If you want to use your outdoor space year-round but are somewhat space-deficient, decorating can be tough, but it’s not impossible. With a bit of creativity and some careful planning, you can extend your indoor living area just a little bit further.
There’s no longer a reason to envy the large landscapes or expansive gardens. The “petite” space offers an intimacy that these patios can’t, the secret retreat that most people dream of but have difficulty creating in their vast open outdoor areas.
With outdoor space designs, the key is to add visual appeal, charm that makes you want to spend time in the space alone or even with a few close friends or loved ones depending on the amount of room you have.
You might want to snuggle in with some hot tea and a good book on a snowy evening (with a conveniently placed heat lamp).
Tips For Designing a Small Outdoor Space
When your outdoor space is a bit “size-challenged,” that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re limited from making the area quaint, charming, and such a welcoming extension of the indoors that you don’t want to leave it.
You might have to be a bit more creative and plan more carefully, but in the end, you’ll have a coveted retreat, the envy of those with vast gardens and expansive open landscapes who crave intimacy and solitude. Here are tips on how to make your small outdoor space design everything you dream it to be.
- Create privacy
Regardless of whether a space is large or small, you can make it intimate by creating privacy. On a small balcony or porch, you can add curtain panels made with outdoor fabric, use large potted trees, lattice with climbing vines, or anything to offer the illusion of a personal retreat.
This will help to give the area structure or definition and serve as a focal point, an important element when you have a small area. Screened from street views, neighboring homes, or commercial buildings, you’ll be more inclined to want to spend time in your private alcove.
Find tips on how to decorate an outdoor space at https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/small-patio-ideas.
- Protected shelter
You’ll want to use the balcony or porch, side garden, small space year-round. That will mean protecting from the elements, including extreme temperatures, inclement weather, and avoiding the sun’s rays. Often, with an apartment, the balconies are covered, and that’s true of most porches.
If not, you can add a canopy or a pergola which will add visual interest to the space as well as functionality. You’ll be shaded from the sun and protected from showers allowing comfort in most conditions for you and those sharing time in your tiny “room.”
- The furnishings
In a little area, the furnishings need to be chosen carefully. The placement and style will decide the overall tone. The outdoor room should not be cluttered or crammed; there should be room to move around, a nice flow. The pieces should coincide with the interior aesthetic with a simple style but offer functionality.
You’ll find a vast range of materials, finishes, and styles available to achieve the indoor ambiance on a smaller scale with greater intimacy in the outdoor space. Go here for guidance on arranging an outdoor room.
- Light is critical
Light is a critical part of any design, whether outdoors or on the interior. This can come from many sources whether you add a fire element including either a fire pit or fireplace, candles, string lighting. Adding light further enhances the appeal and warmth, inviting guests to stay a while longer.
When you layer a few different lighting sources it can make the space a wonderland after dark. You’ll want functional lighting in areas where you need to access entry to your home, read, or maybe have a snack.
If you have potted plants in the space, you can add solar lighting to the pots while string lights can flank the potted trees. A chandelier would be a romantic addition instead of a traditional porch or balcony light.
A fire element will keep the space warm if you want to use it in the winter, which most will. This can come with a fireplace if you have the room, a fire pit if space will allow for safety or heat lamps.
Designing a small outdoor space can be intimidating at first because it seems as though your choices are limited. In fact, there are many more ideas to make a tiny area intimate, romantic, and magical than there are to make a vast, wide-open space warm and inviting.
It takes some creativity and planning but once the ideas begin to flow, choosing among your favorites will be the most difficult part of the process. With a small area, prioritizing a focal point is essential, and then work around that primary element to design the outdoor space of your dreams.