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Monday, June 22, 2015

Tips to Maximize Limited Outdoor Spaces

Chairs, Ceramic stool, pillows: Costco/ Planter boxes & stand: Lowe's Home Improvement

1. Know what you want to get out of your space.

Will you be eating there, just want a place to sit, or have a garden? Originally we just wanted our little balcony to be a place we could sit in the evenings with a beverage for a bit of a different atmosphere. Then we decided we'd also like to add some flowers and herbs for a little hobby and something more pretty to look at out there.

2. Find pieces that won't overwhelm your small space.

We found most of our pieces at Costco because they have great deals and good quality stuff. They sell big, beautiful patio furniture sets, but also had single chairs, umbrellas, etc. for sale as well. We decided all we needed was a couple of chairs, and some type of small table to sit drinks on. We found the ceramic garden stool/ottoman at Costco for only $40 (they usually are $80+!) and I think it's the perfect size for our balcony; it's just enough space to set drinks on but it's not the focal point.

At first we tried planter boxes to hang off the side of our railing, but our railing is an odd size so that plan fell through. We wanted to do it that way so that we could add to the atmosphere with the flowers but take up no space on our balcony so that would be ideal choice #1. When that didn't work we ran across this two-tiered planter stand at Lowe's and thought it was perfect! It has the two tiers so we could do flowers on one and herbs on the other to make us both happy and it was thin enough that it didn't take up much space.

3. Just because it's small doesn't mean it can't be stylish.

Much like the way I decorate the interior I decorated the balcony here. So, we chose neutral colors for the chairs, stool and planter and added pops of color with the pillows and of course the flowers.

The chairs are made of vinyl wicker and I thought that gave it a little bit of a beach/vacation vibe, not to mention it's heavy duty for the elements. The outdoor pillows give the space more color, comfort and style to accessorize with. I love the color green and it obviously ties in with the flowers and other surroundings well, but the stripes reminded me of a striped beach towel I have, again going back to the vacation vibe.

Ceramic stools are really popular this year and I think that the stripes are a stylish choice that will never be out of date for an outdoor space. The two-tired planter is a super cute shape, I think, and makes me feel like I'm at a little outdoor bistro with the scroll details.

4. Minimal is better.

Did I want to add string lights and lanterns and ceramic figurines? Obviously! But for the tiny outdoor space I have on the balcony, anything else would start looking like clutter. When you're working with a small outdoor space less is definitely more. When you're outside you want to feel like you're in a calming environment and if it's got stuff hanging and sitting everywhere it's likely to make you feel stressed and not even use the space.

I hope this helps if you're creating an outdoor space for yourself,. I definitely had fun doing it even if it is small! If you can think of any other tips, let me know!


  1. This is such a great post! I love how the flowers really brighten up the space!
    Modern Beauty Girl

  2. I always love reading your decorating posts, you have such a great sense of style. Really love those striped pillows they add so much personality!

    1. Thanks so much, Alex! I loved them when I saw them!

  3. LOVE your flowers and the rack their on! So pretty! Decorating small spaces is one of my fave challenges! Great post Ivy! Your home is SOOOO gorgeous!


    1. You're so sweet!! "Decorating small spaces is one of my fave challenges!"- I love that!! It's definitely a challenge, but sometimes that's when you can do your best work!

  4. So excited about this post! We're moving in September & I'm a little too excited about our (small) outdoor space, thanks for these tips!

    Jenna l Clothed in Confetti

    1. So glad it was useful! Hopefully your small space is a little bigger than mine! lol :)


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