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Patio Design Ideas for Small Yards

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

The weather is consistently warming up here in Dallas, TX and while it is still March, I can't help but start planning for time outdoors. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a big camper but I do love late night conversations around a backyard fire pit.

So with all of the excitement for spending time in the warm sun I thought I'd share an inside look into our design process as I work on furnishing our back patio. Initially, it's easy to get discouraged by a smaller space. But let me encourage you, don't get stuck with the question, "How do I design a small patio?" Smaller spaces can feel more intimate and intentional as long as you buy furniture that fits the area. Figure out functionally what you want from the patio and then build from there.

With this patio, our main goal is to define an area where we can host groups ranging in size from church groups to a breakfast for two before the mid-day sun. Style-wise, I love neutrals that show off form and have natural elements. Our budget is coming from our tax return and we wanted to stay south of $1,500.

Before purchasing any new pieces for a space, I like to build what I call a "design board". This becomes all the more important with a smaller space as every piece of furniture should serve a purpose. Even as an interior designer, this process is helpful to see how all the elements work together. We wanted a space with fire but didn't want it to replace the coffee table as we wanted people to feel comfortable setting their drinks down too. In the design board below, another one of my concerns was that the black chairs plus the fire column were going to feel out of balance across from the white sectional. The design board helped me pull together some darker pillows for the sectional to create more balance with colors.

Outdoor rug: $120 (another one I like here)

Fire column: $300 (we loved this one because the propane is concealed in the column)

See below for our before and afters!

Our before of the patio is pretty much a blank slate besides the broken chiminea that was left at our house by the previous owners.

We already love our new space for hosting! What are some of your favorite elements?




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