It’s hot, finally, and you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor space. Congratulations! It’s kind of like you’ve won the lottery. And no matter if it’s a patch of grass behind your apartment that’s barely ten square feet or a roof you can only access by crawling through a window and climbing up a ladder, people are going to come over and grill on it. So to help you trick it out with a few nice touches, we’ve reached out to some experts in the furniture and design fields to help us pick the best pieces to maximize however much outdoor space you’ve managed to snag.
“Choose pieces that can be used as both a place to sit, and a place to set a drink. Stools are a great versatile piece for small outdoor spaces. And a natural color rug can really elevate any space. ” —Nidhi Kapur, founder and CEO, Maiden Home
“Stylish storage trick: decorative planters. Besides for growing plants in them, they can serve as a super-chic and unexpected wine cooler for entertaining or serve as storage for items less than lovely such as the watering hose. You can also squeeze a hammock in any corner. ” —Whitney van der Does, designer, One Kings Lane
“When furnishing a limited outdoor space, it’s important to keep in mind the size of the furniture. Obviously an Adirondack chair isn’t going to work. We like the Huron Small Lounge chair from West Elm. The interwoven colors on the backrest are clean and refreshing, offering a lighter take on the standard colors that are generally available for outdoor seating. The neutral palette allows you to add fun pops of color with hanging planters or pots like West Elm’s Reactive Glaze Tabletop Planters, depending on how small the space is.” —Ajay Chopra, founding principal, Echo Design + Architecture
“This pair of pedestals is a multifunctional option for the outdoors — they double as an end table and a stool. With a small space, dual-use pieces are key. The Una pair is also very durable, having been made from solid fiber-reinforced concrete. With an industrial look, the pedestals will develop a patina over time adding to the personality of the products.” —Sari Ross, founder, Spaces Studio
Now here’s just one set you can buy to change the whole space. It’s three pieces, two all-weather seating poufs and one small table. But that’s not all. The top of the table opens for storage, and the two poufs are hollow underneath, so you can actually flip one over, place the table in it, cover it with the second pouf, and it’s now taking up 1/3 the space. It basically disappears when no one’s using it.
If you’re fickle, here’s something reversible.
This one’s made out of recycled plastic, but has a nice vintage-y look.
“Design Within Reach has a great selection of high-quality and smaller-scale seating in classic designs that never go out of style. The Eos Collection by Matthew Hilton for Case is a great start. Raised seating will also help you save some space while still maintaining quality.” —Mia Jung, director of interiors, Ike Kligerman Barkley
“A pretty basket is a great way to store extra outdoor pillows and blankets in a small space. It can fit right next to a sofa, and when styled with some of your favorite blankets, it can add a touch of warmth to an outdoor space. Having a basket full of blankets and a few pillows on your patio sets the tone for guests — they can curl up, get cozy, and stay awhile!” —Nidhi Kapur, founder and CEO, Maiden Home
We’ve written about a bunch more wicker baskets we love, here.
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