17 of the Smallest, Yet Stylish, Outdoor Spaces

updated Jul 18, 2020
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A little spot of fresh air and greenery that you can call your own—with birds chirping or perhaps a lovely view—isn’t that the dream? We aren’t all lucky enough to have an outdoor area to decorate, but you don’t have to have a huge backyard to enjoy the pleasures of the great outdoors. These small balconies, patios, and other exterior living spaces show how to make the most out of a little.

Melinda McSpadden is the innkeeper of the Sully Mansion in New Orleans, and gets to live in a very neat attic apartment on the top floor. The balcony off of her apartment is very narrow, but she’s filled it with colorful furniture and even some faux grass.

An armless folding chair and a small metal table are all that make up the furnishings on this Chicago home’s teeny balcony. But even though it lacks in square footage, a planter box adds green and saves space by hanging off the railing.

Another teeny balcony, this time in a Buenos Aires home, is a small but usable outdoor space thanks to three petite pieces of furniture.

Simple modern benches—just plywood and hairpin legs—create ample seating options on the small balcony of this Los Angeles home. Tons of soft throw pillows make the whole outdoor area feel welcoming.

This Dutch home’s balcony doesn’t feel small at all thanks to the brightly colored furniture, graphic patterns, and plenty of plant life.

This 250-square-foot studio apartment in Los Angeles could have felt way too small, but the cute little outdoor living room right outside the doors nearly doubles the home’s living space.

Dark walls and a dark balcony railing contrast nicely with simple white wicker furniture on the small balcony of this Australian home.

Credit: Sandra Rojo

This Barcelona home’s tiny balcony shows that you don’t even have to have enough room for furniture to enjoy your outdoor area; this mini space just has lots of plants and a good view.

Credit: Samara Vise

A patterned rug anchors a compact seating space in this Boston home’s small outdoor area, but it’s the bamboo privacy screening that really makes this place cozy.

This Chicago home also has a modest balcony, and uses a bold, graphic rug to add drama to the small space. Matching red metal furniture is visually dainty.

This California cottage has a small outdoor space out front, and a sleek modern bench combined with colorful throw pillows makes it ultra inviting.

This Oakland apartment’s outdoor space has recycled furniture finds, adding a lot of interest and intrigue to what could have been a boring, industrial area.

A San Francisco rental apartment has stunning views, and simple wooden benches create a corner seating system perfect for enjoying them.

A bright, minimal Amsterdam apartment has the cutest uncluttered balcony featuring black furniture that’s punctuated by cheery yellow pillows.

A classic Chicago home’s residents created a tiny little dining area in their outdoor area.

A 465-square-foot Buenos Aires apartment’s modest balcony is populated with two striking wood lounge chairs and some hanging planters on the railing.

This maximalist California home’s balcony isn’t exactly tiny, but the homeowner does an incredible job of filling the humble outdoor space with plants, textures, and a cool hanging chair.