51 Small Patio Ideas to Make Your Yard Feel Bigger

small patio ideas

With thoughtful decor and layout, you can make any small patio feel as comfortable, beautiful, and functional as an extra room. Whether you live on the ground floor of an apartment or condo; in a townhouse with a small backyard; or want to add or outfit a small patio to help make a large backyard space feel more cozy and inviting, it takes just a few simple elements to design a winning space.

Check out these small patios in a range of styles, settings, and price points that will show you how to use seating, lighting, and accessories like outdoor rugs and plants to create the small patio of your dreams.

  • 01of 51

    Add Privacy With Bamboo

    small patio ideas

    Fantastic Frank

    This snug and cozy apartment patio from Fantastic Frank adds privacy with the addition of a tall bamboo screen that is eco-friendly, affordable, and lends a natural feel that complements the vintage rattan furniture. Some outdoor Edison bulb string lights, a large potted plant with trailing vines, and soft textiles and accessories in shades of white create a simple, cozy setting to enjoy alone or with company, day or night.

  • 02of 51

    Tile the Walls

    small patio ideas

    Jenn Pablo Studio

    If your patio is more of a transition from the indoors to the outdoors, a place to stretch and check the weather rather than sit and read a book, there’s no need to add furniture. On this small Palm Springs patio from Jenn Pablo Studio, a pair of large cacti in oversized planters fill the space and allow the decorative tiles on the walls to take center stage, contrasting with the terracotta floor tiles. Even without furniture the space feels finished and complete.

  • 03of 51

    Add a Fire Pit

    small patio ideas

    Michelle Boudreau Design

    Michelle Boudreau Design added a small seating area on this Palm Springs pool patio complete with white wicker egg chairs and a round fire pit that creates a fresh modern feel in a compact space.

  • 04of 51

    Add a U-Shaped Banquette

    small pool patio ideas

    Design by Handsome Salt / Photo by Jenny Siegwart

    This above-ground swimming pool from interior designer Sara Simon of Handsome Salt has a freestanding patio built along one end. A U-shaped banquette upholstered with printed fabric complements the black-and-white color scheme while a stone floor contrasts with the gravel on the ground to define the space.

  • 05of 51

    Paint the Floor

    small patio ideas

    Most Lovely Things

    Most Lovely Things turned an unsightly concrete slab patio into an inviting gathering space by painting it in a simple gray-and-white color block pattern. Here the space is styled with matching black chairs around a low slung fire pit and extra throws hung on a black painted peg rail on the shingled side of the house. The tree stump tables add a natural element and a place to pose a drink.

  • 06of 51

    Apartment Patio

    small patio ideas

    Fantastic Frank

    Living on the ground floor of an apartment building has certain disadvantages. But this ground floor apartment from Fantastic Frank makes the most of its location by giving the outdoor patio a simple and affordable makeover that turns it into extra space just outside the door, located on the shared courtyard. Finished with wood flooring to differentiate it from the concrete courtyard, the patio is furnished with a simple table and chairs and decorated with plants and a raised garden bed around the perimeter that adds a little bit of privacy and creates space for growing vegetables and herbs.

  • 07of 51

    Install Bifold Doors

    small patio ideas

    Michelle Boudreau Design

    Michelle Boudreau Design installed bifold doors to this small patio outside the primary bedroom that lends it a truly indoor/outdoor feel.

  • 08of 51

    Add Contemporary Flair

    small patio ideas

    Design by Gaia Inspired / Photo by Jenny Siegwart

    This small patio from Gaia Inspired has sleek concrete columns and roofing and polished concrete effect tiles, plus modern all-white furniture accented with vibrant throw pillows. The decor create a seamless transition between indoors and outdoors.

  • 09of 51

    Make It Romantic

    small patio ideas

    Design by AHG Interiors / Photo by Nick Glimenakis

    This 10×12-foot Catskills tiny house from AHG Interiors has a small patio-style deck that creates extra living space when weather allows. A vintage French cafe table and chairs have a minimal feel and look better as they age and develop a patina from facing the elements, creating a timeless and romantic look that blends in perfectly with the ivy-covered walls of the exterior.

  • 10of 51

    Add Tall Planters

    small patio ideas

    deVOL Kitchens

    A pair of tall, modern white planters flank the metal and glass doors of this carriage house kitchen from deVOL Kitchens, while a gray cobblestone patio creates contrast with the brick exterior and a transition to the converted space. The mix of materials and striking vases creates a focal point that makes the space look good even when empty, and the open space can be furnished with a table and chairs brought in from the inside if the mood for an outdoor meal strikes.

  • 11of 51

    Use Color to Define Zones

    small patio ideas

    Sarah Szwajkos Photography

    Adding a shot of bright color can wake up a traditional backyard patio, with just a few hours of work needed. This small peanut-shaped backyard patio has an organic feel that blends into the lawn and landscaping, providing space for a dining area as well as a fire pit conversation area that is defined by the bright blue armchairs that surround it.

  • 12of 51

    Add a Plunge Pool

    small patio ideas

    Design by Soake Pools / Photo by Murphy Foto Imagery

    This small but luxurious Dunstable, MA, patio from Soake Pools has a rustic stone fireplace and a plunge pool that is finished in the same stone for a cohesive look, contrasted with smooth pavers and a clean-lined concrete surround that modernizes the pool. A small metal outdoor table and chairs provides just enough room for two and doesn’t take up any visual space to keep the area from feeling cramped.

  • 13of 51

    Add Whimsy

    small patio ideas

    Mary Patton Design / Photo by Molly Culver

    Mary Patton Design furnished this small patio with all-white furniture, giving the black-and-white space a polished feel. But the designer added a note of whimsy with a small dog and a pair of pink flamingo statues that lighten the mood and keep it from feeling too formal, while flowers planted around the periphery of the patio add a bit of color.

  • 14of 51

    Keep It Light and Neutral

    small patio ideas

    Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Amy Neunsinger

    A small front patio subs in for a front porch in this Southern California home from Leanne Ford Interiors that is covered with a white lattice that creates shadows on the all-white space outfitted with a small table and chairs.

  • 15of 51

    Add Lounge Seating

    small patio ideas

    Design by Crisp Architects / Photo by Rob Karosis

    A pair of wooden chaise longues on this small stone patio from Crisp Architects create a dedicated spot to soak in the sun in the shadow of the lushly landscaped sloping lawn and stone retaining wall.

  • 16of 51

    Add Warm Sconce Lighting

    small patio ideas

    Design by Martha O’Hara Interiors / Photo by Corey Gaffer

    On this small St Paul, MN, patio from Martha O’Hara Interiors, a pair of black metal sconces flanks the modern metal and glass doors, adding symmetry and pleasant warm light that makes the outdoor space feel comfortable to use as the light fades or after dark.

  • 18of 51

    Create an Oasis

    small patio ideas

    Design by Crisp Architects / Photo by Rob Karosis

    A small patio can help to structure a large outdoor space, making it feel cozier for smaller gatherings. This small patio beneath the front porch on the front lawn overlooking a stream from Crisp Architects creates a conversation area for small groups and creates an additional zone so groups can split off as desired when there’s a crowd.

  • 20of 51

    Keep It Simple

    small patio ideas

    Fantastic Frank

    Fantastic Frank added a simple wooden table and matching chairs on this small patio that is lined with flowers and feeds into a lawn surrounded by high living walls.

  • 21of 51

    Rightsize Your Furniture

    small patio ideas

    Mary Patton Design / Photo by Molly Culver

    A large backyard pool can leave you with a smaller patio, but you can make the most of it with appropriately scaled furniture like the table and chairs on this patio from Mary Patton Design.

  • 22of 51

    Add a Roof

    small front patio ideas

    Fantastic Frank

    This front patio from Fantastic Frank is close to the ground, but otherwise has the feel of an open front porch. A solid roof over the patio shelters it from the elements and adds dimension to the facade of the home.

  • 23of 51

    Pick Vintage-Style Furniture

    small patio ideas

    Design by Marie Flanigan Interiors / Photo by Julie Soefer

    A small gravel patio is integrated to a larger back yard in this outdoor space from Marie Flanigan Interiors that is furnished with a vintage-style rattan daybed, a modern side table, and an outdoor umbrella for shady naps or reading sessions.

  • 24of 51

    Add a Low Brick Wall

    small patio ideas

    Design by Forge & Bow Dwellings / Christa Tippmann Photography

    This small front patio from Forge & Bow Dwellings has a low curved red brick wall that defines the space and adds a smidgen of privacy. A pergola over the French doors leading to the patio makes it feel a bit cozier.

  • 25of 51

    Hang a Fabric Canopy

    small patio ideas

    Design and Photo by Ajai Guyot for Emily Henderson Design

    This driveway turned patio designed by Ajai Guyot for Emily Henderson Design has a large dining table and chairs that is surrounded by a large fabric canopy with a roof and tied back gauzy curtains that can be closed to create a cocoon for candlelit dinners after dark away from the prying eyes of nosy neighbors. The table is set with black and white tableware and linens, dried flowers, and gold accents, making it an ideal setting for a special event.

  • 26of 51

    Break It Up

    small patio ideas

    Fantastic Frank

    This ground floor townhouse pool patio from Fantastic Frank maximizes space by setting up two separate seating areas with a small table and two chairs across from one another that keep the central walkway clear and allow for people to pair off as desired.

  • 27of 51

    Overgrown Patio

    small patio ideas

    Fantastic Frank

    This small outdoor patio in a Swedish country house from Fantastic Frank has overgrown pavers and vintage furniture that make it feel lived in and relaxed.

  • 28of 51

    Use Mismatched Vintage Furniture

    small patio furniture ideas

    Fantastic Frank

    Mismatched vintage furniture and accessories add charm to this small patio from Fantastic Frank. Choosing vintage furniture is a sustainable choice that you can feel good about. Shopping vintage can also help you find smaller sized furniture that was built for the smaller spaces that were the norm before our supersized age of McMansions with sprawling patios.

  • 29of 51

    Add Twin Loveseats

    small patio ideas

    Design by Forge & Bow Dwellings / Christa Tippmann Photography

    Twin upholstered metal love seats facing one another anchored by a low to the ground fire pit add structure to this small flagstone patio from Forge & Bow Dwellings

  • 30of 51

    Add a Pouf

    small patio ideas

    Blanco Bungalow

    Blanco Bungalow added a leather pouf to this boho-style Los Angeles backyard patio. It’s a multi-purpose spot that can be used as a place to pose a drink or put your feet up.

  • 31of 51

    Blend Warm and Cold Finishes

    small patio ideas

    Design by Forge & Bow Dwellings / Christa Tippmann Photography

    This patio from Forge & Bow Dwellings mixes warm and cold finishes and materials, from the wood and metal pergola to the concrete flooring and fire pit to the brick on the exterior walls.

    33of 51

    Add Drama

    small patio ideas

    Photo by Mel Willis

    A dramatic angled concrete fireplace defines this small seating area on a brick patio, giving the space its own identity and creating an outdoor focal point.

  • 34of 51

    Add a Pavillion

    small patio ideas

    A Beautiful Mess

    A Beautiful Mess renovated an abandoned outdoor patio pavilion, adding a small fire pit, a sectional seating area, plenty of plants, string lights, and a pastel pink rug that softens the concrete slab and complements the surrounding greenery.

  • 35of 51

    Painted Concrete Pavers

    small patio ideas

    Thistlewood Farms

    Thistlewood Farms created a smallish patio on a large lawn that is made from a gravel base covered with DIY stencil painted paver stones for a more personal look, and decorated with black furniture and accessories, black-and-white patterned textiles, and pink flowers.

  • 37of 51

    DIY a Midcentury Privacy Screen

    small patio ideas

    A Beautiful Mess

    A Beautiful Mess constructed a DIY midcentury modern-inspired privacy screen between the driveway and the patio, adding landscaping to soften the transition.

  • 38of 51

    Pick a Smoke-Free Fire Pit

    small patio with firepit ideas

    Most Lovely Things

    Most Lovely Things added a smoke-free fire pit to the backyard that makes it easy to enjoy a bonfire-style moment day or night without smelling like a campfire or worrying about smoke blowing in your eyes.

  • 39of 51

    Add Colorful Accents

    small patio ideas

    A Beautiful Mess

    A Beautiful Mess added DIY throw pillows to this built-in backyard patio banquette that complement a colorful rug, while plants and string lights add to the festive decor.

  • 40of 51

    Add a Wood Slat Privacy Screen

    small patio ideas

    Sarah Szwajkos Photography

    This covered outdoor patio is built beneath the home’s second story, providing shade and a dining area that’s conveniently located just off of the main living space. A floor-to-ceiling wood slat privacy screen on one side helps to shield the space from the house next door without compromising light or views, while the other two sides are left open to the backyard.

  • 41of 51

    Paint a Rug

    small patio ideas

    A Beautiful Mess

    A Beautiful Mess decorated this concrete patio with a DIY painted area rug that anchors the space and adds a bright and modern feel to the backyard. Outdoor furniture, billowing tie-back curtains, bright throw pillows, flowers, and plants tie it all together for a cheerful outdoor living room feel with a view of the wide open backyard.

  • 43of 51

    Zone It Out

    small patio ideas

    Fantastic Frank

    The backyard of this property from Fantastic Frank includes a wood deck enclosed by leafy landscaping as well as a curved path that leads to a round stone paver patio outfitted with dining table and chairs to create a dedicated space for dining.

  • 44of 51

    Use Soft Colors

    small patio ideas

    A Beautiful Mess

    A pink and gray palette, wood and woven accents, and decorative planters give this outdoor patio from A Beautiful Mess an indoor feel.

  • 45of 51

    Mix Materials

    small patio ideas

    Design by Cathie Hong Interiors / Margaret Austin Photo

    Creating small detached patios in a larger yard can help structure the outdoor space, reduce water use needed for a large lawn, and provide more options for gathering outside. This Northern California backyard from Cathie Hong Interiors includes a small patio that mixes wood, concrete, and tile, with an L-shaped banquette that defines the space.

  • 46of 51

    Hang a Ceiling Fan

    small covered patio ideas

    Design by Martha O’Hara Interiors / Photo by Andrea Calo

    This Austin, TX, bungalow from Martha O’Hara Interiors includes a covered backyard patio with a flat screen TV and comfortable outdoor armchairs around a small fire pit that creates a place to enjoy the outdoors protected from harsh rays. A ceiling fan helps keep things cool on hot summer days and nights.

  • 47of 51

    Shelter It With a Canopy

    small patio ideas

    A Beautiful Mess

    A Beautiful Mess added a canopy and draped the support poles with outdoor fabric to soften this small backyard patio to give it an intimate and cozy feel.

  • 48of 51

    Add a Tabletop Fire Pit

    small patio ideas

    Urbanology Designs / Matti Gresham Photography

    This small backyard patio seating area from Urbanology Designs is simply decorated with an outdoor rug, sofa, and coffee table with a small tabletop fire pit.

  • 49of 51

    Circle Back

    small patio ideas

    Dazey Den

    Dazey Den outfitted this small Palm Springs patio with vintage white wicker and rattan furniture, located the detached patio in the shadow of a large hedge to provide shade in the daytime.

  • 50of 51

    Build It for Two

    small patio ideas

    Brophy Interiors

    If you have more front yard than back yard, consider installing a detached patio area in your front yard instead. This small free-standing front patio from Brophy Interiors has stone slabs that match the front walkway, plus a circular fire pit and two lounge chairs, while the nearby small front porch is finished with wood.

  • 51of 51

    Indoor Outdoor Bar Patio

    small patio ideas

    Kern & Co.

    This indoor/outdoor bar from Kern & Co. has shared flooring that runs from inside to outside before shifting gears, helping to define the space.

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