How To Maximize a Small Patio

Although small in square footage, this California backyard was renovated to beef up the space’s function and style. Converting the yard into a patio created an ultimate outdoor gathering space for the homeowners. Take a cue from this ultimate patio on how to use your outdoor living space wisely.

Patio Space Planning
To eliminate wasted space behind furnishings, the patio seating was placed in a corner, along the perimeter. This also helps create the feel of a room between the house and the seating. Having a laid out space plan prior to starting work is always a great idea. Small patios rule out large gardens, but tall trees and lush greens provide privacy along the fence. The patio’s designer, Chris Fenmore of Garden Studio Design, suggests placing taller plants behind smaller ones to create an illusion of depth and make the space seem grander.

Concrete Idea
This space-sufficient design creates the perfect easy living outdoor space through multipurpose furnishings, poured-in-place concrete seating to better frame the area, and a portable grill. With an overhanging umbrella, shade is never too far away on bright sunny days.

Outdoor Built-In
A creative “coffee table” fashioned from an old horse trough serves many purposes. One side is a drink cooler, and the wood top can be moved so the drink cooler is easily accessible on those steamy days.

Roaring Fire
By moving the other half of the top of the three-in-one table, the fire pit is revealed. Perfect for cold nights, the fire pit is a great place to gather around and share stories with friends and family. There are wood tops for both sides of the table so both the fire pit and the drink cooler can be covered.

Punchy Pillows
Pillows in various patterns and colors add spark to the patio as well as comfort. Blue and orange are complementary colors, a dynamic combination that brings the patio to life.

Greening Up
Small slivers of leafy greens poke through the patio floor, outlining the seating and table. These small slivers of green add great contrast and color to the patio, which has limited planting space.

Water Feature
Like the table, the fountain was also originally a horse trough. Around it, planting insets bring a bit of garden into the space and a splash of color. These plants also provide an outline to the patio.

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