If you live in a region that has moderate temperatures and frequent sunny skies, your apartment patio is an excellent place to enjoy the outdoors without having to leave home. But because apartment patios are usually small, many people decide to leave their patio bare or use it as a storage area. Take up the challenge and design an extra space outdoors for reading, relaxing, or entertaining.
Flooring: Patio flooring is usually made of concrete or wood. Add an outdoor rug to warm up the space; choose natural jute materials or weather-proof rugs specifically designed for outdoor use.
Colors: As with interior spaces, lighter colors in your patio open up the space. If your patio is bordered by a dark wall or fence, you can paint it in a lighter tone, if that’s ok with your landlord. Or hang light colored accents on the wall, such as baskets or light colored metal wall art. When choosing plants, furniture and accessories, opt for bright colors that won’t wash out in the natural light.
Furniture: A small bistro table with a chair or two is a popular furnishing for a patio. An outdoor chaise or bench with comfortable cushions, plus a low side table are alternative places to enjoy your morning coffee or evening cocktail. Consider getting a hammock for an ultimate place to relax. In addition, nesting tables and foldable chairs are good ideas if you entertain from time to time.
Design: Use tall furniture or plant stands to draw the eye up, and avoid clutter on the patio floor. Create depth by placing tall and dark-colored plant holders and patio accessories by the wall, step down to medium and shorter versions in front. Create a focal point in your patio, such as a table fountain or a dramatic flowering plant.
Plants: Plants add instant color and appeal and they can be used to create privacy or block an unattractive view. Hang pots of trailing flowers or baskets of ferns from ceiling hooks or place a small tree such as a ficus or palm in the corner. Place colorful pots of cacti or a porcelain tray of bonsai on a ledge. If you wish, you can grow and harvest tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, and other vegetables and fruits right in your patio space.
Accessories: Decorative pillows on your furniture, outdoor candles, wind chimes, and mini fountains that run on batteries are popular patio accessories. Reflective surfaces like glass accents and mirrors reflect light and create the feel of spaciousness.
Lighting: Strings of lights or solar power lamps are good options for patio lighting at night. You can also choose from wall sconces, outdoor table and floor lamps and of course, lots of candles in table lanterns or mountable sconces.
Cleaning: Protect your investment by choosing weather-proof furniture and washable cushions. A storage bin on the patio makes it easy to tuck items away during inclement weather or the off season. Sturdy washable plastic covers for outdoor furniture can be found from online sources and are ideal for apartment dwellers who have no place to store outdoor furniture through the winter.