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7 Small Patio Ideas For Creating The Ultimate Urban Oasis

Decks, Patios, & Porches
By on Apr 25, 2014
7 Small Patio Ideas For Creating The Ultimate Urban Oasis

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After such a long winter, the weather is finally getting nice. Now is the best time to redesign your patio so you can spend more time soaking up the sunshine. Don’t assume fancy patios only belong in the suburbs. Although your city condo may have a tiny patio, you can still transform the space into an urban oasis. Below are seven design ideas that will help you make the most of your small patio.

Create Indoor-Outdoor Connections

Before adding any furnishings, you should determine how you could make your small patio look bigger. Given that an urban patio is usually next to the house, I suggest decorating it with the same style as the adjacent room. This way, your small patio will feel like an extension of your indoor space and appear much more spacious. For example, you can paint a featured wall with the accent color used in the room. Or, integrate your interiors and patio by installing the same flooring type (FYI, parquet flooring is a perfect indoor and outdoor solution for a small patio.). No matter what your final decision is, make sure every material is waterproof.

See 9 of the greatest patio designs in America to get more inspiration.

Choose Furniture Wisely

Small Patio Furniture

To avoid cluttering up your small patio with too much or oversized furniture, you must keep the actual size of your patio in mind. Then, choose furnishings with care. Below are three tips to help you select the right furniture that will perfectly fit in your small patio without eating up too much space:  

  • See-Through: The easiest way to maximize your small patio is to choose some furniture you can see through. Acrylic, glass or thin-line metal tables or chairs are good options, as they can create the illusion of taking up little to no space.
  • Double Duty: Don’t appreciate the modern look of see-through materials? Consider comfy furnishings that can do double duty. For example, you can buy some padded storage benches for seating and use a storage ottoman as your coffee table.
  • Flexibility: For those who like to host, go with folding tables and chairs. This furniture design will give you the greatest flexibility in space management. Thus, when you need more space to accommodate your guests, you can just move them around or put them away. 

Again, whether you have a covered patio or not, you should only pick the furniture made for outdoor use. This way, you don’t have to worry about maintenance and cleaning. However, if you’d like to have someone clean your cushioned furniture regularly, see the average cost in your area.

Grow Your Plants with Vertical Gardening

Small Patio Gardening

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When adding plants to your small patio, try to use as much vertical space as possible. You can pull up a trellis to add life, colors and textures to your limited space without making it look too busy. Furthermore, the height of trellis will help edge your patio area and enhance its privacy.  

For apartment owners or renters who may not even have the space to install a trellis, consider installing a wall-mounted garden or hanging planters in the aerial space.

Choose Lightweight or Wheeled Planters

Small Patio - Planter on Wheels

If you’re looking to have some flower pots in your small patio, choose lightweight or wheeled planters. Their mobility lets you move them around based on your space needs. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about taking care of these plants during the winter. Just move them indoors.

Considering hiring a landscape designer for your small patio garden? See how much it costs with our landscaping cost estimator.

Hang A Mirror to Double the Visual Size

Small Patio Mirror

Mirrors can double the feel of space, making it the best addition to any small room, including your small patio. By hanging a mirror to reflect the view of your landscaping, you can add a visual depth to your patio. Additionally, you can go with a painted mirror frame to add a pop of color to your walls. Both tactics will certainly turn your small patio into a more relaxing oasis.

Add Space-Saving Lights to Illuminate Your Patio

Small Patio Lighting

We all know that sufficient lighting will make a small space appear bigger. If your small patio can’t get enough natural light, it’s time to install some electrical lighting. String lights, LED lighting and pendent lights are all romantic, yet space-saving lighting ideas for your outdoor space. 

Go Bold, Yet Sparingly with Décor 

Small Patio Decor

When it comes to adding décor to a small patio, less is more. Instead of using a lot of small décor, try to create a bold focal point that will add interest to your small patio. For those who love a burst of color in their patios, consider using an outdoor rug or painting an accent wall. If you prefer to add a touch of modern to your city patio, add some striped pillows to create the illusion of width and length.

Looking to extend your patio season? A tabletop fire pit is a good addition because it can also serve as a beautiful focal point when the temperature drops.


Ready to spruce up your small patio for this summer? The national average cost of hiring a pro to build a patio is $2,637. However, installing a small patio will be less expensive. 

To find out the exact price in your area, request free estimates from local pros.

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