio Furniture for Small Spaces
If you’re working with a small patio or deck, you may not think that you have the room for an outdoor entertaining space. But with a little planning and ingenuity, you can turn your space into the perfect spot for a morning cup of coffee or a summer barbeque with friends. Check out our eight design tips when buying patio furniture for small spaces to take your space from cramped to cozy.
1. Consider Your Patio’s Purpose
The key to making a small outdoor space work is focusing on what matters to you. What will you be using your patio or deck for? Here are some popular purposes for outdoor spaces:
- Eating dinner
- Working from home
- Kids’ activities
- Bird watching
- Extra storage
- Cooking and making drinks
Start by picking one or two main purposes for your space. This will keep you focused on what your space really needs and prevent you from buying unnecessary items that won’t serve you or fit in your space. You may even want to sketch out some basic designs for what you want your space to look like. This way you’ll have a solid plan when you start shopping for your small space patio furniture.
2. Pick a Great Outdoor Rug for Your Small Space
Design from the ground up with a durable and eye-catching outdoor rug. For small spaces, we recommend a simple patterned rug in a mid-range color. Lighter colored rugs are likely to get dirty fast, and darker rugs will make the space seem small and cramped. Choosing a color in the middle with a simple pattern will add appeal to a plain concrete or wood surface.
If you’re working with a long, skinny space, try a striped rug to elongate your living area and draw the eye up to the rest of the landscape.
3. Keep Furniture Small and Light
One of the tricks to buying patio furniture for small spaces is buying pieces proportionate to your patio or deck. This tried and true method is used by decorators both indoors and out to make spaces seem large and open. By keeping furniture on the smaller side, you’ll avoid cluttering walkways and eye lines. This will make the space seem larger.
Opt for chairs or small sofas over sectionals. If you want to add a table, choose round over square to increase walking space and visual appeal. Glass tables are also a favorite for small spaces because their transparency makes them feel barely there. You can also add mirrors to increase light and make the space seem even larger.
4. Maximize Seating in Your Small Space
Regardless of whether you plan on working, eating, or simply relaxing outside, you’ll likely need some sort of seating. While larger pieces will make your space seem smaller, there are plenty of options that will fit all of your family and friends.
Maximize your seating by using cushions, floor pillows, and poufs that can easily be pulled out of storage for entertaining. They also make great seating options for kids, since they are low to the ground and can make side or coffee tables the perfect height for eating.
5. Make Your Patio Furniture Work Twice as Hard
One of the tricks to maximizing your space is finding pieces that can multitask. Seating that serves as storage and privacy screens that serve as trellises for plants are two great examples of double-duty furniture.
Fire tables are another great item to consider when buying patio furniture for small spaces. They serve as tables for food and drinks, but can also be quickly transformed into a fire for light, warmth, and even smores!
Fire tables are year-round staples, as the center can even be filled with ice to cool down drinks or food on hot summer days.
6. Use Vertical Space Effectively
A small patio or deck means limited floor space. Save room for major furniture pieces and use vertical space for accents, accessories, and details. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Opt for hanging light fixtures over floor or table lamps.
- Hang plants, rather than cluttering the floor or table space.
- Maximize seating with a hanging chair or hammock.
Adding visual interest overhead will also draw the eye up, making the space seem larger than it is.
7. Don’t Be Afraid of Color in Small Spaces
Many people think that you have to keep your color palette neutral in a small space. However, small spaces are actually the perfect place to add color without it becoming overwhelming.
Have fun with your space. Add colorful rugs, blankets, throw pillows, and flowers to liven up the space you have to work with. Sticking to two or three main colors will keep you from crowding or cluttering your space.
8. Add Privacy to Make Your Patio Your Own
If you’re working with a small outdoor space, you may also be contending with neighbors’ patios or decks just a few feet away. Part of designing a great patio or deck is creating privacy to make your space truly your own.
Get creative when you’re separating your space from the area around you. Curtains, umbrellas, and shade sails are all cost-effective solutions to make your space private and cozy. These fabric options can also help to dampen sound coming in and going out.
Lattice and portable partitions can also provide privacy, as well as a place to grow vine plants and climbers. Just be sure to leave one side of your space open to keep it from feeling too claustrophobic. Adding privacy on both sides (but leaving the back open) is a great option that allows privacy while maintaining access to wide open space.
Ready to start buying some patio furniture for your small space? Take a look at our furniture buying guide for tips on choosing materials, accessories, and more!