Ideas + Advice

40 Small Patio Ideas to Create a Cozy Outdoor Space

Outdoor lounge chairs, plants and a side table.

How much time are you spending inside on your computer each day? We know that it’s not always easy to get out and enjoy nature, but if you have a patio, you can improve your mood with a little fresh air each day. 

We’ve gathered some of the best small patio ideas to upgrade your outdoor area and make it feel more like home. 

Small space patio furniture ideas

Arguably one of the most important parts of your outdoor space is the furniture. Here are some small space patio furniture tips and ideas to inspire you. 

1. Go retro with rattan

There are many ways to make your patio space feel cozy and natural. One way is to take your personal style from inside your home and extend it outdoors. Rattan is a retro material that’s making its way back from the ‘70s. Adding rattan to your small patio can make you feel stylish as you kick back to get some fresh air. 

Rattan patio chairs, rug and small table.

2. Relax in a hammock

You may prefer to lie down after a long day at work, and there’s no better way to relax than swinging in a hammock. If you have a small patio, you may not think you have room, but a hammock won’t take up much space if you pass on chairs. You can surround your hammock with potted plants to create the perfect atmosphere.


Fringed hammock and outdoor rug.

3. Keep a place for gardening tools

With a small patio, you may have to use your outdoor space for more than one purpose, like entertaining and storage. If you like to garden, having a place to store your outdoor tools that’s out of the way will keep everything tidy.

Outdoor shelves for gardening materials.

4. Create extra seating with poufs

It can be a struggle to entertain guests on a small patio, but one way to solve this problem is with poufs. Poufs are less expensive than permanent seating, they take up less space and they’re portable. You can also tuck poufs away when your guests leave or use them as footrests.

Outdoor poufs in various colors.

5. Center your space with a table

A coffee table is an essential small patio idea that will center your space and give you a place to set things. When you don’t have room for a full dining set, a coffee table can also serve as your dining area. Without a coffee table, you may feel like your seating area is missing something.


Pebble coffee table and outdoor chair.

6. Make a dining spot for two

If you spend a lot of time eating outside or working on your laptop, then you can opt for a bistro set instead of lounge chairs and a coffee table. Having a small table can be beneficial because you can use it to enjoy your morning coffee or a proper meal.


Concrete pedestal outdoor dining table.

7. Use a bench for added seating

If you’re looking for small patio ideas to maximize seating, consider a bench. A bench can seat multiple people, and you can also store things like shoes and gardening supplies underneath it. To make your bench seating more comfortable, you can add a bench pillow and throw pillows.

Slab, modern outdoor bench.

8. Fold your chairs away when not in use

If space maximization is the priority for your small patio, then you can opt for folding chairs instead of lounge chairs. The benefit of folding chairs is that you can tuck them away when not in use. When folded, you’ll have your entire patio available for outdoor workouts, crafts or potting plants.

Folding outdoor chairs in white.

9. Keep it simple with two chairs

When you’re working with a tight space, it’s best to keep things simple. Depending on your lifestyle, a chair duo may work perfectly for your needs. For example, if your small patio extends off your master bedroom and you likely won’t host guests or dine there often, then two lounge chairs provide a great setup.

Set of two outdoor, wooden dining chairs.

10. Try a loveseat for easy seating

Loveseats are a great small patio idea because they work well in tight spaces. When you want a comfortable atmosphere but don’t have space for a couch or sectional, a loveseat can provide seating for two adults and one child. You can pair a loveseat with a coffee table and a side chair to complete your patio.

Aluminum outdoor sofa with colored cushions.

11. Accommodate a group for dinner

Dining outside is a great experience, and just because you have a small patio space doesn’t mean outdoor dining isn't possible. With a small dining set, you can accommodate up to six people. It may take some creativity to fit a dining table on your patio, but the memories made will be worth it.

Outdoor wooden dining table and chairs.

12. Fit side tables in small spaces

Whether you choose lounge chairs, a loveseat or a sectional for your outdoor space, adding side tables to your setup is a great small patio idea. Side tables will give you and your guests a place to rest drinks and personal items while gathering. Without side tables, you may have arms reaching awkwardly to get to the coffee table.

Ceramic side table in frosted blue.

13. Soak up the sun with a lounger

You may decide that your patio is the perfect place to relax, read a book and soak up some sunshine. If sunning is your favorite pastime, then you should invest in a chaise lounger. Chaise loungers are typically seen near pools, but there’s no rule that says  you can’t have one on your patio.

Wooden outdoor sun lounger with cushion.

14. Simplify your search with a patio set

If you’re having trouble picking out furniture for your patio, it may be easier to invest in a patio set. With a patio set, you can buy multiple pieces of furniture and create a cohesive arrangement. For example, one patio set may include a loveseat, a chair and a coffee table.

Outdoor loveseat, chair and coffee table.

15. Become your own bartender

When entertaining your guests outdoors, a bar cart can be a great addition to your space. With a bar cart, you can keep your glasses, dinnerware, wines, liqueurs and garnishments in a convenient place and create new and exciting cocktails for your guests to enjoy.

Outdoor, wooden bar cart in weathered gray.

16. Consider portable furniture

Portable furniture options like bean bags are a small patio idea that can keep your space comfortable and flexible. Unlike larger pieces of furniture, bean bags are lightweight and can be moved around. Another benefit of bean bags is that you can stow them away when you want to use your patio space for other activities.

Outdoor bean bag chairs in various colors.

17. Relax in a rocker

Rocking chairs complete the classic picture of relaxing on a patio and watching the sun go down. The rocking movement calms both babies and adults. Thankfully, there are stylish rocking chairs that include cushions and deep seats.

Beachy modern living room wall art

18. Consider a modular sectional

You may have just enough space on your small patio to work with a modular sectional. A modular sectional is more flexible than other sectionals because the pieces can be moved around when needed. A modular sectional can work well on smaller patios when entertaining large groups.

Modern, outdoor sectional sofa chair.

19. Try a multi-purpose side table

When you work from home, you may get restless at your desk after a long day. Having other places in your house to do your work can be a nice change of scenery. With a multi-purpose side table for your patio, you can use it to set drinks on or slide it in front of you and use it as a laptop setup.


C-shaped side table in weathered gray.

20. Add storage for when it rains

When your patio is uncovered, you’ll need small patio ideas to take the weather into consideration. While most outdoor cushions are weather-resistant, too much rain can shorten the lifespan of your cushions. Remember, weather-resistant isn’t the same as waterproof. Having an outdoor trunk to store your cushions is a smart move.

Urban outdoor storage trunk.

Small patio decor inspiration

Once you have your furniture chosen, it’s time to decorate! Check out some of these small patio decor tips to help you showcase your style.

21. Get creative with lighting

Adding creative lighting is a great small patio idea because it allows you to sit outside at night and entertain guests. A rechargeable LED hanging lamp can hang from various areas on your patio, and it won’t need a plug.

Rechargeable, outdoor hanging LED lamp.

22. Define the space

Decorating a small patio is like decorating a room in your home. Your space will feel upgraded when you define it with an outdoor rug. Even if your patio is confined, a rug adds personality and feels good on your feet. A rug will also add a sense of comfort and make it a more pleasant experience to sit outside.

Geometric indoor/outdoor rug.

23. Set the mood with candles

If you prefer a calm atmosphere, then you can create low lighting with candles. Electric candles are safer and more convenient than wax candles, and you can set the mood by putting them in lanterns that match your aesthetic.

Simple, wooden lamps with candles.

24. Get cozy with pillows

Whether you have chairs or a couch on your patio, adding outdoor pillows to your space is an essential small patio idea. Pillows will make your outdoor space more comfortable and inviting. If you get pillows made of a durable, water-resistant fabric, then you won’t need to bring them inside when it rains.

Solid indoor/outdoor pillows in various colors.

25. Summon the birds

You may not have a close view of nature from your patio. Adding a bird bath or a bird feeder can summon wildlife to your space so you can watch the birds and feel closer to nature.

Wooden bird feeder and bath.

26. Stay warm all year

An outdoor firepit or heater can be a wise investment for your small patio. When winter comes, sitting in the warmth outside can be pleasant and relaxing. Without heat, there may be up to six months of the year when you won’t want to use your outdoor space.

Round fire pit and outdoor chairs with cushions.

27. Display your plants 

Having plants on your patio is a great way to feel closer to nature and bring down your stress levels. Taking care of your plants can also give you something to look forward to each day. There are many types of planters to choose from, which can add to your patio’s aesthetic.

Faceted indoor/outdoor modern planters.

28. Add shade when you need it

If your patio is uncovered, then you can add a retractable umbrella for sunny days. The sun can occasionally feel good, but when you’re trying to relax, it can get hot and uncomfortable. With an umbrella, you can enjoy the breeze without the sun beating down on you.

Outdoor rounded umbrella in sapphire blue.

29. Grill without taking up space

With a small patio, you may not have room for a large gas grill. But there are smaller grill options for cooking dinner outside. With this portable grill,  you can make steak or hamburgers on your patio or on-the-go. All you need is a flat surface to use it, and you can fold it up and store it when not in use.

Mini outdoor charcoal grill.

30. Make pizza like a professional

If you prefer pizza over hamburgers, then this gas-fired pizza oven will help you cook pizza like a pro. Wood-fired pizza ovens are a luxury that few people have space for, but this pizza oven is portable and cooks pizzas in 60 seconds once heated.

Outdoor, tabletop mini pizza oven.

31. Set the vibe with string lights

String lights are a popular addition to patio spaces of all sizes. The benefit of string lights is that they distribute light across a wide area, and there are many string light options that don’t require a plug. You can get creative with how you hang your string lights and choose various styles of bulbs.

Metallic solar string lights in silver.

32. Let the wind make music

Sitting on your patio can improve your mood and reduce stress because it allows you to interact with nature. If you want to get closer to your natural environment, a wind chime can upgrade your outdoor space. A wind chime will make music whenever the wind blows, so you can appreciate your surroundings.

Triangular, hanging outdoor wind chime.

33. Have some fun

Adding some playful decor to your outdoor space can brighten up your mood after a long day of work. You can also use fun decor to host guests for special events. Some days you may favor a calm atmosphere, but other days it’s important to let loose and keep things light. 

Colorful gum ball tassel garland.

34. Quench your thirst

If you don’t have space on your patio for a full bar setup, then you can easily entertain guests by brewing up a tasty summer punch. At a family gathering, you can also offer fresh lemon water. Having a dispenser for drinks on your patio can make it easy to serve everyone without making multiple trips inside. 

Modern glass pitcher with wooden stand.

35. Display your plants on the wall

Do you have a green thumb? If so, your patio may be your space to experiment with new plant types. One of the best small patio ideas for those who want to grow an assortment of plants is to get a wall planter. Not only can these planters hold many plants, but they can serve as a privacy wall for your patio.

Vertical wall planter for outdoor patios.

36. Grow your own food

Many people enjoy taking care of indoor and outdoor plants, but if you’re interested in a more sustainable lifestyle, then you can try growing your own greens on your small patio. With an herb garden or patio planter, you can have fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs with little work and little space.

Outdoor various herb grower.

37. Bring the indoors outside

One way to make your patio feel like more of an addition to your indoor space is to add curtains. Not only will curtains add privacy to your patio, but they can protect against wind, sun, and rain. They can also regulate the temperature on your patio space when it’s too hot or too cold outside.

Indoor/outdoor large white curtains.

38. Replace your outdoor cushions

If you’ve already decorated your patio and you’re looking for a way to upgrade your space, then upgrading your outdoor cushions is a great small patio idea. Whether your cushions are old and weathered or you simply don’t have any, adding new cushions can brighten up your patio and make it feel new again.

Outdoor chair cushions in various colors.

39. Cool off in the summer months

With a covered patio, a great way to make your space feel cool and comfortable is to install a ceiling fan. While you may need professional help with the install, being able to switch your fan on and off will be worth it in the summer months. Having this luxury will also increase the likelihood that you’ll use your patio space.

Black, modern LED Ceiling fan.

40. Hang pendant lighting for a homey feel

Another small patio idea that will make your outdoor area feel like home is to hang a chandelier or pendant light. This type of lighting can add to the overall aesthetic of your space. When you take the time to add decor to your patio, you’ll end up spending more time outside.

Wicker hanging pendant light.


Having a small patio means getting creative with your outdoor decor, but these small patio ideas can help you enjoy the space you have. If you need more time to brainstorm about your backyard oasis, you can check out some of our other patio inspiration

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