Not everyone has a spacious outdoor area with plush grass, fragrant flower gardens, and ample room for entertaining. But that doesn’t mean we don’t all want to enjoy the outdoor space that we do have. No matter how small your outdoor space, there are things you can do to create the perfect spot for gardening, reading, entertaining, or simply relaxing in the shade. Follow these tricks to decorating a small outdoor space and get the most out of your patio, garden, or other outdoor area.
Before you begin, take measurements of the space you’re working with. Draw layout ideas that appeal to you, and confirm that what looks good on paper will work in reality.
Double-duty pieces – Any time you work with small spaces, it’s important to make the most of everything in the room. When choosing tables, chairs, benches, and other items, try to select things it that can serve multiple purposes. Seating with hidden storage, side tables that can double as seating, and so on, are smart options when decorating a small outdoor space.
Hanging plants – When space is limited, you have no choice but to go up instead of out. Create privacy and add color and texture to your outdoor area with lush hanging plants. Purchase several lengths of chain and hang hanging baskets at different levels. This helps block out sunlight, and adds an inviting atmosphere to a plain patio or porch.
A portable garden – Container gardening is fun, easy, and a great way to add life to an outdoor space. Whether you want a vegetable or flower garden, you’ll find that portable containers are the perfect option. When entertaining, containers can be wheeled out of the way, but can be easily pushed back into place when guests are gone.
Storable furniture – While lounge chairs are comfortable, they may not be practical when decorating a small outdoor space. Instead of taking up a lot of space with one bulky item, look for chairs that are cushioned, but can be folded and stored inside a storage unit or beneath a bench.
Built-in seating – If your outdoor space is awkward in shape, you may find it difficult to arrange a comfortable seating layout. One way to combat this problem is with built-in benches. These custom fit options hug the walls and open up walking space. Top benches with weather-proof cushions in bright cheerful colors and patterns. Be smart and create hidden storage space beneath the benches.
Decorative lighting – Set the mood to your outdoor space with decorative outdoor lighting. There’s something whimsical and inviting about miniature white lights, which can be strung along railings and banisters. Rope lights will serve a similar purpose, while garden lanterns or tiki torches add a party feel.
Living wall – Even outdoor spaces can benefit from a focal point. If there isn’t one readily available, consider sprucing up one side of the outdoor space with a living wall. Set up tall lattice work and arrange climbing vines or flowers to cover the entire area. Garden trellis’ can support oversized container plants to create the same look.
Whether you choose to use all these tricks, or just a few, you’re sure to find that time outdoors is more enjoyable with a nicely arranged, and attractively decorated, outdoor space.
More from Jennifer Wagner:
5 ways to refresh your outdoor space
Inviting front porch decorating ideas
How to create an outdoor room