This Summer, No Excuses: Make the Most of Your Small Outdoor Space

This Summer, No Excuses: Make the Most of Your Small Outdoor Space

Nancy Mitchell
May 8, 2016

Living in a small home or apartment probably means that you treasure your outdoor space all the more — but if your outdoor space is on the small side, it can be tricky to know what to do with it. Here are a few tips for turning your space, be it an eight-foot patio or a two-foot-deep Juliet balcony, into a beautiful retreat you can enjoy all summer long.

No dirt doesn't have to mean no plants.
A lot of apartment patios or balconies are just sad little stretches of concrete. But the good news is that you can still grow all kinds of plants (almost anything you can imagine, really) in containers. For maximum visual appeal, vary the height, size, and even materials of the containers you choose, and pick plants in similarly tiered heights.

Grow up.
Vertical planters are a great option for small outdoor spaces — they add texture and interest, and dramatically increase the amount of planting space available.

Use tall elements to draw the eye up.
It's true for outdoor spaces as well as indoor ones: using vertical elements draws the eye up and visually enlarges the space. A few things to consider: lights strung overhead, tall, trailing vines, a tree in a pot.

Embrace folding furniture.
Furniture that folds is a great choice for a small outdoor space — you can have, for example, a table and chairs to use when the urge for outdoor dining strikes you, but fold them up and store them for extra outdoor real estate when not in use.

Try a bar cart.
A bar cart is a hugely versatile piece that works just as well out of doors as it does inside. (Provided, of course, your cart is suitable for outdoor use.) You can use it as a plant stand, a side table, or (my favorite) a companion to your grill, for a small, budget friendly outdoor kitchen.

Want more inspiration for your small outdoor space?

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