If you have a small patio space or balcony, it can be challenging to fit your outdoor furniture and make it a comfortable place to relax. This is especially true if you live in an apartment building that only offers the tiniest balcony. New York City dwellers, we feel your pain. But what your patio lacks in space you can make up for in ambience. How you place furniture, what colors you use and the way you use the space all play a part in making your patio area cozy, not cramped. Here are five creative ways you can cozy up your small patio space and make it a place you’ll want to live in every day.
1) Start From the Ground Up
Start with your floor space. Choose lighter colors and interesting patterns to pull the space together. Outdoor rugs come in all shapes, sizes and colors, so you will have a lot of options to work with. A fun rug can change the whole look of any room, and that includes your patio. Think of it as a mini living room, and pick a rug you will enjoy looking at, not just one to cover up the cement or wood. And don’t clutter up the floor! Furniture with large legs and and lots of extras like statues and large tables are all no-nos in a tiny space. Make sure you can easily manoeuvre around whatever furniture you do have, and keep it lightweight and minimal.
2) Less is More
The biggest mistake in decorating any small space is trying to squeeze in too much stuff. So even though you may have outdoor pieces you love, it doesn’t mean you need to cram them all onto your patio at once. Folding chairs and tables are made for small spaces because they can easily be stored away when not in use. So sure, go ahead and invite those four friends over for al fresco cocktails. Just fold up the chairs and tuck them away. afterward.
Side note: consider buying quality waterproof chair covers to make them last longer, or if you plan on leaving them outside where you get a lot of rain. Keeping the space with only the chairs you need will let you enjoy your morning coffee on a clutter-free balcony. Also try breaking up the space with different styles of furnishings to create an illusion of more space. Sometimes a small daybed and two chairs works better than four chairs. This also allows you to dine or lounge around with a book within the same area.
3) It’s Not the Space, It’s How You Arrange It
When working with limited space, it’s not always about what you have, but the way you place it. Think about how you will use your outdoor space and arrange the furniture in a way that works for your lifestyle. Place chairs and small tables where you want your view angled. If your favorite evening activity is watching the sunset, angle your setup so your view faces west. If you only use your patio in the mornings and you want sun, place chairs accordingly. Small details like this will alter how you experience your space, and that’s everything. It’s ok if it’s not what you’d expect, or how your indoors would be arranged. Your patio is your fun space, so keep it laid back. Be flexible, and switch up the arrangement until you get it right. And remember start with less, and only add more if it fits comfortably.
4) Get Some Plant Power
Green plants are amazing at instantly making any space feel more homey. They make large rooms cozy, and small ones even cozier. Place a combination of hanging and table plants to create visual interest. Balcony window boxes are perfect, and won’t take up any extra space, so they’re always a win-win. Depending on how much sun your space gets, flowers will brighten up the room and you can change them per season. They’ll also give you the added benefit of attracting hummingbirds. Does it get any more quaint than that?
5) Bring the Inside Out
Make your patio feel like your miniature outdoor living room and you’ll love spending time on it. Small touches like mirrors, throw pillows, and candles can make a world of difference, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Add a floor lamp or hanging lights to keep things bright and cheerful. You can even use indoor furniture outside, just make sure to protect it with some solid waterproof furniture covers. We love daybeds for small porches and terraces. Add some greenery and It’s like having your own magical garden!