Getting the Most Out of a Small Outdoor Living Space

Real Estate Agent with Halstead Property 10301208609

outdoor heaterBy Marissa Alan of Village Confidential

If you’ve done any research into outdoor living space design, you’ve undoubtedly seen the massive homes and massive outdoor areas that accompany them. In fact, you’re probably convinced that you have to have a 4,000 square foot house and at least a 2 acre lot to have one! Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth. Even if you’re working with a small patio or an apartment balcony, you can still make it an extension of the home that people enjoy spending time in. Here are some key concepts for getting the most out of a small outdoor living space.

Hang Things (Planters, Wind Chimes)

When you’re working with a small outdoor area, floor space is at an absolute premium. You’ve got to make sure you have enough room for people to sit and stand comfortably – otherwise, nobody’s going to want to go out there! An easy way to make sure you have as much floor space as possible is to hang decorations rather than place then on the ground. Think about a planter. Sure, you could put one on the ground, but you could just as easily put up a beautiful hanging basket, giving you beautiful greenery without taking up as much space. Other decorations, including wind chimes, lighting, and fans or heaters can all benefit from this.

Place Large Items Strategically

In any outdoor space, you’ve got to strategically place your larger items so they work well, and that’s even more important in a smaller area. You want the main portion of the area to be open, so large items should be placed at the outside edges. But this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style. A square table positioned in the corner and paired with 2 chairs gives you room to sit without dominating the patio and looks good doing it. You can even put a nice sized grill against a wall, keeping it out of the way but still easily accessible. The key here is to keep the main part of the area open, creating the illusion of space and making it easy for you and others to move around.

Keep It Simple

Finally, remember to keep it simple. While large outdoor areas can have multiple design themes and varied functionality, a smaller one should have a clear, single focus in mind. It could be entertaining, relaxing, cooking, anything you want. Just make sure you pick one and stick to it. Remember to be selective in how you use your space and the accessories you add to it. Although it’s tempting, don’t just throw everything you see that looks good out there – you’ll end up with a cluttered mess that detracts instead of adds to your home. Keep things simple, don’t go overboard, and you’ll be fine.

Just because your outdoor area is on the small side doesn’t mean you can’t have a great area people like to kick back in. Put these concepts to use and you’ll have an outdoor living space everyone loves to visit!

About The Author – Marissa Alan is a writer with Outdoor Living, a contributor to Village Confidential, and loves exterior decorating. For more on products like patio heaters, planters, rain barrels, and wind chimes, visit


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Bret & Meredith Amon
LIV| Sotheby's I R - Breckenridge, CO
Real Estate Breckenridge,Keystone,Silverthorne CO

Great ideas for small spaces! Thanks for sharing. Meredith Amon. Breckenridge Colorado

Sep 26, 2011 03:36 PM #1
Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Hi Mike,  great information ...thanks for sharing.

Sep 26, 2011 03:38 PM #2
Kate Akerly
Halstead Property - Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn Residential Sales and New Development

Glad you found it helpful!  Thanks for stopping by.

Sep 26, 2011 03:49 PM #3
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Very nice tips...especially the idea of hanging a pleasing item.

Sep 26, 2011 04:05 PM #4
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Kate Akerly

Brooklyn Residential Sales and New Development