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19 Apartment Patio Ideas to Bring Your Small Space to Life

By: Susan Finch
July 9, 2020

As summer 2020 enters full swing, the best apartment patio ideas are springing to life and ready to keep you cool all season long. Get started by talking to your landlord or property management about what’s allowed on your patio, from furniture to small upgrades. Also, we know you may not live on the first floor, so these ideas will work for your balcony as well!

Now, gather some inspiration! From cozy corners to entertaining spaces, here are 20 small apartment patio ideas.

1. Create a Mini Urban Paradise

Looking for small apartment patio ideas? Transform your patio into an urban paradise with brightly colored furniture, bright flowers, and plants.

Add some flavor to your paradise with a lemon tree or strawberry plant for a fresh, new look. Just make sure your decor doesn’t obstruct your gorgeous city views.

2. Install Functional Furniture

Small apartment patio ideas should enhance your living space and make it seem larger than life. Skip the uncomfortable seats or tiny table. Instead, outfit your patio with functional furniture.

Chairs, tables, and outdoor ottomans can also double as storage for all your board games and supplies for an evening party.

For a high-end touch, try outdoor couches and loungers. Those can turn your patio into another living room just outside your apartment.

3. Think Durable

Depending on your apartment’s storage space, you may need to keep your patio furniture outdoors all year long. If you don’t live in beautiful San Diego or Austin with gorgeous year-round weather, you may want to consider more durable furniture made of wood or synthetic wicker. You could also invest in some outdoor covers to protect your decor.

4. Add a Privacy Screen

Feeling like your neighbors are a little too close for comfort? Sometimes we all need apartment patio privacy ideas to make city living work.

Add a privacy screen that suits your style. You may be able to find them in bamboo, fabric, metal, and wood.

You can also add heavy outdoor curtains. Those can capture the sense of privacy you’re looking for.

5. Create Your Own Outdoor Bar

It’s cocktail season! Create your own outdoor bar by hanging a shelf on your patio’s railing.

A rolling bar cart can also slide inside your apartment or out for fun happy hour functionality. Now all you need are some barstools and a cheers to your roommate or partner on a warm summer’s night.

6. Create Your Own Bistro Vibe

A bistro set is an elegant and simple solution to add cozy seating. Add some colorful, summer-inspired cushions to your seats and fresh flowers to the table.

Then, throw a dinner party for two! A new bistro table is also a good excuse for some fun new espresso cups and dishes.

7. Build a Personal Outdoor Garden

The best apartment patio garden ideas turn your space into an urban jungle. Load up on all the plants, trees, and bird feeders you can carry. Then, start decorating your way to a natural retreat.

Depending on what your apartment complex allows, add potted plants, flower boxes, and plants until your patio looks like a glowing garden.

8. Create a Cozy Oasis

Give your patio a makeover with a cozy oasis feel. Outdoor blankets, soft music, and lighting turn your outdoor space into a cozy refuge for relaxing under the stars.

9. Focus on Statement Seating

Why should your indoors get all the style? Create a statement seating arrangement on your patio with rattan lounge chairs, novelty chairs, and bright, vibrant colors that your neighbors can see from across the complex.

10. Paint Your Patio Floor

Ask your landlord if you can get colorful with your patio floor. Dress up your space with bright yellow, blue, summer-inspired paint. You’ll feel like you’re stepping into the summer season every time you open your patio doors.

11. Add Unique Tiling

Colorful tiles can give your patio and upscale touch. Ask your property management about design-worthy tiles.

Then, get to work or hire a pro. Make sure your new patio furniture complements your gorgeous patio floor for a design-worthy look.

12. Add an Outdoor Rug (or three!)

If tile feels like too much work, add an outdoor rug, or three. Choose a lattice or bamboo rug that adds a vibrant pop to your patio. Your feet might even thank you for it.

13. Install a Canopy

Uncovered patios can feel positively blistering in the summer heat. Cool off by installing a canopy over your patio. That way, you can enjoy summer all season long. Of course, you'll need a good amount of space to work with. Also, be sure to get approval from your landlord beforehand!

Add your own decor along with the canopy with glow in the dark stars that even the city lights can’t drown out.

14. Add Some Lights

Small apartment patio ideas on a budget are within reach. Think beyond the holiday season with outdoor lights for your outdoor space.

String some bistro lights along your railings, doorframe, or patio canopy. Those will illuminate the evening.

15. Embrace the Hygge

Need comfortable and intimate small apartment patio ideas? Embrace the hygge feeling and warm up to your outdoor space.

This Danish and Norwegian word meaning cozy and comfortable style evokes feelings of wellness and contentment. Nooks, soft lighting, rustic wood, and soft chunky knit blankets all embrace the hygge state of mind.

16. Create an Outdoor Game Room

Kick the summer fun into high gear with an outdoor game room. A sturdy organizational trunk holds all your favorite game boards and cards. Close the lid, and your trunk instantly transforms into a game night table.

17. Wishing You Had a Backyard? Lay Down Some Fake Grass

No yard at your apartment? No problem. You can still turn your patio or balcony into your own mini backyard with artificial turf.

Opt for something pet-friendly that gives your pup some joy when heading outdoors. You can even add faux flowers to complete your look.

18. Get Zen with a Fountain

Find your inner peace and harmony with a zen fountain. Opt for something small or as big and bold as you want with multiple tiers and a lighting system that makes you feel like you're strolling the Botanical Gardens.

If you’re going to spend more time at home, why not indulge in a few apartment patio ideas that reinvent your outdoor space? From urban jungles to cocktails with friends, turn your patio into your new favorite room in the house.

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Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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