You look out of the window into your backyard and wish for something better. It’s small, but you want to make it into a livable space. Maybe you could turn the patio into an outdoor lounge. Or you could have an outdoor kitchen.
A small patio can still serve you well despite the lack of square footage. You just need to scale down your furniture and be strategic with your design. So why not check these small backyard patio ideas out and do something about your depressing backyard patio?
1. Low Cost Small Backyard Patio Ideas
You don’t have to hire a contractor to come in and transform your small patio. You can DIY the project and have a low-cost backyard makeover. With minimal investment, you can enjoy a beautiful outdoor space.
If you have a concrete patio, try covering it in Astroturf. The fake grass will look lush green year-round, hide the ugly concrete, and create a comfortable base for your outdoor living space. Other popular small patio ideas are to paint, tile, or stain your concrete. Then you can lay an outdoor rug down and give the space a living room feel.
If you don’t have concrete, then consider using pea gravel. You can tear out the bits of grass, level the ground, lay down landscape fabric, and then spread out the gravel. It’s simple, modern, and easy to care for.
2. Gazebo or Pergola Small Backyard Patio Ideas
Just because you have a small outdoor patio doesn’t mean the sun doesn’t make it unbearable to be out there. If you avoid using your backyard because there’s no shade or coverage, then why not construct a gazebo or pergola? Then you’ll have a covered patio that you can enjoy throughout the year.
Pergolas are popular in backyard patio ideas because you can easily scale them to fit the space. A small patio may only need a simple kit that you can build yourself. There are simple ones that are made of wood. Others are fancier and use metal, composites, and concrete.
You could even have the top of the pergola be movable so that you can change the angle of the overhead beams as the sun moves across the sky.
3. Simple Small Backyard Patio Ideas
Having a small patio means you don’t have to go all out to have a beautiful space. Several outdoor patio ideas are full of furniture, plants, and decor. This can make a small backyard patio look overly styled. For some, it will look messy and cluttered.
Take a pass on all of these overly manicured and meticulously curated patios and look for some simpler small backyard ideas. You could have a few potted plants around a cafe table and a pair of chairs.
Or you could place two love seats across from each other with a coffee table in the middle. For the tiny patio, mount a fold-out table on the wall and place four barstools around it. Now you have an instant pop-out bar.
4. Patio Furniture for Small Backyard Patios
When choosing your outdoor furniture, it needs to fit the space. Scale the size of the furniture to be smaller so that it doesn’t overpower your patio. You want to be able to easily walk around your seating area. Look for furniture that has a more open-frame design and is on legs. This will keep the space feeling more open and airy.
Take this same approach with your potted plants. Scale the size of the pots to fit the space you plan to put them in. Instead of choosing a stout and wide planter, you could pick something that’s tall and narrow. This takes up less room and also adds height, which are both beneficial to your patio.
5. Modern Small Backyard Patio Ideas
A modern approach to your small backyard means turning it into a usable space. You could upgrade your barbecue grill and build an entire outdoor kitchen. You could then cook, eat, and entertain without ever going inside. This backyard design requires you to tap into the plumbing and electrical for your home.
Another option is to create a backyard garden that is peaceful. Your small yard will become your mental escape from the stresses of the world. Plant tall trees and bushes and other plants with large leaves. This will drown out the sound noise.
Then add smaller colorful plants that will attract butterflies and birds. Add a small fountain or pond to create the gentle soundtrack of nature. Finish the space with a small sitting area that lets you enjoy the sounds of nature while finding peace of mind.
6. Paver Patios for Small Backyards
Using pavers, bricks, or stone to pave your outdoor spaces can get expensive quick. Thankfully, your patio is small, so you can build a paver or brick patio without breaking the bank. You could even choose something a bit more creative like flagstone and have an elegant stone patio.
Try using pavers or stone that are varying shades and sides. This will give your patio a design and visual interest. It will also help the space to look more upscale and custom. It’s best to have the professionals lay your pavers or stone. You’ll want it to last and be stable, which means you need to know the best methods for working with these materials.
7. Narrow Small Backyard Patio Ideas
If your patio is long and narrow, then you need to work with the space instead of trying to fight it. Instead of placing your standard patio table and chairs, look for a long and skinny one. Then build a bench seat mounted to the wall and have chairs on the other side. This reduces your width requirement. Another option is to have several cafe tables and chairs. These are smaller and require less room.
Consider hanging a hammock that runs the length of your patio. This is the perfect place to lounge out and relax with a good book. If a hammock isn’t your style, then build a long bench along the length of the patio. Place a patio cushion on it to make it more comfortable. Then you can have a small fire pit and chairs to complete the space.
8. Pools for Small Backyard Patios
Just because you have a small patio doesn’t mean you can’t have a pool or hot tub. Consider adding a small pool to your yard and creating a poolside patio. Your pool could be a wading style that’s perfect for cooling off in the hot summer months. A few feet deep with plenty of built-in seating would be perfect.
If you have a small patio but a large yard, then you could have a full-sized pool. Turn your small patio into an outdoor shower. Mount a shower head to the exterior of your home and make sure the water flows away from your house. You could even add a bamboo privacy screen to give the shower a bit more structure.
9. Fire Pits for Small Backyard Patios
What’s great about fire pits is that they come in so many styles and sizes, so you’re sure to find one that works with your yard. If you can’t find one that works, you can always build your own by getting inspired by stone patio ideas.
When choosing your fire pit, start with the size. It needs to proportionally fit the space. This is so you can move around it easily while it’s lit, and it is large enough to provide adequate heat during colder months.
You should also consider how you will power it. Some fire pits are meant for use with logs, while others use propane. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and the type you choose will depend on your preferences.
10. Lighting Ideas for Small Backyard Patios
Adding lighting to your small yard will create an atmosphere and give the space a pleasant ambiance. It will also allow you to get more use out of your backyard. The sun going down won’t stop you from enjoying your outdoor living space.
The most popular option is to hang string lights. These are electrical cables that have large bulbs evenly spaced to give you a warm glow. You could hang them along your fence or string them above to illuminate the entire area. The more strings you add, the more light you’ll have. Be sure to buy outdoor-rated lights that will be durable. You may also need to mount tall posts in the ground to support the lights, as they can get heavy.
Another easier option is to add candles. This is an excellent alternative if you don’t have the ability to plug string lights in anywhere outside. Place large candle holders or lanterns around your small yard to give the space a romantic glow.
11. Small Backyard Patio Decking Ideas
All too often, a small backyard ends up turning into a dirt pit. Don’t feel bad if your yard looks like this. It’s hard to maintain a healthy lawn when it’s tiny in size. The solution is to rip out all of that dead and dying grass and build a deck. Because your yard is small, this is an affordable backyard idea.
Plan to cover the majority of the space with your deck to create an outdoor living space. Then you can turn it into an outdoor dining area. Or you could set up a firepit and place a couch or seating area in an L or U shape around it. Now you have an outdoor lounge spot that’s perfect for entertaining.
For a natural feel, you can build your deck out of wood. However, if you’re looking for a low maintenance option, consider using a composite. It’s a bit more expensive to install but will save you a ton in long-term maintenance. It also comes in a wide variety of colors, so you can customize the look of your deck.