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5 Small Patio Furniture Ideas to Maximize Space

small patio furniture

Some of us have really large patios and even larger backyards. Most of us don’t. For most of us, saving space is at least on the list of concerns when we’re setting up our patios so, when it makes sense, we like to favor luxurious-albeit-small patio furniture.

Thankfully, the world seems to understand; it’s produced oodles of small patio furniture that gets the job done and still leaves room for plenty of people and other furniture to move around.

When you’re selecting small patio furniture, versatility is key. An item that can be used as a different item when needed is instantly more valuable. So are pieces that can be moved easily. Below, we’ll discuss 5 ideas for maximizing space on a small patio.


Rolling Cooler

Regular-sized coolers don’t take up very much space and they make it so no one has to keep going in and out of the house for refills. A cooler on wheels–especially a raised one that has a sort of drink-cart feel to it– is even better to include in your set of small patio furniture for two reasons. First, the wheels make it a breeze to move around as guests and other furniture pieces shuffle. Second, a slightly fancy cooler distracts from the space-saving objective altogether. Instead, you and your guests simply have a beautiful, perhaps even novel conversation piece making its rounds as friends gladly reach in for more chilled drinks or hors d’oeuvres.


Ottoman/Coffee Table/Love Seat

Besides a rolling cooler, a sturdy, versatile coffee table or ottoman may be your most valuable piece of small patio furniture. All it needs is a (mostly) flat surface on top so that a quick wipedown can turn it into a seat for one or even two in a pinch.

A party on the patio is never the time someone wants to spend telling everyone to keep their feet off the furniture. Even if they (perhaps rudely) toss their feet up on a cushioned seat, hopefully, you’ve made sure to protect all your cushions with appropriate cushion covers.

Thus, a sturdy ottoman is a no-brainer. No reason to buy a separate coffee table to go with it; anything you set on it will enjoy a steady surface to support it. In fact, if you have an extra cushion or two, you can even turn it into one of the more comfy seats at the party!

Of course, if you have enough bistro chairs, you’ll never have to worry about running out of seats….

Bistro Chair

The bistro chair may be the most ubiquitous type of chair around. You may not have heard them called bistro chairs, but you probably already own at least one or two.

According to French furniture dealer Odile Hainaut,  “bistro chairs must be light enough to be slung around, compact enough to squeeze a fifth or sixth body at the table (which is why they are often armless) and strong enough to withstand years of wear.”

Her business partner, Claire Pijoulat, adds that bistro chairs are always comfortable and usually can be “efficiently stored in stacks”. This is why bistro chairs are so perfect for hosting parties in the backyard, especially if it’s something you do regularly. They’re made to save space and store without a fuss.

Look around for a bistro chair you really like and then go in for maybe five of them. They’re so easy to move, store and use that over the years, they’re bound to come in handy countless times.

Small Folding Tables

If you don’t have the room to set up huge outdoor couches with chaise lounges and matching end tables,  you’ll have to find another way to create places for friends to sit and talk comfortably. Chances are, too, that it would be nice to be able to fold and tuck away whatever you’re not using at a given moment. And again, versatility is key–a heavy or awkward table, however small, is not for a small patio unless it’s at least a semi-permanent fixture.

One or two small folding tables can do wonders for your patio’s appearance as well as guests’ comfort and convenience. This kind of table is usually round and wide enough for at least two people to enjoy a meal at. And when the party is over, you can just fold it up and drop it back in storage.


Accent Tables

An end table typically is married to its location, most often next to a couch indoors. An accent table, however, can be set and moved anywhere. That’s why a good outdoor accent table or two make such a great addition to one’s collection of small patio furniture.

Accent tables can be bought by themselves to compliment–or at least not clash with–the rest of the decor. Basically, you can pick one up whenever you spot one you like until you run out of room on the patio. A bistro chair is perfect for placing next to an accent table to set drinks and plates on.


Patio Furniture: Think Small

We all wish we had unlimited space. But there is no reason that a small patio has to mean you can’t have friends and family over for a beautiful, comfortable gathering in the backyard. You just have to be a bit more mindful of the patio furniture you select.

The keys to finding the right small patio furniture are versatility and portability. One item doubling as another and easy relocation can save lots of headaches. Wheels are great where you can find them, but lightweight pieces will probably be easier to find and make wheels less important.

Whatever patio furniture you find, enjoy it! And protect your cushions with Fig Leaf cushion covers. Have fun and we’ll see you on the patio!