It can be challenging to find a spacious outdoor area these days.
With blocks getting smaller and the home’s functions more diverse, sometimes there simply isn’t enough space left over for the expansive patio you’ve been dreaming of.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your backyard with a small patio that ticks all the right boxes for everything from morning coffee with the birds to beers by the barbecue.
Adding a patio to your backyard can have a lot of benefits, eg.
- allowing you to ditch the umbrellas for permanent sun and weather protection
- enjoy an outdoor kitchen. or…
- give your family and friends a place to relax, dine and unwind in privacy.
(learn more about the full list of benefits of a patio)
If you’re planning your patio and your square meterage leaves much to be desired, or if you’re wondering how to make the most of the patio you’ve already got, this blog is for you. We’ve compiled ten simple hacks that you can use to bring charm, function, and comfort to your patio, no matter the size.
When it comes to planning the perfect patio for your garden, with these hacks – size doesn’t matter!
What’s Considered To Be A Small Patio Size?
In the patio design world, the general goal is that the patio can host up to three people without needing to place them on top of one another. Patios don’t require much space to fit a table and chairs or seating such as wall seats, benches and cushions, and with some clever decor choices, even the smallest space can be perfectly customised.
Some common patio sizes include:
- Extra small/single reclining chair – 4×7 feet
- Small/double reclining chairs, a small bistro set or benches – 7×7 feet
- Dining space for four – 10×10 feet
- Dining space for six to eight – 12×12 feet
- Space for a grill, side table and cooking area – 6×6 feet
Is your patio bigger than you thought? Or have you just realised it errs on the side of tiny? The good news is you don’t have to miss out on the most popular patio additions just because you have a smaller space. Read on for our tips to maximise the space of your patio.
Ten Simple Hacks To Maximise Your Patio’s Small Space
1. Select the right patio furniture
Many patios have ample space. However, their planning and configuration make them feel cramped and undersized. Consider whether your dining area can handle a rectangular table, which will require 5 to 6 feet of extra space than the table itself and try to make the access around the patio 3 to 4 feet wide at every point. Nobody likes running into a table edge! Even switching out for a round table can make a world of difference to the feel of your patio.
2. Add a green canopy roof
Plants, foliage, and flowers can induce an awe factor like little else can. Consider bringing some life to your outdoor living room by constructing a green canopy over your space. Hanging planters and greenery add instant depth and dimension, and elements such as climbing vines can create atmosphere and character. When adding plants or a planter and succulents, aim to use as much vertical space as possible, not encroaching on the floor space but adding a trellis for height, texture, and a feel of spaciousness.
3. Lay your flooring with purpose
Simply installing your pavers or decking in a particular direction can make a massive difference to the feel of your space. A diagonal walkway will give the illusion of spaciousness and can elongate a shorter patio space. Steppingstones incorporated into the floor plan or the popular herringbone pattern implemented through your planks or tiles will draw the eye down and make the area feel much larger than it is.
4. Consider your surroundings
If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re a fan of the concept of bringing the outside in. A common technique used in small Japanese gardens, incorporating your surroundings into your design can make the space feel purposeful and prevent a feeling of disjointedness. Perhaps your yard is full of native plants, or you can see the furnishings of your deck or your home decor from your patio space. Use similar materials and elements in your patio space to make the entire area feel cohesive and more extensive overall.
5. Divide the space
This may feel counterintuitive but dividing your space with a coffee table or adding space for pillows on the floor to give guests an area to sit that isn’t your dining table will make the space feel larger and more diverse in its potential. Use planters, gravel, a different tile pattern, or an outdoor rug to bring different elements and sections to your patio and give you more space to relax in your small backyard.
6. Add a focal point
The purpose of adding a focal point is to draw the eye with intention and purpose. You control where your guests spend their attention, whether you want it away from the bins or pulled into the centre of the backyard patio. Your focal point can be anything from a fire pit or water feature to unique lighting or a quirky seating area.
7. Accentuate the corners
An awkward corner too small for a hammock but too large to be left empty could be the answer to your outdoor living space woes. Go oversized with your potted plants or outdoor accessories in these types of corners or add statement lounge chairs to bring instant style and function.
8. Hang a hammock
Speaking of hammocks! They can be a great alternative to chunky heavy seating in a small space. If 80% of your time on the patio is solo with your morning coffee and a good book (lucky you!), why clutter the space with a large dining set? A hammock will give you a perfect place to chill and can simply be unhooked when your guests are coming over, and the outdoor dining set brought out of storage.
9. Use mirrors
Using mirrors to make a space feel more significant is a design trick as old as time. Although it isn’t something you’d usually associate with the outdoors, your patio area provides the perfect level of coverage for a stone, stainless steel, wood, or copper mirror. They will bring in more light, create a decorative feel and make the space feel larger overall.
10. Choose your colours wisely
When moving through your patio ideas, picking the right shade and colour for your sofa, fireplace, drinks fridge, bench, rugs, or furniture pieces can be one of the most challenging steps. While we suggest using colour in your greenery and plants, when it comes to furniture and flooring, choosing grey might work best for your small space. Greyscale colouring can give the illusion of spaciousness, style, and brightness, making the pergola or patio feel much larger than it is.
When To Consider Adding An Extension To A Small-Sized Patio
We hope we’ve instilled a sense of confidence and excitement in your outdoor space planning.
Small backyards don’t have to be a bad thing, and your outdoor spaces can be the perfect extension of your house with some smart and creative thinking.
In fact, often a small balcony, exterior, or landscape will make cosiness and comfort an easy goal. Focus on strategic planning and make the most of what you have, considering your personality, budget, and how you’ll use the space at every step of the process. When in doubt – add string lights!
If you’re looking for the team to bring your next big patio idea to life, we can help!
Whether planning a space to retreat, work, cook up a storm or play, our team can help create the perfect patio for your home, lifestyle, and family.
Click here to read more about us or to get in touch for your free quote.