Small + Simple Outdoor Living Spaces

Tidy, comfortable, and eye-catching, these petite patios, decks, and outdoor rooms show how to give a big welcome to family and friends alike.

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    Indoor-Outdoor Connection

    Create an ultracomfortable space by adding the same luxuries you enjoy in your living room. Furniture with plush cushions provides a great place to relax. A stylish indoor-outdoor light fixture suspended from the ceiling makes the space usable after dark.

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    Boost a Basic Front Porch

    Give a small front porch big personality with these simple ideas to add space, style, and function.

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    Color Up

    Include a large patio umbrella in your outdoor-room decor. Besides offering much-needed shade to an unprotected patio, it provides a nice vertical element and brings in color overhead. Here, the bold blue of the umbrella and matching chair cushions add the perfect pop of color to the relatively neutral patio.

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    Perk Up Old Furniture

    Give your tired patio furniture a facelift with spray paint. With so many colors and finishes now available for just about every type of surface, your makeovers are limited only by your imagination. Can’t pick just one? Opt for a variety of colors for a fun and creative effect.

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    Make It Accessible

    Ensure you use your patio by placing it where you can get to it easily. This patio is extra convenient as it’s sited just a couple steps down from French doors leading inside. A mix of stone and wood create a layered look.

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    Secluded Getaway

    Need a relaxing escape? Build one in your own backyard. This outdoor room features French doors, suspended divided-light windows, and a corrugated-metal roof—creating the impression of a fully enclosed space. Inside, a bed offers the perfect spot for an afternoon nap.

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    Rooftop Contemporary

    Create a high-end modern feel with contemporary furnishings. A gravel patio and simple plantings are the perfect choice for this rooftop space above a modern condominium with great city views.

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    Step Up

    Use all-weather deck material to create an elevated patio. Large containers with lush plantings placed at the corners visually connect the patio to its surroundings. Consider matching the containers to the patio material for a unified look.

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    Cozy Corner

    Create a cozy corner protected from breezes for a place to enjoy a morning cup of coffee or afternoon tea. Add shade with a pergola overhead. Choose durable furniture that withstands the elements.

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    Playful Colors

    A child’s dream come true, this playhouse features a front porch complete with a bistro table and chair, a flower box, and a string of colorful lights.

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    Divide the Space

    Construct a simple wood-slat wall to add privacy or create multiple rooms within your outdoor space. This wall features a practical integrated bench and a window to visually connect the two spaces.

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    Welcoming Outdoor Room

    Use simple materials to create a warm and welcoming outdoor room. Here, a basic deck is dressed up with wood pillars covered in thick greenery. A corrugated-metal roof provides a modern and distinctive touch. Bright fabrics and flowers add pops of color.

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    Distinctive Gazebo

    Add beauty and function to your outdoor space with a distinctive gazebo. This eight-sided room features soft wraparound bench seating and an ottoman to maximize comfort and usability.

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    Let Nature Take Its Course

    Consider situating your outdoor space to take full advantage of the privacy, shade, and beauty nature has to offer. Here, fall leaves provide the perfect backdrop to wicker outdoor furniture. Consistent with the natural feel, simple patio pavers delineate the space.

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    Green Thumb

    Green plantings serve as the artwork in this simple outdoor space. Potted shrubs dot the perimeter, while vines climb over the pergola in the background—adding extra shade. 

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    Countryside Comfort

    Give your outdoor space a classic, carefree look with a simple metal table and comfy wicker chairs. Those furnishings are the perfect choice for this farmhouse porch with scenic country views.

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    Quaint and Cozy

    For tight spaces, a quaint outdoor dining table and chairs are perfect for enjoying a casual meal and taking in the great outdoors. Here, a bistro table with armless chairs fits the bill without crowding the small deck.

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    Mediterranean Oasis

    Mediterranean-style homes often feature porches, patios, and courtyards surrounded by lush plantings. To unite the landscape with the Mediterranean flavor of the house, a variety of plantings soften this transition from the house to the patio. Keeping with the style, the patio is composed of stone pavers and gravel.

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    Color Underfoot

    Use a colorful and patterned outdoor rug to pull your patio furnishings together. The rug will liven up pavers, brick, or wood flooring; bring your color scheme down to the ground; and create a visual center for your outdoor room.

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    Bring the Indoors Out

    Truly connect your indoor and outdoor living spaces by extending your home’s roofline to create a shady outdoor room. Here, the overstuffed outdoor furniture and chandelier further emphasize the effect.

  • Next Slideshow 10 Ways to Create a Backyard Getaway

    10 Ways to Create a Backyard Getaway

    Try these ideas to turn your backyard into a relaxing outdoor oasis.
    Begin Slideshow »

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