These Small Patio Designs are Cheap and Seriously Chic

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on June 12, 2020

Your new favorite hangout is right outside your door—your patio. It might not be a vast, sprawling space, but even small patios have big potential. By thinking about your patio as an extension of your interior space, you can incorporate your own design sense and tailor it to your needs. However, don’t let the interiors inspire you too much: One of Havenly designer Brady Burke’s top tips for outdoor spaces is skipping a TV. 

“They work in certain spaces, but I think if you’re outside, enjoy being outside,” he says. “Focus on the people you’re with, the conversations you’re having, and the food and drink you’re enjoying. You can always go back inside and watch TV. Let the outdoor space just breathe without a TV, and let yourself enjoy why you’re outside in the first place,” he says.

As the days grow longer and temperatures heat up, get some fresh air in style (no TV in sight!) with these small patio designs.

Got a small patio garden going? Keep up the good, green work with this garden-inspired design. First, start off with some fence planters or pot hangers, which allow you to bring color and greenery without impeding on square footage. This diminutive greenhouse adds English charm and creates a warm space for you to store your plants year-round. String lights and jute outdoor pillows round out the rustic, charming look.

A bistro set is your new best friend. These small sets of dining tables and chairs are perfect for enjoying your meals outside without taking up too much space. The options are practically endless, but we like the Playa set from West Elm (bonus: it folds up for easy storage). For a classic, French-inspired look, nab these stacking chairs from Target and pair with a simple, round metal table. Bistro lights are a must, of course.

patio with guests

Comfy vibes only. Create the cushiest, coziest patio by incorporating plenty of soft surfaces: think a hammock, poufs and outdoor pillows. Don’t forget about softness underfoot, either: this boho indoor/outdoor rug is your perfect match. Add in a bit of texture and life with a small patio garden—low-maintenance plants like air plants and succulents add a Zen quality.

boho patio

Just because we’re staying home doesn’t mean you can’t create a globally inspired patio. Pile on the outdoor pillows in a mix of fabric and patterns, and add statuettes atop eclectic side tables—we like this one from Anthropologie. Don’t forget special details: This air plant display frame is low-maintenance and eye-catching, while Incense and candles add an exotic touch that naturally repels insects. 

Cabana stripes are a quintessential look for patios, whether at the beach or in the mountains. These wide stripes make any space feel like summer. While they come in many colors, blue and white, black and white, or green and white is a great place to start. Pepper in throw pillows in solids or different patterns (tropical prints would be welcome here) for a design-conscious look.

Want more small patio design ideas? Our interior designers can help you create a completely custom look—get started with our interior design style quiz.

Words by Sara Watson