During the weekend, we popped around to a really good friend’s new home to drop off a housewarming prezzie and, wow, even though her backyard is just a small patio area, she had already proved that it’s the little things in life that are the most beautiful – Patios Make The Prettiest Backyards!
It was so well done. What’s more, it made her so happy. The rest of the house was still packed away in boxes and the walls were still as bare as a cave, but she didn’t care because turned her tiny slice of the great outdoors into a gorgeous oasis; that little sanctuary she could slip off to and escape.
Basically, she proved something so valuable to us: just because your backyard isn’t the biggest (or even average-sized), doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the fresh air as much as the next person. It’s just a matter of being innovative, thinking outside the box and seeing the potential in your space.
Anyway, it got us thinking long and hard about what other ways you could make a little patio area as pretty as a summer dress and so, without further ado, here are our top tips and best tricks for decorating your small patio space. Trust us, it will be the best DIY project you’ve ever taken on.
Focus On The Flooring
When you don’t have much space to play around with accessories or get creative with lots of furniture, you need to use what space you have in the most wonderful way possible, and that includes the flooring. That’s what will bring your space to life and make it pop and pull it all together. Yes, having a gorgeous metal chiminea in the corner, a few potted plants around the edge, a couple of floor cushions and some minimalist chairs will look incredible, but it will be that patterned flooring you put down that makes this space sing most of all – this is where the perfect ambience will come from. Of course, what sort of pattern and colour you choose will depend on your taste and space, but a grey and white Aztec look always looks good.
Know Your Reason
This may seem like a really weird and riddled thing to say, but knowing what you will want to use your garden for is a huge piece of the puzzle. If you just want to have a little somewhere you can escape to when the hustle and bustle gets too much, then decorate with that in mind. Think about colours, having a cosy reading corner and add some art to the walls. On the other hand, if you are someone that loves entertaining or part of an amazing friendship gaggle, then think about that and maybe dedicate your space to the outdoor dining cause. Get a gorgeous teak dining set from somewhere like www.Bridgman.co.uk/teak-garden-furniture, add a herb garden somewhere and tuck an outdoor fridge inside a DIY pallet-cabinet. Of course, you might want to use your space to embrace self-sufficiency, in which case you’ll want to add living walls and vertical growing and little veggie troughs. In short, keep in mind whatever it is you are after.
The world has started to adopt a love of space-saving everything. It’s incredible. There are even people that have transformed their entire studio apartments into space-saving homes that have everything you could need and more. That’s why you should explore what is out there when it comes to buying furniture for your little space. Folding tables, foldaway chairs, nesting tables, storage ottomans and benches and anything else you can think of. Essentially, the aim of the game is to either invest in furniture that can be folded away when not in use or have furniture that offers more than one purpose.
Mirror Mirror, On The Wall
When people try and make a room in their home feel bigger, the first thing they do is hang a mirror – or lots of mirrors – on the wall opposite a window. It’s just the most stunning way to make a room feel double the size. But it’s not just indoors that mirrors can work their magic. Oh no. They can help expand the size of your patio too. But don’t just hang a mirror on your outside wall and stop there; embrace as many interior accents as you can. We’re talking chandeliers, candles and candelabras, and a dining area complete with tablecloth and cushions. Not only will this make your space feel bigger (thank you miss mirror), it will make it feel like a true addition to your home and one that will use so much more often as a result.
Compliment Your View
Just because you have a small patio area, courtyard or outside space does not mean you have to enjoy it as an outside space. No way. In fact, one of the most visually striking things you can do is fill the entire space with green plants, especially tall tropical ones. Just imagine how amazing it would be to have your own jungle oasis sat on the other side of the folding doors in your living room. Strapping palms, beautiful cordylines and plume-like ferns like Dicksonia all bursting to life. Don’t worry about this being a wasted-space either because, like we said, with folding doors, you can make it feel as though this little slice of nature’s paradise is inside your home by just opening it up. It will breathe life into your home like nothing else.
Swiss Chalet Style
If you want to make your little balcony stand out or give it a little slice of personality, then why not create a Swiss chalet look with a pale wood everything. Literally everything. Not only will this make your outdoor space look a million times chicer, the lighter colour will also boost that sense of space. Put down some pale decking, frame your space with pale wood slats filled with sculpted evergreens in box planters and furnish your place with pale teak furniture; a modular sofa that can be used differently each time and Adirondack-style chairs. If you really wanted to get that sense of luxury, you could even lay down some faux-fur rugs and lay some soft blankets on the back of each chair. Do this and you’ll never want to hang out anywhere else.
Think Outside The Box
If you close your eyes and take an imaginary tour of your home for a second, what would be the smallest room in your home? Your bathroom, right? That tends to be the most space-savvy room in a home. So, using this information, why not doing something bold and brilliant and transform your little patio area into a bathroom from paradise. Come on, you’ve fantasised about enjoying an al fresco bath at least once in your life; that feeling of sinking into a luxe tub surrounded by a collection of shrubs and plants and pampas grass. It’s the dream. But it’s also totally attainable. It’s just having the dare to do it. Of course, if it’s the style you’re worrying about, you cannot go wrong with a metallic tub, especially on that’s brass or copper. It’s that eclectic touch that you will love. You could even surround your space in one-way glass if you’re worried about, how do we say, exposure.
Paint It White, Alright
We mentioned it above briefly, you should think of your outside space in the same way you would your interior and paint the walls of your patio white. It boasts a ton of brightening and lightening qualities, which why so many designers use white in their interior design and the same reason you should use it to make your outdoor space feel bigger. But that’s not all. It’s also the most stylish colour to choose. You can just imagine it now, white painted brickwork with white garden furniture, all made to pop by a few accent colours, whether that be the green potted-plants, bright sofa cushions or the sunbrella you put up for a little bit of shade. It’s a scheme that has serious style.
Lush With No Lawn
The glaringly obvious thing a small patio garden is lacking is a lawn. But, trust us, you don’t need a neat-looking lawn to create a lush backyard. Nor do you need to put down some gardening beds either. All you need is an idea of what will work best and, in our humble opinion, that is a light-coloured gravel floor surrounding by a plethora of pots. Lots of pots. As many pots as you can fit around the perimeter. Big pots, small pots, terracotta pots, decorated pots, all sorts of pots. However, that’s just the first phase. The real beauty comes from filling them with an array of different things, from small flowering plants to big bush trees and everything in between (which is mainly shrubs). Anyway, do this and then finish the look off with a nice little seating area; somewhere to catch the afternoon or morning sun.
Like we said at the beginning, the little things in life are often the most beautiful.
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