Who doesn’t want to enjoy their garden when the sun shines? Who doesn’t want to admire the energy of the buzzing bee as it hopes from one flower to another? Who doesn’t love dining al fresco as the sun sets?


It sounds so very idyllic and yet, there are so many of us who look forlornly out of the window, wish we had a space where we could dine and enjoy the sunshine. But the garden is too small, the patio too small and the budget too small to make any real changes.


But, here’s how, with some great ideas and clever tips, you can transform that ‘too’ small patio into an outdoor haven for lounging and dining.


#1 Clever dimensions


The first step is to actually work out what space you have to use and whether you could squeeze any more out of your garden. For example, are there some items that could be moved and recycled. What size is your patio?


Top tip – whether you plan on lounging on the patio or using it as n al fresco dining space, you need to be able to fit furniture on it completely. There is nothing worse than sitting down to your evening meal to find your chair see-sawing from the patio onto the grass… avoid disaster by measuring your patio and what will fit.


#2 Choose furniture with multiple uses


When we choose items for the interior of our home, we tend to have only one use in mind. But with a smaller space, like a patio, you need to choose furniture that can offer more than  one use.


For example, many of the modern space saving garden dining sets come with a handy footrest and so, when no dining you can recline in your seat, with your feet elevated. Feel the tension drift away in the afternoon sun…


#3 Consider storage


Before we get to the exciting part of decorating and accessorising your patio, consideration must be given to storage. Small gardens may not have ample storage room and when it comes to using the patio, you want garden furniture that folds and stores neatly away. That way, the furniture doesn’t become the main or only focal point of the garden.


As well as fold away options – a folding bistro set is ideal for the small patio – cubed dining sets are also worth considering.



#4 Shading


For any patio to be useful – no matter what its size – there are certain conditions that need to be created. And shade is one of them.


Investing in a large umbrella canopy is one option but can be expensive. Left out in inclement weather, and you may find it doesn’t offer the shade you need it too with rips, tears and holes in it.


A long-term option that allows for more versatility is a pergola. Building a bespoke wooden frame and then training fragrant climbing plants is the ideal means of shading your patio and because it has ‘walls’ it gives the patio a sense of being a room.


You could also add;


A Perspex roof – inexpensive, especially on a smaller patio, is perfect for enjoying the garden even when the rain is falling.


Voile panels – adding a voile panel to the underside of the roof gives it a dreamy, romantic atmosphere. Add voile panels on the side too for a more private patio ‘room’.


#5 Add colour and texture


A small patio, like a small room in the house, should not be left sparse or devoid of detail just so that it looks bigger than it is. But sometimes, leaving out the detail can make the space look too bland and frankly, boring. Thus, adding colour and texture can lift the patio and of course, make it into the outdoor haven that you are looking for.


Top tip – just like a smaller interior room, there are some tricks for adding colour and texture without swamping or cluttering the space. Choose one or two main colours – any shade or hue – and stick with those when choosing cushions and throws. Add a third accent colour sparingly.


#6 Don’t forget underfoot


Outdoor rugs are now a staple of the garden. Smaller rugs are well-within budget and are fantastically hardwearing too. A geometric pattern can make the smaller patio look bigger and because they are meant for outdoors, they are easy to keep clean. Place under the spacesaving garden dining set to frame it in position.


With furniture, pergola and voile panels fluttering gently in the breeze, that once boring and small patio has now been transformed into an outdoor haven. Why not transform yours?


Rattan Direct stock a number of small patio and small garden furniture solutions, from cubed dining sets to comfortable loungers.