Apartment patio ideas bring the welcome sights, sounds and fragrances of the outdoors to what can be a very compact home. And, as well as planting, dining furniture or comfortable seating is likely to be on the list of desirable features for an apartment patio that makes the most of the outdoor space and existing patio ideas.
The patio is welcome extra square footage if you live in an apartment and echoing the colors and patterns featured in your apartment ideas can ensure indoors and out are cohesive and make the apartment feel bigger. But decorative room ideas will also give the patio individual style, and we’ve gathered our favorite apartment patio ideas as a starting point for your own plans.
Apartment patio ideas
From color schemes to clever furniture designs, these patio ideas are perfect to make the exterior space stylish, as well as highly usable.
1. Create the perfect backdrop with black
'For bijou patios, outdoor dining ideas are often the order of the day,' says George Miller, home designer at Neptune. 'A generous table and budge-along benches will create a really sociable space, made all the more inviting with a selection of pillows and blankets, lanterns and portable lighting. A black fence can work wonders too – offering the perfect backdrop to your scheme (and your plant life), all the while making your patio feel larger than it is.'
2. Opt for slimline seating when space is tight
'Your apartment patio ideas need to take account of the fact that space can be on the lean side, so the key is to be clever with what you have,' says Melanie Griffiths, editor, Period Living. ‘Slimline tables will be your best friend and choose rectangular over circular so they use up as little space as possible.’
3. Add an outdoor rug to a seating area on a patio
'For this apartment patio, a white and blue striped rug has been used to pull together a small seating area that makes the most of the room by creating a decorative and functional space,' says Katie Lions, senior interior designer at Kitesgrove.
'Incorporating plants, wooden features and natural textures makes the patio feel more like a garden oasis, and a perfect outdoor relaxation spot.'
4. Enjoy a Mediterranean feel
Space to realize apartment patio ideas may be limited, but decor and well-chosen patio furniture ideas can make all the difference. 'If you only have the room for a perch for two on your patio, consider making a real feature of it,' says George Miller. ‘A single bench will benefit from a confident and inviting backdrop. Think characterful color for nearby walls or fencing, plenty of plants and some smaller accessories to really make the most of your chosen piece.’
5. Create an outdoor living room on an apartment patio
Echo indoor style if an outdoor living room is one of your apartment patio ideas. 'This space incorporates a sophisticated palette of misty hues, lavish materials, and plush furniture for a harmonious concept. Comfortable furniture invites outdoor entertaining and expands upon the space indoors,' says Lindye Galloway, founder and chief creative officer at Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop.
6. Take your interior style outside
Let indoor influences extend to the patio. 'The main courtyard is divided with an outdoor sala – it’s a place where everyone enjoys congregating,’ says Michelle Nussbaumer, owner and lead designer at Michelle Nussbaumer. ‘The arches throughout the property have origins in Islamic architecture which travelled through Morocco to Spain and Mexico. The furnishings within the house are a mélange of Italian, Spanish baroque, Mexican colonial antiques, and the artwork ranges from Mexican colonial to well-known contemporary Mexican artists.'
7. Brighten an apartment patio with planters
Container gardening can brighten an apartment patio. 'A great idea is to choose versatile planters that look equally good indoors for continuity of style,’ says Jane Nicolson, co-founder of House of Dome.
‘Our top pick are the Base Pot contemporary planters by Italian brand Slide Design which are lightweight so easy to move around and come in three sizes/heights so work brilliantly when displayed as a collection. They are made for both indoor and outdoor use and you can pick and mix from over 20 colors so they’re easy to tone in with your decor, plus you can also select an optional lacquered finish for added luxe style.'
8. Create an outdoor paradise with greenery
Make the space lush with foliage plants. 'The quickest way to achieve verdant apartment patio ideas is to opt for plants like bamboo and ferns with their interesting foliage,’ says Jennifer Ebert, digital editor, Homes & Gardens.
‘For outdoor dining among the greenery, choose a table that fits proportionately with the space in a material that can withstand weather so you don't need to store it inside.’
9. Paint your furniture and planters
Consider painting furniture to give an apartment patio personality. 'Even the smallest of patio spaces can be transformed with color,’ says Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene.
‘It's often the norm in traditional gardens to paint exterior walls or outdoor details in harmonious colours to blend in with their natural surroundings, but where space is tight, opt for a bold and vibrant color such as the deep teal Canton which will bring a feeling of summer all year round. Alternatively, pair a rich blue like Marine Blue with the bold yellow Mister David on plant pots or garden furniture for a color highlight.'
10. Design a cozy outdoor space
‘Spending time outside with family and friends is one of the great joys of the summer months, but you don’t need a huge space to make the most of the warmer weather – all you need is comfortable seating and a place to rest a cocktail or two,' says Sue Jones, co-founder of OKA. ‘Our all-weather rattan chairs are practical and stylish, and would look right at home on a patio or terrace.
‘Even the smallest of spaces can be brought to life with some print and color, so I’d recommend swapping a traditional side table for OKA's Rander ceramic stool – not only do the stripes add a fun pop of pattern, but it's also a great space saver and can double as a spare seat when last-minute guests pop round.’
How do you beautify a small patio?
There a whole host of ways to beautify a small patio. Grow a garden in containers to make it more appealing. Both flowers and foliage will add color, texture, and even appealing sound as the wind moves the leaves.
Lay a patterned outdoor rug underfoot and consider painting walls or fences to create an attractive backdrop. Think about painting furniture that’s looking tired, too, and introduce color with pillows and throws that will add comfort as well as interest.
How do I get privacy on my apartment patio?
To get privacy on an apartment patio, you can put up screens made from bamboo or other materials. They’ll still let light through, but they can stop it being overlooked.
While it’s not an instant remedy, growing climbing plants will make your space private when they’ve reached sufficient height and there are plenty of options that will grow well in containers. For a quicker solution, invest in large shrubs and foliage plants to provide screening.
Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 20 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time, both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor for indie magazine, 91, she trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for modern weddings and events. For H&G, she writes features about interior design – and is known for having an eye for a beautiful room.
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