One of the biggest downsides to apartment living is the big lack of available outdoor space. Even if you have a small patio area, it can often feel overwhelming trying to decide how to decorate it to truly make the most of it. Don’t worry though — we’ve put together a list of helpful ideas to help you utilize the patio space you do have, whatever the size.
Choose a Theme
First of all, you need to decide what the theme of your patio is going to be. You could just throw a bunch of things together and see what happens, but it’s very likely that it’ll just look cluttered and you won’t be able to enjoy it as much later on down the road. Figure out what you plan to use the patio for most, and work from there.
Make a Plan
Set a budget and stick to it. Make a list of everything you want to get (or rough ideas of what type of thing) and shop around to get the best bang for your buck. It might even be worth doodling a little drawing of the area to make sure that everything will fit where you want it to go.
Spice Up the Flooring
Chances are your apartment patio floor will just be the standard concrete. This isn’t particularly pretty, and could even ruin all the hard work you’ve put into making the patio feel cozy and comfortable. Luckily, you can upgrade your patio flooring easily and inexpensively using interlocking deck tiles. With options including brown wood, gray, or even artificial grass, big names like IKEA have you covered here. Even better, these tiles are super easy to click together and secure in place, and just as easy to remove when you feel like changing things up. They’ll give the entire patio a new lease on life and turn an otherwise-dull floor into something you can be proud of.
Put Up a Privacy Screen or Curtains
Depending on the type of patio you have, you may not have much in the way of privacy. Installing some easily detachable privacy screens can help give your patio a sense of intimacy that you might otherwise not have the luxury of.
If you’re not a big fan of privacy screens, you can always hang up a pair of chic curtains that you can close whenever you want some peace and quiet. Curtains are especially useful if you love the view in your area, as they mean that you can have an unobscured look at the city around you, but only whenever it suits you.
Green Things Up With Tall Plants
If neither of the above privacy solutions seems to be an option for you, you might consider consider working a few tall plants like bamboo into your patio to create an obstructive natural “wall.” This is a really handy way to create a sense of seclusion if your outdoor space is right up against your neighbor’s with no wall in between.
Start an Herb Garden
It’s always fun to repurpose items for unusual uses. A hanging shoe rack can be useful inside the apartment, but have you ever thought about using it outside, too? Yes, fabric shoe organizers can be a great way to grow herbs without needing to use too much space. Simply hang them on one of your patio walls and water the plants within regularly. Fresh herbs for every meal? Yes, please!
Accommodate Outdoor Dining
Especially if your apartment is too small for a proper dining area, utilizing the patio space as an outdoor dining room can be a great way to save space and really get the most out of the place. A slightly larger than average bistro table is perfect for eating your meals on and, depending on the size of your patio, means you could even have guests over for dinner.
Get a Folding Table
A folding table can be a fantastic way to make sure you have a big surface available outside when you need it, but leave the patio looking uncluttered the rest of the time. Most people rarely need a table up all the time anyways, and folding ones make for great ways to maximize the space.
Put Up Shelving
Install some shelves onto the end walls of your apartment patio. Depending on your style, you can then use these for potted plants, a minibar area, candles, or even books if the area is protected enough from the elements.
Set Up Some String Lights
A few strategically hung sets of string lights can completely transform an apartment patio, giving an extra-intimate feel to those nice relaxed evenings. Make sure they’re suitable for outdoor use and have them set up permanently, or just use them for special occasions.
Make Things Comfy With Solid Seating
No apartment patio is complete if there’s nowhere for you to enjoy it. The type of seating you choose will be dependent on what theme you’re going for, but you have to make sure you include some kind of seating in this space. Whether that be a pair of dining chairs, a rattan chest with cushions on top, or even a hammock, don’t forget to add at least one piece to help you relax and enjoy your little retreat from the world.
Allow yourself to enjoy your balcony or patio in any weather with a retractable awning that keeps you safe from the elements, rain or shine. Failing that, there’s actually such a thing as a ‘half umbrella’ that you can use to protect yourself from less-than-desirable conditions.
As you can see, there are many ways to create the perfect apartment patio that you’ll love spending time on. Leave us a comment if you have any more tips that we haven’t mentioned here, and if you try any of our suggestions out, definitely let us know.