Tips for making a small patio appear bigger

With the prolonged hot and sunny weather, which is a tad unusual for Britain, we’ve been spending more time outside in our exterior spaces then ever before. With the summer just getting going, leisurely al-fresco lunches and evening barbecues are going to be enjoyed for many weeks ahead.

If you’re confined to a patio that’s on the small side for your summer exterior wining, dining and socialising, there are certain steps you can take to make it appear bigger without having to carve up your garden.

Take a look at the following tips for making a small patio appear bigger so it can be enjoyed to the maximum all summer long.

Create levels

Tiering a patio and adding levels creates a sense of depth can make a small area appear bigger. The different tiers can be used for different features. For example, the upper level could be where the table and chairs are placed, with the lower level being home to the barbecue and plant pots for colour.

As well as creating a greater sense of space, split level patios can be a good way to make the most of the weather. For households that like the sun, the chairs could be placed in the sunnier upper tier, or vice-versa for families that prefer the shade!

Use tropical plants as features

You might be tempted to keep a small patio sparse to generate more space. However, bringing plant texture and shadows created by large tropical plants can be an effective way to craft the illusion of more space on a patio. The large leaves typically found on tropical plants such as philodendrons can make a patio appear larger, not to mention create some-much needed shade to shield from the sun.

Be generous with patio lighting

As well as creating a safe space for some al fresco socialising after dark, patio lighting can go a long way in making a patio scarce of room appear more spacious. Whether it’s fairy lights, lanterns or stylish patio spotlights, a well-executed exterior lighting system will light up your patio and make it seem bigger.

Hang mirrors around the patio

The same interior design principle of hanging mirrors on the wall to reflect light and create the illusion of more space can be applied to a patio area. Hanging stainless steel, treated wood, stone or copper frame mirrors that won’t become rusty or damaged by the weather, in strategic places around your patio, will help make a small exterior space look significantly bigger.

Daniel Caplan

About the author

Daniel Caplan

I co-founded New i.d Interiors with my brother, Jonathan in 2000 and over the years we have developed and expanded the business together including the purchase of a flooring and blind company...
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