60 Small Patio Ideas That Will Make You Want to Spend All Day Outside

Consider this your call to the wild.

small patio ideas
Alanna Hale;William Abranowicz

In a perfect world, your home would have a sprawling backyard with designated spaces for a pool, an outdoor kitchen, and a lounge area. The reality for most of us (we’re looking at you, city dwellers)? A small deck or a diminutive patch of grass. But, if the homes in ELLE DECOR have taught us anything, it’s that big design opportunities can come in small packages—you just need to get a little creative.

Depending on where you live, your outdoor space might be a part-time setup that you furnish once sunny weather hits. Whether you treat your area as a seasonal retreat or a year-round hot spot for postdinner s’mores, it should be connected to the rest of your home decor. To help take your style outside, we’ve pored over the archives to find the small patio ideas that are big on style. From fire pits to fetching furniture, the spaces below make a case for embracing Mother Nature in all her glory.

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1 Accentuate Your Angles
nicole franzen
Nicole Franzen

Calling all minimalists: Pared-back furniture is the perfect way to bring some modernity to the great outdoors. When designers Christine and John Gachot revived Paul Rudolph’s former Manhattan home, they dressed the outdoor space in Blu Dot’s sleek table, a set of custom chairs, and a classic Charlotte Perriand stool. The result? A winning combination of hard and soft elements.

2 Lounge Away
studio schicketanz
Joe Fletcher

For a small patio idea that looks as good as it operates, take a cue from Studio Schicketanz and add a set of matching chaise longues. The sleek style is fitting for this Silicon Valley home, while the Kerry Joyce performance fabric will keep stains and spots to a minimum.

3 Stun with Symmetry
poonam khanna patio
Stephen Kent Johnson

Think of a symmetrical setup as the furniture equivalent to ASMR; one that could look good in all spaces and sizes. This Hamptons, New York, home nails the look with a coordinating conversation set and Paola Lenti’s patio table.

4 Pack on the Plants
malibu patio
Shade Degges

Concerned your outdoor space will look good only during a few months of the year? This Malibu, California, home suggests otherwise. Here, a lone tree is planted in the center of this back patio, which will make a statement when paired with outdoor furniture or proudly standing solo. (Plus, ample foliage will look beautiful in seasonal environments.)

5 Spring for Suspended Style
pebble beach home
Read McKendree

Want to take your small patio decor to new heights? Add a hanging chair like Workshop/APD incorporated in this Pebble Beach, California, home. This design trick offers an awesome place to kick back and relax—all without taking up too much precious square footage.

6 Mix and Match
outside view of house by the pool where a seating area with a wraparound sofa table and several chairs and a large umbrella for shade
Carmel Brantley

Matching furniture might be an easy and efficient way to dress up your small patio, but it can be a tad boring. Instead, shake things up by piecing your outdoor set together one by one. This Palm Beach home designed by Caroline Rafferty offers plenty of visual intrigue—thanks to a Room & Board sofa and two matching Sam Son chairs, which Konstantin Grcic designed for Magis.

7 Try the Tactile Treatment
patrick frey terrace
Joanna Maclennan

Want to make your small patio equal parts cozy and chic? Juxtapose different materials in one confined space. For this idyllic French property, designer Patrick Frey played up the home’s weathered stone facade with wood furniture, custom cushions, and a wrought-iron chandelier.

8 Get Your Glow On
paiul lamb outdoor space
Ryann Ford

Never underestimate the power of layered lighting–yes, even on your small patio. In this Austin, Texas, abode, designer Paul Lamb deftly accessorized an outdoor fireplace with small lanterns. Rounding out the look is a simple-yet-chic outdoor set from RH, Restoration Hardware.

9 Create a Pop of Color
atelier davis
Alanna Hale

Avid maximalists will find a lot to love about this bold space by Atelier Davis, which offsets a neutral table from RH, Restoration Hardware with bright chairs from Petite Friture. The citrus hue makes a statement and pairs nicely with the Bay Area home’s lush surroundings.

10 Bring the Inside Out
cliff fong los angeles
William Abranowicz

According to Cliff Fong, the key to decorating any outdoor space is treating it just like your home’s interior. The Los Angeles–based designer brought his impeccable eye to his backyard with a Van Keppel-Green table, assortment of Mathieu Matégot chairs, and a striking pendant, courtesy of Louis Poulsen.

11 Think Beach-y Keen
small patio design ideas
Ricardo Labougle

Eucalyptus poles cover this beachside patio designed by the late architect Mario Connio at his onetime vacation retreat on the coast of Uruguay. A sitting area with sofas and a table is perfect for shaded gatherings, while others can sit in lounge chairs to take in the ocean view.

12 Round It Out
small patio design ideas
Ricardo Labougle

This patio outside a Santa Monica, California, family home designed by Natasha Baradaran features overgrown greenery above a small pergola. The outdoor lounge chairs are by Dedon, and the cocktail table is by Baradaran.

13 Foster Fireside Chats
small patio design ideas
Douglas Friedman

Catch up with your family and closest friends around a fire pit, much like in this intimate setup in the courtyard of a Marin County, California, cottage designed by Nicole Hollis.

14 Take Vintage to the Max
small patio design ideas
Fabien Charuau

In a wildly colorful Mumbai apartment owned by designer Srila Chatterjee and filmmaker Mahesh Mathai, a canopied outdoor dining area fits in seamlessly with a wide array of vintage goods and flea-market finds.

15 Bring It Under the Lights
small patio design ideas
Lisa Romerein

Set the mood with a wide, lit-up fire pit and some string lights as in this Bel Air, California, estate designed by Lonni Paul.

16 Make It Moroccan
Furniture, Room, Bedroom, Interior design, Curtain, Bed, Property, Bed sheet, Bedding, Wall,
Christopher Stark

A mix of piled-on pillows in fabric sourced from Peru, brass pendant lamps from Tazi Designs, and vintage statuettes create a cozy eclectic vibe on this Holly Kopman–designed porch.

17 Mix Neutrals
Furniture, Table, Chair, Coffee table, Outdoor table, Room, Interior design, Patio, Outdoor furniture, Backyard,
Hector M Sanchez

To give his Alabama patio a Moroccan theme, artist William McLure paired a low, long table with a seating bench he transformed from an existing planter. To finish the look, he added inexpensive cushions from Ikea.

18 Elevate Your Balcony
room, tree, home, property, house, interior design, window, architecture, furniture, botany,
Simon Watson

Romantic scrollwork is the perfect backdrop for a vintage slipper chair paired with a petite table from Artisans du Liban et d’Orient at the chic Beit Trad guesthouse in Lebanon.

19 Bring It Back to the Ranch
Property, Table, Furniture, Room, Outdoor table, Interior design, Porch, Home, House, Building,
William Waldron

The equipal-style table and chairs from the Jalisco region of Mexico draped with handmade Rebozo shawls create an intimate dining area at this Mexican ranch house.

20 Garden Vertically
london townhouse outdoor space
Simon Upton

A lush garden wall designed by Arne Maynard Garden Design surrounding a long wood table from Bloom with chairs from Design Within Reach anchored by flamed Portuguese limestone transform this London patio into an oasis.

21 Create a Wall of Plants
urban area, roof, metropolitan area, city, daytime, human settlement, cityscape, building, metropolis, property,
Nick Johnson

A wall of plants brings a bit of nature to this West Village, New York, patio while the custom sofa adds comfort. The chic coffee tables are Sedgwick & Brattle by Thom Filicia.

22 Swap a Sunshade for Verdant Vines
miami house tour pool
Douglas Friedman

A carved-wood daybed surrounded by bougainvillea brings Mediterranean vibes to this Miami poolside patio.

23 Netflix—and Grill
property, room, home, deck, building, furniture, house, interior design, porch, real estate,
The Ingalls

The covered terrace furnished with soft seating is a cozy space for watching TV or enjoying the flicker of the fireplace at this high-end Hudson Valley, New York, home.

24 Take in the Views
terrace with dining table overlooking the beach
Douglas Friedman

Enjoy the ocean views over breakfast from this Miami Beach patio. The white dining table and chairs from RH, Restoration Hardware, make it a breeze.

25 Frame the City
Property, Room, Building, Furniture, Interior design, House, Home, Living room, Balcony, Real estate,
Matthew Millman

A sofa from RH, Restoration Hardware and lounge chairs by the Teak Warehouse create a cozy space for observing the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay from this Jay Jeffers–designed apartment.

26 Layer on the Accessories
Mikkel Vang

A table covered in a cloth by Pierre Frey and antique garden chairs from Provence, France, furnish a cozy brick patio outside a home in Normandy.

27 Keep It Simple
Björn Wallander

The white chaise longues and matching umbrella by Barlow Tyrie reflect the stylish aesthetic of a Ralph Lauren executive who retreats to this Hamptons, New York, vacation home.

28 Mix Classical and Modern
Simon Upton

A London homeowner salvaged a marble fireplace that was originally from the drawing room and placed it outside in the small patio area. The lamps above the fireplace are by José Ignacio Ballester, and the flooring is Belgian bluestone.

29 Layer on Rustic Accessories
Miguel Flores-Vianna

In her midcentury house in Los Angeles’s Laurel Canyon, fashion designer Rozae Nichols carefully preserves the laid-back vibe in her outdoor space with a Turkish towel top daybed by Van Keppel-Green and pillows by Gregory Parkinson.

30 Select Weathered Wood Furnishings
vegetation, architecture, building, neighbourhood, tree, courtyard, botany, house, facade, urban area,
Thibault Jeanson

Wood furniture adds character to a patio in an 18th-century row house in the French city of Perpignan. For a personal touch, window grilles and a keystone feature the monogram of the previous owners, the family behind JOB-brand cigarette papers.

31 Choose a Slinky Blackened Steel Set
Björn Wallander

Simple black mid-20th-century steel furniture and a sculpture by Odile de Frayssinet sit in a backyard patio, leading to a beautiful green garden in a home in Paris.

32 Bring on the Boho
small patio ideas
Trevor Tondro

Kathryn M. Ireland’s Santa Monica, California, outdoor area is a lesson in bohemian-inspired decor. Along with a built-in stucco sectional, featuring cushions in a custom Kathryn M. Ireland striped fabric, the inviting space includes wicker pendants, a table from her French Finds collection, and chairs by Consort.

33 Adorn Your Wall Space
William Waldron

Furniture designer Kelly Behun’s Southampton, New York, beach house features a stucco-walled patio, designed by the architecture firm Sawyer Berson. A low teak table and chairs by Bonetti Kozerski Studio set off a wall adorned with staghorn ferns and baskets made in Zambia. The floor is limestone, and the rug is from Morocco.

34 Create a Petite Dining Area
James Merrell

Beside the pool of a historic Long Island, New York, farmhouse, the awning is made of salvaged corrugated-and-wired glass, and the custom outdoor furniture is topped with cushions covered in a Perennials fabric. The pool surround and patio are of Kota stone, and the topiaries are boxwood.

35 Pave Your Patio
Dominique Vorillon

Vintage Michael Taylor wicker chairs with cushions that are covered in a striped Perennials fabric sit on a small patio in a Bel-Air, California, home. The 19th-century cast-iron table is American, and the floor is antique limestone pavers.

36 Suspend Lanterns
William Waldron

For the terrace of historic Libbey Ranch (a secluded seven-acre family retreat in Ojai, California, owned by actress Reese Witherspoon) designer Kristen Buckingham surrounded a wood-topped dining table with vintage iron and wicker chairs and an antique lantern.

37 Embrace the City
Joshua McHugh

A cedar slat screen and planters of boxwood, English ivy, and magnolia provide shade and privacy on this New York City terrace. The aluminum table and bench are by Harbour Outdoor, and the lanterns are by RH, Restoration Hardware.

38 Get Lost in Greenery
William Abranowicz

The terrace in this classic Hollywood home uses patterned chaise longues in a Pindler & Pindler fabric, pillows in a Janus et Cie fabric, Moroccan lanterns, and antique English wicker chairs to give a small space lots of texture.

39 Create a Seamless Indoor/Outdoor Experience
William Abranowicz

The cocktail table, chairs, and sectional by Munder-Skiles turn the covered patio of this Massachusetts home into a cozy cocktail area. The cushions are covered in a Perennials fabric.

40 Balance Black-on-Black
Björn Wallander

The garden patio of this Oakland, California, home features sleek chairs from Design Within Reach, the bench is in the style of Lutyens, the windows are by Sierra Pacific Windows, and the exterior is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Jet Black.

41 Let the Setting Do the Talking
William Abranowicz

At a rustic Los Angeles abode, the guest room patio features a midcentury cocktail table and daybed (which has cushions covered in a Holland & Sherry fabric) by John Good.

42 Don’t Forget Your Light Fixtures
William Abranowicz

In the garden pavilion of a historic upstate New York home, a vintage garden table from Finch, in Hudson, is surrounded by dining chairs and illuminated by a pendant light from RH, Restoration Hardware. The tropical-root table is from Mecox, and the rug is from West Elm.

43 Make a Weatherproof Oasis
Douglas Friedman

At a Montana getaway designed by Ken Fulk, the outdoor fireplace is flanked by a pair of sheepskin-covered moose-antler chairs. The table is made from an antique snowshoe, and the rug is buffalo hide.

44 Hang Out (with a View)
Ricardo Labougle

The back patio of a Uruguayan country home—one of four on the property—has a view of a lake. The iron chairs came from a castle in the south of France, and the table was made by Ghesquière. The hammock makes the most of the limited space, creating the perfect place to nap and read while enjoying the scenery.

45 Celebrate Sculpture
Douglas Friedman

In Rachel Lee Hovnanian’s Greenwich Village, New York, townhouse, a spiral staircase leads to a pleasant, quaint patio. A black floral sculpture by Donald Baechler stands out against a white wall.

46 Wicker for the Win
Francesco Lagnese

On the veranda of this rustic Long Island, New York, home, the teak table is by Barlow Tyrie, the wicker chairs are by RH, Restoration Hardware, and the antique wood chairs are from Ruby Beets. The pergola supports a wisteria vine and is surrounded by boxwood topiaries.

47 Keep a Low Profile
Richard Powers

A sofa, cocktail table, and chairs by Gandia Blasco sit on a patio in a Palm Beach house overlooking the Atlantic. The cushions are upholstered in a Link Outdoor fabric, the rug is by Stark, and the landscape design is by Peggy Brazzeal.

48 See Things in Black and White
Douglas Friedman

An antique pendant light hangs above a Chippendale-style cocktail table on a bluestone patio at a Long Island, New York, estate. The table is surrounded by Horchow furniture with cushions covered in Sunbrella fabrics.

49 Tile Your Walls
Francis Amiand

A custom sofa with cushions covered in a Pierre Frey fabric sits on the patio of a Monte Carlo home. The vintage chair is by Jean Royère, and the cocktail table is by Pierre Frey.

50 Select a Sectional
Ricardo Labougle

A sophisticated backyard patio in London is furnished with blue sofas, which were reupholstered in a Perennials fabric, and custom-designed marble-and-brass tables.

51 Create a Pretty Pergola
Björn Wallander

A pergola covered in white wisteria shades a small patio area in a Southampton, New York, home. The reclaimed teak table is surrounded by rattan chairs with Sunbrella cushions from Bloom and a French iron chair.

52 Layer Bright Patterns onto a White Backdrop
Ricardo Labougle

Argentine designer Luis Galliussi decorated this small patio for model Eugenia Silva’s Portugal home, where he included a banquette covered in African textiles found in Ibiza, Spain, an urn found in a nearby village, floor cushions that are covered in remnants of antique Moroccan kilims and a Moroccan rug.

53 Bring the Indoors Out
Björn Wallander

A backyard patio is filled with unexpected furnishings: The wicker seating is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Off-Black from Beall & Bell, the pillows are covered in a stripped design fabric by Jennifer Shorto, and the folding chairs and painting hanging on the exterior of the house were both found at a Paris flea market.

54 Decorate in Monochrome
Richard Powers

The homeowners of this Moroccan abode make the most of a narrow patio by incorporating canvas-covered poufs by maisonLAB, a white wing chair by Ikea, and white dining chairs by Fermob.

55 Landscape with Topiaries
Gaelle Le Boulicaut

Tucked in Capri, an island off of Naples, Italy, is a small charming patio decorated with sleek white armchairs and a table by Gervasoni.

56 Create a Secret Garden
Richard Powers

Nestled outside a home in Marrakech, Morocco, is a small patio designed for peace and tranquility. The swing by the garden and the table were designed by Samuel Dowe-Sandes, founder of Popham Design, and the vintage chairs with red cushions are by Harry Bertoia.

57 Go for Bold Stripes
Simon Upton

Designer Sig Bergamin designed his poolside patio with comfort in mind by including a seating area paired with upholstered cushions (of his own design) mixed with other blue-and-white striped fabrics.

58 Pile on the Pillows
Richard Powers

A custom-made seating area is covered in cushions encased in a dark gray Perennials fabric on a patio at a home in Alys Beach, Florida. The teak lounge chairs are by Henry Hall Designs, and the Spanish hanging lanterns were found in Belgium.

59 Amp Up Simple Aluminum Seating
Richard Powers

A small wooden patio in Paris is a lunchtime getaway decorated with lanterns by Casamidy, a table covered with a fabric brought back from Tanzania and chairs by Alinea.

60 Cluster Pots of Herbs
Björn Wallander

Pots of thyme and rosemary and a pomegranate tree sit on a small brick patio outside a Roman house with a view of St. Peter’s Basilica. The wicker chaise longue and chair are by Manutti.

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