Live large in your small outdoor space this summer with our top tips for turning your apartment deck or patio into an oasis. Here, twinkling string lights illuminate beautiful hammock chairs, a durable teak table and a colorful outdoor rug, creating a cozy, stylish spot to hang out on a lower-level deck.
Less Is More
Tight on space? Skip the multiple plantings, patterned outdoor rug, lighting and full-blown furniture plan. Instead, pick out one statement-making piece to serve as the star of your outdoor design. This white, wood-framed daybed fits the bill. Surrounded by a collection of lush potted plants, the pillow-packed bed provides a plush spot to enjoy the view without monopolizing precious floor space in the process.
Small Space, Big Color
This pigment-packed patio proves small spaces call for big color. A pair of turquoise Adirondack lounge chairs make a statement at the center of the patio, surrounded by a sea of potted blooms, ceramic garden stools and a (convenient!) booze-clad bar cart. Bubblegum-pink and navy-blue throw pillows add softness to the chairs and a blue, quatrefoil outdoor rug adds personality underfoot.
Walls That Wow
When designing your dream outdoor space, don’t forget to dress up your walls. Gold metal palm fronds accentuate the tall stone wall on this luxe balcony and bring a touch of tropical glamour to the design.
Swap basic patio seating for something a bit more fun. Designer Tiffany Brooks shows how it’s done, using a pair of modern swing chairs to add flair and free-spirited function in a small outdoor space. A small garden stool serves as a space-saving side table and a pair of black and white throw pillows echoes the color scheme featured throughout the interior of the home.
Party on Wheels
Bring the party to your patio with a fully stocked and stylish bar cart. Most bar carts are compact and mobile, making them the perfect vehicle to bring fun to your outdoor space. Bonus? Carts come in countless colors, styles and price points so there’s something for everyone. Use yours to keep appetizer platters within reach and cocktails flowing all night at your next gathering.
When you’re dreaming of green acres but living with the reality of a small terrace, consider transforming vertical spaces like walls or railings into a thriving garden. Here, a multi-pocket fabric wall planter makes a beautiful, living backdrop to this urban patio’s seating area. Irrigation holes in each pocket allow excess water to drain away, ensuring plants stay moist but not overly wet.
Outdoor Living Room
Not only do outdoor curtains provide much-needed privacy from nosy neighbors, but they can also transform your open-air space into a cozy second living area. Surrounding a plush wicker couch, the red-and-white-striped curtains on this modern Americana-inspired porch match the oversized rug perfectly, creating a warm, cohesive outdoor escape.
Pull Up a Stool
Save on space without skimping on style by using ceramic garden stools in lieu of traditional outdoor accent tables. The circular stools will ensure cocktails are always within reach, provide a place to prop your feet and offer extra seating when needed.
Pack in a Pool
This small outdoor space doesn’t take no for an answer with its chic, matte black pool and succulent container garden. If your rental agreement allows, a stock tank pool is an inexpensive yet ultra-stylish way to cool down during those hot summer months. Learn how designer Bri Moysa created hers here.
Hedge Your Bets
No place to hang curtains? Manufacture much-needed privacy with a lush hedge wall made from faux boxwood panels. This “living” wall requires zero maintenance and is UV protected to withstand outdoor conditions. The best part? You can break it down and take it with you when you move. Here, this pretty privacy hedge serves as a chic backdrop to a midcentury-inspired outdoor dining area that features a teak table and Palm Springs-inspired armchairs.
Soften the Space
The secret to creating a cozy spot for two on your patio? Use an outdoor rug to anchor your furniture, enhance your furnishings and bring warmth to your overall design. The texture-rich rug on this contemporary patio ensures that the modern, faux rattan chairs, potted plant and sleek accent stool shine in the space and adds softness to the concrete flooring underfoot.
(Almost) Free Plant Stands
Love the look of chic, modern plant stands, but can’t stomach the price? Turn old (or new — they’re extremely cheap) tomato cages into chic gold risers for your plant babes. Snag the step-by-step instructions below.
The grass is greener in this urban patio living space. To recreate the look at home, line the perimeter of your apartment deck or patio with rectangular planters filled with ornamental grasses. These planters will create a sleek privacy barrier between shared outdoor spaces and enliven your cityscape with lush, natural color. Feeling extra crafty? Fake a trellis on an empty wall by hanging faux boxwood garland in a large diamond pattern.
Use gauzy, white curtains to create a breezy barrier wall separating your outdoor space from neighboring apartments. This renter-friendly solution is inexpensive, easy to remove and allows you to escape the eyes of nosy neighbors.