5 Tips for Outdoor Entertaining in a Small Space

by Kaycee Miller | Updated: Sep 28, 2021

Summer is here, the weather is warm and the rosé and crudités are beckoning us all outdoors. If you’re lucky enough to have a home with outdoor space, now’s the time to dust off your outdoor cushions and unpack your favorite brightly colored cocktail glasses. 

The right ambiance is what makes or breaks an amazing patio or deck come summertime, and that can be trickier to achieve if you have a small space. While you might not have lavish gardens, expensive outdoor furniture or breathtaking views, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your small outdoor space ready for summertime guests with a few updates.

Here are five small outdoor space ideas to prepare your home for entertaining this summer.

Get cozy

Outdoor seating area with couch and chairs and coffee table.

Conversation seating is pivotal to ensuring good flow at a gathering. Luckily, you don’t need a lot of acreage to set up a space for guests to have more intimate conversations. Place furniture close together and facing the same direction. Try different arrangements to see what fits the space the best and still allows room for your guests to move around if necessary. Strategically placed furniture not only ensures you can have a seating area in a smaller area, it also gives you extra space in other areas of your patio or balcony to add other features such as a small garden. 

Stock a bar cart

Bar cart on a deck/patio, filled with casters for a brunch buffet of granola, milk, and assorted toppings.

One of the more popular small outdoor space ideas is to add a bar cart. A bar cart is your secret weapon to entertaining in a small space. Move it anywhere you need it, and tuck it away when you need the extra space. A colorful bar cart can be stocked with traditional items like liquors and wines, or you can get creative and stock it with sparkling waters and snacks. You can even use the top of the cart as a small serving area for appetizers for your guests to enjoy while visiting.

Think outside the chair

Eco friendly bamboo terrace filled with plants, coffe table, and floor pillows.

Rather than buying chairs, benches and other outdoor furniture that will take up valuable room on your already-small outdoor space. Use pillows, cushions and blankets to form a comfortable, trendy seating area. These can be added or subtracted depending on the number of guests and can easily be removed entirely when your guests leave. Not only is this practical, but depending on what pieces you choose, it can add a boho or hygge feel if that’s the theme of the space. Additionally, since blankets and pillows are easy to swap out, feel free to be bold and use a mix of textures to fit the design style you’re into at the moment. Get creative and express your personal style.

Go for green

Backyard area filled plants and flower pots with two hanging chairs in center.

Adding greenery and fresh flowers is key to making an outdoor space feel lush and welcoming. This is especially true if you live in the city. Foliage breathes life into any area, but makes an outdoor space feel natural. Create a garden by adding a few of your favorite plants and don’t be afraid of simply purchasing a few flower arrangements.

Get your s’mores supplies ready

Mini table top fire pit next to serving tray filled with marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate pieces.

Nothing says outdoor fun quite like gathering a few close friends around a campfire late into the evening. Keep the party going by getting a firepit for your outdoor area. Portable fire pits make the perfect outdoor addition and work by connecting to a propane tank. Even better, they come in all shapes and sizes, making them perfect for any size outdoor space.

Not only are firepits practical for unexpectedly cold evenings, but the warm glow provides a perfect ambiance for any occasion. The best part is, you’ll always be ready to bring out the smores – and who can resist a perfectly toasted marshmallow? Just be certain that you’re being careful to follow municipal laws, and ask your landlord about their open flame policy.

Outdoor oasis

Outdoor entertaining in a small space doesn’t have to be complicated or formal, and a small space shouldn’t stand in your way of hosting the perfect outdoor gathering or simply enjoying your patio or backyard on your own. These small outdoor space ideas are easy, practical and will help you create the perfect outdoor space for you and your guests to enjoy. After all, what’s better than having an oasis in your own backyard?  

Categories: Renters

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