The possibilities are endless for decorating a patio. Depending on your style, you can design a backyard grilling hub or a luxury fairytale escape. This article is filled with innovative ideas so that you’ll know just what to do and which are the perfect accessories for your small backyard patio.
If your patio needs an upgrade, you’ve come to the right place. To make the patio of your dreams, you’ll need to think big and consider many options. That’s why it’s important to read this article before adding items to your shopping cart.
Below are 22 tips for small patio decorating ideas on a budget for a relaxing retreat. These items cover everything from furniture to entertainment, and of course, there are beautiful accessories as well.
Our tips include items that serve infrastructure, decoration, drinks, food, and entertainment. By considering every category of products, we’re making sure that we don’t miss a single thing. This means that your dream patio is within this article, depending on which items you like most.
Review each of the following suggestions to consider which types of items you find the most meaningful, and then choose your favorites. We’ll discuss why these items could be valuable to your patio, as well as the kinds of spaces that the products work best in.
Table of Contents
- Let’s Start
- #Drinks Place
- #Food Place
Infrastructure means all of the things you need to be able to enjoy yourself on your patio. Whether that’s a place to sit or a gazebo to protect you from the sun, these are the essentials that will allow you to spend time comfortably on your patio.
1. Glamping Tent
If you’re looking for one product that will convert your entire patio into a wonderland, you may find that a glamping tent is exactly what you needed. These easy accessories have the potential to turn your patio into a wonderland, just by setting them up.
And an even cooler feature of glamping tents is that they are a great place to house all of the other decorations that you choose for your patio, like a set of candles and some cute blankets.
2. Furniture Set
One thing that pulls a patio together is a lovely furniture set. Maybe all your patio is missing is a few beautiful chairs. Furniture sets can consist of a couch and some other pieces, or they can be as simple as two chairs.
Either way, furniture sets look beautiful and add structure to your patio. They can also make you spend more time at your relaxing retreat by giving you and your friends a beautiful place to sit and enjoy yourselves.
There are many distinctly styled gazebos available on the market, and they can make a dramatic improvement to your patio. If you need protection from sunlight and rain, this is a great purchase.
Many gazebos even have curtains on the four corners for added seclusion and protection. If you are concerned about bugs, choose a gazebo that has a net to keep out insects and other unwanted animals.
A pergola is like a gazebo but has more of a gardening style. They are usually open lattice structures with plants growing on top. Pergolas add a beautiful accent to patios.
A pergola is a more minimalistic option if you don’t want something as bold as a gazebo. This structure allows you to get some protection from the sun, or grow vines that will give a lovely look to your space.
Even if there are not single other items on your patio, having a hammock will make it your new favorite place to hang out. Hammocks are relaxing and entertaining, depending on your mood.
These fun items make it possible to read a book, talk to a friend, take a nap, or even do absolutely nothing. If you’ve had a bad day, a hammock may be able to fix it, so consider putting one on your patio.
If you want to add a hammock to your patio, you should consider how you will install it. While it’s easiest to attach each side to the ceiling by ropes or chains if you have an exposed ceiling, don’t worry if you can’t hang it that way.
You can also easily purchase a hammock stand that will suspend it and easily add it to your patio. Hammocks sometimes take up a lot of space, so make sure it won’t be a problem with your existing furniture.
While this accessory would only be used during the cooler months, it would elevate the look of your patio year-round. And if you want your space to be a relaxing retreat, a fireplace is essential.
There are many electric fireplaces that can be purchased so that you’ll never have to worry about buying wood and starting a fire. Instead, this warming feature can be accessible at the touch of a button.
For those who want a real fire to keep them warm and to roast smores off of, you can also purchase a small traditional fireplace. This item can even serve as a place to kick your feet up while you relax on your patio.
7. Swing with Canopy
Canopy swings are a unique decoration to add to your patio. They are fun to use and can be a great spot for intimate moments. They are also the perfect reading place or can be good for something as simple as drinking lemonade and enjoying the day.
This is one of the larger items on our list, but it adds a lot of life to a patio. Additionally, the canopy above the swing brings protection from the sun and rain so that you can spend time on your patio at any time.
Decoration covers the items that will enhance the look of your patio. It’s easier to relax when you love the way your space looks, so that’s why we included things like candles and blankets. With these products on your patio, you’ll never want to go inside.
Nothing says relaxing quite like candles. They are inexpensive and easy to use. Candles come in all different colors and scents, and they are delightful. They are a staple to a relaxing retreat.
Some candles have additional bonuses, like bug repellent effects. If you want to light up your patio and naturally deter bugs with a pleasant scent, try adding some citronella candles around the space.
9. Decorative Blankets
If you already have furniture, maybe all your patio needs is a colorful blanket to brighten up the place. Mexican blankets add a lovely style to the room, with many colors and incredible insulation for keeping you and your friends and family warm during the winter.
This fun accessory allows you to enjoy your patio, no matter how cold it is outside. Blankets look good even when not in use, so they can still be adding style to your patio during the summer. You can also use them as furniture covers to brighten the chairs.
10. Outdoor String Lights
I would say that string lights are pretty much an accessory for any part of your house that you wish to turn into a relaxing retreat. The bright lights have a magical effect on the space and give it a nice glow.
If you only add one item to your patio, consider choosing outdoor string lights because of their ability to transform your space and their simple functionality. Just plug them in or add batteries and enjoy. Some models are even available with solar power for efficiency.
Rugs are another decoration that can instantly turn your patio into a beautiful retreat. Whether you want something colorful and fun or something more practical, there are many outdoor rugs to choose from.
If you want to embrace the outdoor setting, you can even buy a rug that is made of synthetic grass. Rugs that are made with these types of materials are resistant to mildew and therefore less susceptible to deterioration over time.
Another benefit of adding a rug to your patio is that it will make the environment more inviting to you and your guests. Just roll out a pretty rug and wait for your friends to come running to hang out with you outside.
Drinks Place gives every product that you might need to enjoy alcoholic beverages outside. This ranges from a cooler for keeping beer on ice to a full bar for practicing your mixology skills for friends and family. Drink items are an important part of the patio for those who enjoy alcoholic beverages.
If you have space and you’re willing to do a bit of building, consider adding a bar to your relaxing retreat. All you will need are some shelves and a countertop. Then buy some bottles and invite your friends over to sit at the bar with you. Having a bar on your patio definitely makes it feel more like a relaxing retreat.
This is an excellent option for those who are passionate about drinking, whether you prefer exquisite cocktails or beer on tap. Your bar could become your new favorite spot in the house, and it will elevate the environment of your patio for parties and relaxing.
13. Bar Cart
Bar carts are sophisticated and relaxed. They can inspire you to collect nice liquors and put them on display on your patio. This accessory will make you a cocktail aficionado. Styles range from luxurious gold to more traditional wooden carts.
Adding a bar cart to your patio is a good idea for those who believe that a relaxing retreat should be filled with stylish accents. With this item, you can have liquor, wine, glasses, and all other serving accessories ready for your patio guests.
Sometimes the only thing that your hangout space is missing is a cooler to set up in the corner and throw in ice and beers when you have company. Coolers are easy, and they can even be taken with you when you’re taking a party elsewhere.
Depending on what you like more, you can buy a cooler bag that is easily transported, or you can get a large, sturdy hard-shell cooler. Either way, your patio will now have easy access to cold drinks and even snacks.
Food Place includes all items that help you snack properly on your patio. If you’re going to be spending time outside, you’re going to need to bring some food. In this category, we suggest products that will assist you in cooking and presenting delicious food for yourself and your guests.
15. Charcuterie Board
Having a beautiful board for Charcuterie means having scrumptious cheese and cracker sets. This accessory opens the door to meats, fruits, nuts, and anything else you can fit on the board.
When paired with a glass of wine or your favorite beverage, this smorgasbord makes for satisfying appetizers. Add a charcuterie board to your patio, and it will definitely feel like a relaxing retreat.
Purchasing a grill for your patio can be a great investment because it will add value to your patio for a long time to come. Having the ability to grill on your patio means that everyone will want to come over to party with you and you’ll make delicious food.
If you’re an experienced griller, you should consider getting a larger grill with more space and durability. But, of course, some people want to add a grill to their patio without having much experience, and this is completely doable.
Egg-shaped grills are a popular and feasible option for the less experienced grillers who still enjoy a good steak. These models are very compact, which is perfect for a small backyard patio, but they do hold less food than more heavy-duty grills.
Another advantage of egg-shaped grills is that they are available in multiple sizes so that you can customize the product according to your needs and space. For some, food hot off the grill is the best part of a relaxing retreat, so this is an awesome purchase to make.
Entertainment covers all items that will make your relaxing retreat more fun. As calming as it can be to sit and do nothing, your patio should have some fun activities. Whether you like to swim or gaze at the stars, this category shows you all of the possible things you can do to make your outdoor space more fun.
A TV is a nice addition to consider adding to your patio. For those who don’t have enough space for a movie projector, a TV will work just fine. You can hang a TV up and enjoy sports games or your favorite TV show.
This will make your friends and family want to spend more time with you on the patio, and it will be enjoyable to watch TV outside. You’ll even have the potential to host Super Bowl watching parties.
Having a nice speaker for playing music is essential to a relaxing retreat patio. Whether you’re playing spa music or your favorite songs, this item is sure to elevate your enjoyment of the patio significantly.
There are multiple ways to incorporate a speaker into your patio. You can install a more advanced system that’s attached to the walls or you can just buy a smaller portable device and bring it outside when you want to use the patio.
Either way, most speakers are operated by Bluetooth so that you can control the music from your phone. If you are looking for a way to make your patio just a bit more enjoyable, this is definitely the thing to buy.
If you are trying to design the coolest patio ever, this item is the finishing touch of your relaxing retreat. It can also be the best way to get your kids to be excited about spending time with you on the patio.
What could be cooler than looking at planets and stars while you relax outside? Telescopes are unique and fun, and they are interesting to people of all ages.
This accessory is more suitable for larger patios, as jacuzzis take up a good amount of space. But a jacuzzi could be just the thing you need to turn your patio into a relaxing retreat.
You and your friends or family could have a great time hanging out with you among the bubbles of a jacuzzi. This item may be the only thing that will get you outside to spend time during the winter months. It’s a cool feature that may be just what your patio is missing.
If your patio is large enough to fit a pool, you should definitely consider adding one. Pools are possibly the most relaxing part of a home. They are fun for you and your family and will make everyone spend more time together. Additionally, swimming has therapeutic benefits.
Pools can be bought and installed on the floor of the patio, as well as above ground. For a cheaper product and easier installation, consider an above-ground pool. Many models are made of nice materials and are just as luxurious. For something more sophisticated, try installing a pool on the floor of your patio and enjoy amazing swims all day long.
22. Movie Projector
Movie projectors are a really cool way to enjoy your time outdoors. They show movies as if you were at the movie theaters so that everyone can enjoy the same entertainment. At family reunions, you can even play meaningful slideshows for everyone to enjoy.
A movie projector is an excellent purchase whether you want to use it for a romantic date night or for spending time outside with friends. If you have a canopy surrounding your patio, you can easily attach the screen to the walls.
Now you have seen that there really are an infinite number of possible patio decorations. Every one of these items helps contribute to turning your patio into a relaxing retreat. By choosing your favorites from this selection and deciding what you need most, you’ll be able to build your dream patio. And you’ll love every second of the time that you spend on it.
We have reviewed items that are classified as infrastructure, decoration, drinks, food, and entertainment so that not a single idea is left behind. This way, you can consider all types of elements that need to be added to your patio to make it relaxing and enjoyable for you.
After being an architect for 20 years and seeing countless patios come to life, I decided to share my knowledge on OkPatio.com . I write reviews and buying guides on this site so that you can build and decorate your dream patio with ease. I have experience with everything from outdoor lighting to exquisite gazebos. Read more