Home > Home Organization > DIY Projects > 25 Creative Ideas for Designing Small Outdoor Living Spaces
Apartment balcony with small table and chair

25 Creative Ideas for Designing Small Outdoor Living Spaces

Whether you’re living in an apartment, condo, townhouse, or a house with a tiny yard, there are plenty of ways to maximize outdoor living areas for small spaces. Learn how to transform your outdoor living space with these creative and budget-friendly design tips and DIY hacks!

How to Make the Most of Small Outdoor Spaces

Not all outdoor living areas are created equally. The best way to make the most of your outdoor space is to take full inventory of the area first, then consider what design ideas will work for that space!

Embrace Green Space

@chrissie_lacey Such a glow up #arizona #smallyard #backyardvibes #homeimprovement ♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show

Have a lot of green space? Sometimes less is more! Rather than adding a deck or an outdoor kitchen, focus on maintaining an open space. You can add flair to your outdoor living area with a hammock, a small fountain or sculpture, or plants like boxwoods. No natural grass in your backyard? You can add eco-friendly green space with an artificial lawn!

Maximize a Miniature Patio or Deck

Patios are ideal for backyard living spaces because you can easily make them fit any landscape with flexible building materials like stone, gravel, bricks, and pebbles! Decks are a great option to merge the indoors with the outdoors and can give the illusion of a bigger backyard. To brighten up your patio or deck, add string lights to your space!

Enjoy a Bordered Balcony

Just because you’re in an apartment or condo doesn’t mean you can’t design a cozy and cute outdoor living room. Make your outdoor balcony the ultimate destination for watching the sunset or reading while soaking up the sun.

Search Form Find an Extra Space Storage facility near you

Utilize a Side Yard

@foxterradesign Take a look at one of our favorite side yard designs! 🌿 #landscapedesign #shrubs #sideyard #sideyardgarden #smallspaceideas ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

Does your home have a small backyard? If you don’t have space behind your home, take advantage of the land on the side of your house or townhome. Most backyard design ideas can be scaled down to fit a side yard.

Give the Porch a Try

If you’re low on space but you have a front or back porch, make the most of every inch in your outdoor living area! A chair swing or fountain on the porch can turn an otherwise unused space into a comfortable outdoor living room.

Swim Your Way to More Space

Don’t let lack of space keep you from achieving your backyard dreams! A small outdoor living space with a pool is possible. Go for a smaller in-ground or above-ground pool and get creative with seating layouts and landscape design.

Create a Small Outdoor Kitchen

@houseatnumber30 #outdoorkitchen #outdoorkitchenideas #smalloutdoorspaces #outdoorkitchenproject #gardenprojects #brickbbq #gardenkitchen #gardenbbq #outdoorlivingroom #patiodecor #patiokitchen #smallgardenproject ♬ Morning Moon – brd

Is your outdoor living space too small for a large outdoor kitchen? You can set up a small kitchen in your backyard by adding a grill, a small outdoor bar, or even a garden pizza oven for entertaining.

Classic Design Ideas for Tiny Outdoor Spaces

What makes a great outdoor space? Some rules and backyard design tips and tricks are universal. Check out these timeless choices and make your small outdoor living area rich with style!

Choose Minimalism

Let nature be your best design accent! Whether you’re looking for cute apartment patio ideas or outdoor room ideas for small spaces, less is more! Simplicity is your best friend when dealing with a limited backyard living space.

Add a Pop of Color

Nice Outdoor Sectional On a Deck. Photo by Instagram user @frontgate

Photo via @frontgate

The simplest trick to conquering small outdoor living spaces is distraction! A few bright accents will divert neighbors and friends away from noticing the size of your yard, helping them focus on the fun.

Embrace Neutrals

@conawaytwins Redecorating my balcony right in time for patio season 🫶🏼🤍 #outdoordecor #balconymakeover #balconyinspo #outdoorspacedecor #patiomakeover #patiodecor #patioseason #neutralhome ♬ streets x kiss it better – sped up – INDRAGERSN

While color is great to draw in attention, too many bright pops and patterns can make your space seem cluttered. Stick to classic neutrals like white, gray, or beige for the majority of your patio furniture and backyard living space!

Utilize Vertical Space

If you’re low on outdoor space because you’re in a townhome or condo, adding vertical space can create more room for decor, but it can also add some much-needed privacy! Creating a lattice privacy wall, a pallet fence, or a succulent wall are great ways to add privacy and better utilize vertical space in your outdoor living area.

Designate Specific Areas

outdoor living space with bench seating and a dining area just on the opposite side photo by Instagram user @ggemdesign

Photo via @ggemdesign

Just because your backyard living space is small doesn’t mean you can’t create separate areas. While it might seem best to keep your outdoor area as open as possible, creating distinct sections for specific activities can actually make a space seem larger. Separating a play area from an outdoor living room can give each area its own place for entertaining in your backyard.

Set Up an Indoor/Outdoor Living Room

@macy.blackwell Transforming our small space into a cozy little outdoor lounge! 🪵🌿 #smallspace #patiofurniture #patiodecor #patioideas #deckideas #outdoorliving #outdoorspaces #hgtv #targethome #wayfairfinds #summerdecor ♬ original sound – Sickickmusic

Expand your backyard by bringing nature past your doorway and into your home! Flowing curtains, glass doors, and plants can all help seamlessly merge your available space into an indoor/outdoor room.

Best Outdoor Furniture for a Small Backyard

Curious how to build an outdoor living space in a small area? One of the simplest ways to better utilize your backyard space is to choose smart, functional furniture!

Get Multi-Purpose Furniture

mutli-purpose furniture with beers in small cooler holds photo by Instagram user @mrtnz_ww

Photo via @mrtnz_ww

Choose outdoor furniture that can be used for multiple purposes! No need to lose precious space to coolers when you can ice your drinks in the center of your patio table. Want to make your own table with a built-in cooler instead of buying one? Follow these DIY instructions to transform your current patio table!

Try L-Shaped Furniture

Make corners work for you! Especially if you have a deck or patio with walls or a ledge, L-shaped patio furniture can seamlessly run the perimeter of your outdoor living space. This means more room for friends, family, and outdoor activities!

Go for a Smaller Coffee Table

@iamhayleystuart HOW TO MAKE A DIY OUTDOOR COFFEE TABLE. #diy #howto #diyproject #fyp #foryoupage #diyprojects #diyhomedecor #diygarden #homeinspo #homeideas ♬ original sound – Hayley Stuart

Sometimes, certain furniture just won’t fit. So trade in large patio tables for a small coffee table instead. As long as you and your guests have somewhere to set drinks, no one will really miss the big table.

Use Glass Furniture

glass side table next to outdoor couch photo by Instagram user @roda.official

Photo via @roda.official

Maximizing your small outdoor living space can be as simple as choosing glass patio furniture. Thick patio sets visually stop the eye and make the space feel cluttered. Open up even the tiniest of backyards with clear furniture like coffee tables, side tables, or dining tables!

Try Benches Instead of Chairs

Ditch outdoor chairs for benches! Particularly if you have a small or narrow backyard, long benches allow you to push seating up against a wall or fence and get more seats for guests.

Elongate a Space with Tall Furniture

Think vertically with your patio furniture, too! Tall top outdoor tables and chairs help create long, clean lines even in the most cramped spaces. Whether you’re working with a small courtyard or mini porch, a tall table can accommodate more people in a limited space!

Make the Most of Your Pergola

@hanashappyhome Patio ans pergola reveal!!! Set up my small deck and im ready to hang in this outdoor oasis! 🌴☀️✌🏽 #Pergola #OutdoorOasis #SmallSpace #DeckDesign #DeckInspiration #PatioInspo #patio #patiodesign #patiodecor #patiofurniture ♬ Come Check This – FETISH

The sky’s the limit when it comes to utilizing vertical space! Transform your backyard living area into a cozy living room or kitchen by adorning your pergola with lights, plants, and even floating vases. Searching for creative ways to hang your plants? Check out these unique DIY planter ideas!

How to Distract Guests from Your Small Yard

Small backyards can still have attention-grabbing focal points! Creating a central focus for guests can help your outdoor living space seem bigger. Try one of these ideas to tie your space together!

Include a Fire Pit

Do you have an extra narrow patio or deck? Try installing a rectangular outdoor fire pit that can more easily squeeze into snug outdoor living spaces. Then, add chairs next to the fire pit for entertaining your guests.

Integrate Unique Lighting

Creating a beautiful outdoor living space isn’t difficult when you have good lighting. Interesting light fixtures and Edison string lights will attract eyes and really brighten up any backyard.

Search Form Find an Extra Space Storage facility near you

Enhance Your Space with a Water Feature

@sculptureyourhome DIY pond in a pot . The perfect addition to any outdoor space ! #pondinapot #gardenpond #minipond #diypond #diypond🐟🐠🐡 #outdoorspace #outdoordecorating #homedecortiktok #diy #diyoutdoorproject #waterfeaturetiktok #waterfeature #outdoordecor ♬ Every Second – Mina Okabe

Creating a beautiful outdoor living space isn’t difficult when you have good lighting. Interesting light fixtures and Edison string lights will attract eyes and really brighten up any backyard.

Add a Vertical Garden

Have you always wanted a garden in your backyard? Vertical space isn’t just for privacy fences and hanging decor. It’s also great for starting a garden in a small space and displaying your favorite succulents or flowers!

Highlight Multiple Levels

Create the illusion of more room by landscaping your small space by creating an elevated patio or deck to your outdoor living area! Making separate levels with a brick patio or raised flower beds will provide visual separation that helps your outdoor space appear larger.


Need to store patio furniture or gardening tools while you’re designing your small outdoor space? Extra Space Storage has storage facilities throughout the country. Find secure storage near you!

25 outdoor living space ideas