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How to Style a Small Outdoor Space For Spring Entertaining

How to Style a Small Outdoor Space For Spring Entertaining

I don’t know about you, but with spring here, I can’t wait to invite friends over for a little backyard shindig. Unfortunately, for those of us with tight patios or lawns, outdoor get-togethers often pose a challenge. To make the most of your alfresco sanctuary, here are a few tips and tricks on how to style a small outdoor space for spring entertaining.

Add Vertical Height

Adding height and drawing the eye up, makes any space feel less cramped.   Drapes can add height to your outdoor space. They also encapsulate and soften the area, making it feel more cozy and homey. A quick tip: Choose a color-fast fabric (like Sunbrella) that protects from UV rays. Another way to add height, especially if you desire greenery, is to accentuate an existing wall or fence. If said wall or fence is short to begin with, you can even add a trellis to create an enchanting display of trailing vines. If you have a green thumb -- fasten an herb garden!


Hanging plant baskets and black-painted fencing draw the eye up. Source

Add Mirrors

Just as mirrors give the illusion of space indoors, it works outside too! Light reflects and makes a space appear deeper and more open.


 Megan Pflug Designs treated this intimate outdoor space with trellis panels backed with mirrored plexiglass.   

Maximize the Space

Think in terms of folding, rolling, and collapsible. Use versatile furniture and accessories that can be tucked and stowed away when not in use, or double as a table to place cocktails. Also, in general, consider small-scale furniture. This will allow for easier traffic and movement. Sometimes a simple bistro table with chairs is all an outdoor space needs.

To make to most out of spaces with narrow footprints, choose stowaway furniture. Use storage ottomans and built-in benches to keep pillows and blankets. When guests arrive, pull out the cushions for extra floor seating.  


Custom banquette seating storage in an outdoor space designed by Tiny Canal Cottage.


Think hammocks too! If there’s strong support, bolt hooks that allow a hammock to be temporarily hung. When you’re done -- take it down and store it beneath a storage ottoman.   

Bar carts are great additions! They can double as a side table -- stowing away beverage tools, towels, and snack bowls -- and rolled inside at the end of the day. Be careful to mind if the bar cart is for outdoor use. Consider Acacia wood, which holds up to the elements exceptionally well and weathers to pleasant grey finish.

Emily Henderson softens this bar cart with peonies and a Turkish towel.

Last but not least, string up globe lights and ignite the candles. Just remember! -- When it comes to any tight space, take a lesson from the wabi-sabi decor trend: Less is more. That is, when it comes to styling. When it comes to friends, the more the merrier!


For more inspiration, check out our Pinterest Board on Small Outdoor Space Styling.


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