Outdoor

Small patio ideas for major outdoor impact

When warmer weather arrives, the patio can become the heart of the home, a haven of peace, and a setting for happy occasions and gatherings of families and friends.

Practical guide - 25 July 2017

Tip 1

Spring cleaning

It’s time to clear away all those bits and pieces that have gathered over the winter when the patio may have become a convenient storage space for all those things you plan on organizing one of these days.

Tip 2

Make a plan

It may sound like micro-management, but even with a small patio, give yourself time to picture the end result before you start browsing the garden centers for plants and outdoor furniture!

Tip 3

Stepping Stones

Patio ideas with stepping stones can work equally well with grass surroundings or with a Zen-style gravel surface. Add some large natural stones to the gravel for an arty result and try for a random-looking result rather than perfect symmetry.

Tip 4

Vary the surface

For patio ideas with grass, remember that a mixture of paving, decking, and grass can make the space look much bigger by dividing it into “rooms” rather than one overall uniform sweep. Plan spaces for eating, reading, and chatting in a group.

Tip 5

Raise the beds

Nothing is better for a sense of both space and coziness than raised beds. This is the essential patio idea with plants. Raised beds create depth and interest, bring flowers and foliage closer, and make gardening easier! a

 

Tip 6

Deck the walls

If your patio ideas include retaining walls, continue the multi-dimensional theme with hanging baskets – on trellis, stone, or suspended from non-structural wooden arches between raised beds to add even more dimension. Use trailing plants for maximum impact.

Tip 7

Funky furnishing

Be brave with furnishing your small patio. There’s nothing wrong with using old chairs or tables that have seen better days and accepting that the weather will take its toll. Give them an extra season of useful life!

Tip 8

Essential lighting

The soft flicker of candlelight makes all the difference between a dull space and an attractive, romantic atmosphere. Have fun with lanterns or Halloween-style hollowed-out vegetables to make original and pretty candle-holders.

Tip 9

Quick mini-pool

Even a tiny pool adds sparkle, space, and focus. Use a baby bathtub, large laundry bowl or something similar. Conceal the edges with gravel or earth. If you can’t sink the tub, surround it with rocks and plant pots.

Tip 10

A welcome mat

If you can find old burlap or coconut matting in a thrift store, use it to carpet your seating area for an original outdoor touch. And when it’s past its useful life, it makes a great winter mulch for flower beds!

In a nutshell

Spring clean your small patio as you would your living room. It’s not the place for clutter and a calm atmosphere takes some planning.

Use hanging baskets for plants, a tiny outdoor pool, and as many candles as you can reasonably manage to create an open-air living space with a beautiful atmosphere.

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