30 Best Backyard Small Patio Ideas For A Relaxing Retreat


Don’t let a small backyard limit your style and comfort, with careful planning and creative thinking you can craft a stunning and practical patio area that maximizes every inch of your outdoor sanctuary. Whether you seek a cozy retreat or a vibrant entertainment space, you will find an abundance of inspiration for small backyard patio ideas.

By combining thoughtful design, functionality, and your unique sense of style, you can effortlessly transform your small outdoor space into an amazing patio oasis. Explore the collection of small backyard patio ideas that we have gathered for you below to unlock the full potential of your outdoor living area. Despite the size of your patio, enjoy outdoor living and entertaining to the fullest.

Remember, these ideas can be customized based on your preferences, available space, and budget. Enjoy creating your small backyard patio!

Tell Us: Which one of these backyard small patio ideas do you find most inspiring? Let us know in the Comments below!

1. Cozy Lounge.


Create a comfortable seating area with outdoor sofas, chairs, and a coffee table. Add soft cushions and throws for a cozy feel. The stain is a Benjamin Moore product called Arborcoat Solid Deck and Siding Stain, while the floor is stained Oxford brown and the walls a color called Wrought iron. The outdoor furnishings are a mix of products. Some are from Canadian Tire, while others are from local Patio stores. (via Kim Bartley Design)

2. Vertical Garden.


Install a vertical garden on a wall or fence to maximize space and add a vibrant, green backdrop. (via Cassie Daughtrey Realogics Sotheby’s Realty)

3. Fire Pit Patio.


Build a small fire pit in the center of your patio for warmth and ambiance. Surround it with seating for a cozy gathering spot.In this inviting backyard retreat, you’ll find a warm and cozy atmosphere highlighted by bluestone pavers, a custom teak wood banquette adorned with a striking cement tile inlay. The centerpiece is a captivating bluestone fire pit, surrounded by a custom outdoor kitchen boasting the elegance of teak wood and complemented by a concrete waterfall countertop with a stylish teak surround. (via SJS Studios)

4. Bistro Dining.


Set up a small bistro table and chairs for intimate outdoor dining. Decorate with potted plants and string lights for a charming atmosphere. (via Debi Treloar)

5. Hammock Haven.


Hang a hammock between two trees or posts to create a relaxing retreat for reading or napping. This hammock hangs from live oak trees. The plants in the background are called Rice Paper Plant. The big leafy plants in the foreground are called Cast Iron Plant. (via B. Jane Gardens)

6. Mini Herb Garden.


Plant a variety of herbs in pots or a raised bed along the patio for a convenient and aromatic addition to your outdoor space. This DIY vertical herb garden shows off colorful pots for a pop of color in your backyard space. This can be used as a divider in your small backyard. (via @palmyra_greenhouse)

7. Water Feature.


Install a small water feature like a bubbling fountain or a birdbath to add a soothing element of nature to your patio. This water feature design was inspired by the owner’s travels to Asia. They wished to mimic this aesthetic on their property in Washington DC, masking the adjacent traffic noise while maintaining a compact footprint. (via Jennifer Horn Landscape Architecture)

8. Pergola Paradise.


Construct a pergola to provide shade and define your patio area. Hang curtains or climbing plants for added privacy and beauty. (via Tierra Madre Fine Gardens)

9. Outdoor Kitchenette.


Build a compact outdoor kitchenette with a grill, countertop space, and storage cabinets for convenient outdoor cooking. Complement the space with a pergola for shade along with some hanging chairs and comfortable seating. A vertical garden wall makes this space feel like a cozy backyard sanctuary. (via Little Miracles Designs)

10. Zen Retreat.


Create a peaceful Zen-inspired patio with minimalistic furniture, a meditation corner, and a small water feature for tranquility. This backyard features a Buddha with a water feature for tranquility and a privacy screen. (via Urban Botanics)

11. String Lights.


Hang string lights overhead or along the fence to create a magical ambiance for evening gatherings and parties. This cozy outdoor courtyard features an ipe fence for privacy, along with drought-tolerant plantings, crushed granite paving, LED accent lighting, and outdoor furniture. (via SCJ Studio Landscape Architecture)

12. Portable Bar Cart.


Set up a stylish bar cart on wheels to serve drinks and snacks. It can be easily moved around and stored when not in use. (via DeGoey Designs)

13. Recycled Pallet Furniture.


Make your own eco-friendly patio furniture using recycled pallets. Try painting them in vibrant colors for a unique look. Add cushions and pillows for added comfort. (via 365Architecture)

14. Outdoor Theater.


Set up a small outdoor projector and screen for movie nights under the stars. Add comfortable seating and blankets for a cozy cinema experience. To DIY this backyard screen, you will need readymade cast iron pipes (10’x1/2″) from a home improvement store. The pipes are connected with 90-degree elbow joints with feet added on the bottom by affixing 24-inch pipes to the bottom to form a T (and the feet of the screen). The screen is a 9’x12′ drop cloth, affixed with clamps. Get the full DIY tutorial at the provided link. (via Emily Henderson)

15. Secret Garden Nook.


Create a hidden corner with lush greenery, a small bench, and a trellis covered in climbing plants for a secluded retreat. (via Sutton Suzuki Architects)

16. Artistic Touches.


Incorporate art pieces, such as sculptures or wall hangings, to add a creative and personal touch to your patio. (via Jetton Construction)

17. Play Area.


Designate a section of your patio for children’s play with a small sandbox, chalkboard wall, or a mini playhouse. This one features an irregular bluestone walkway and natural boulders that are used to create a sandbox. This can easily be transformed into a rock garden when the children are grown. (via Cording Landscape Design)

18. Colorful Rugs.


Place colorful outdoor rugs on the patio floor to add a pop of color and create a welcoming atmosphere. (via DeGoey Designs)

19. Vertical Shade Sail.


Install a retractable or fixed shade sail above your patio to provide protection from the sun and create a stylish focal point. The outdoor furniture is EMU from Room & Board. The shade sail is 14′ x 14′ square, sourced from Coolaroo. The succulent wall is 40″ x 40″. It’s made up of (4) 20″ x 20″ plant trays mounted on a board and framed. The background is El Rey stucco, color ochre. (via Mark Design Firm)

20. Outdoor Yoga Studio.


Designate a space on your patio for practicing yoga or other fitness activities. Use a weather-resistant mat and add plants and calming decor. This floating deck designed for yoga is situated in the corner of a backyard surrounded by fencing for privacy. (via Bayon Gardens)

21. A Garden Oasis.


An abundance of plants compliments the design of this lush backyard garden to create a feeling of intimacy. (via Abigail’s Gardens)

22. Hot Tub Deck.


Add a small deck extension for your backyard oasis. This one is on a steep-sloping site in Oyster Bay, NSW, Australia. The decking is merbau, carved around palm trees. The black bamboo privacy screen was sourced from the House of Bamboo. The timber fence with steel cable railings helps to maximize the views from the hot tub and hammock. (via Creative Nature Landscape Services)

23. Corner Built-In Seating.


Create a corner nook within your compact backyard by incorporating built-in seating, a clever solution that maximizes space utilization. This thoughtful addition not only provides a cozy spot for relaxation but also optimizes your limited outdoor area, ensuring every inch is utilized effectively. Rope lights are hung around the built-in seating to give the area more definition. Deep-filled seats and back cushions were made to fit the seating using weatherproof fabric. (via The London Gardener Ltd)

24. Lighting Design.


Install proper lighting to create ambiance and extend the usability of your patio into the evening hours. Choose a combination of overhead lighting, such as string lights or pendant lights, and task lighting, such as well-placed lanterns or pathway lights. Define your small space with a pergola, which can also be used to hang your string lights and for shading. (via Lights4fun)

25. Small Courtyard Garden.


This small courtyard garden provides an idyllic green sanctuary with an artificial lawn surrounded by powder-coated planters. Enhance the space with a customized wooden console that doubles as both storage and seating, complemented by retro white soft furnishings. Overhead, festoon lighting adds a magical glow, enveloping the area in an enchanting ambiance. All of this harmoniously nestled amidst evergreen plantings and a green wall. (via Kate Gould Gardens)

26. Bringing The Outside In.


This small backyard has an urban tropical theme with a bamboo screen and lush plantings. The wonderful heads in the picture are made from a sort of fiberglass and can be hung on a wall or displayed however you want. They are made by a very talented ceramic artist @grahamclaytonceramics. (via Antonia Schofield Garden Design)

27. Small City Garden.



This cozy outdoor living area is shaded by a pergola with a protective cloth. The garden is made up of lush plantings and a transparent bridge over a small pond. Outdoor lighting creates a magical experience in the evening. (via Boekel Tuinen)

28. Upcycled Pallet Planter.


Decorate your backyard with this DIY shabby chic upcycled/recycled pallet planter filled with shade-tolerant plants. This includes Carex morrowii Ice Dance, Lamium maculatum, and Lysimachia nummularia. (via Simon Orchard Garden Design)

29. Amazing Stenciled Floor.


If your backyard patio has a wooden deck, add the feel of a Mediterranean summer house without having to install a completely new patio. Try painting your wooden deck with stencils so you get an even pattern. This simple yet effective technique will transform your outdoor space, reminiscent of a sun-soaked Mediterranean retreat. (via Sarah Greenman)

30. Backyard Privacy Wall.


This backyard patio design was created for a young professional couple who loves to both entertain and relax. This inviting space includes a West Elm outdoor sectional and a round concrete outdoor coffee table. (via Brooklinteriors)

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10 months ago

The stencil paint idea (#29) is brilliant.