Scout & Nimble

Small Space Styling Solutions: Outdoor Edition

Warmer, sunnier, happier days are coming, and we are so excited! We’re dreaming of sunset barbecues and sipping coffee outside on Saturday mornings. Sometimes, it can be hard to create your dream outdoor space, especially when you are short on, well, space. Here are our favorite ways to make a small outdoor space feel bigger while never sacrificing style or function.

Design for Outdoor Versatility
Before you begin your outdoor transformation, think about how you want to use your space. Are you a home chef who loves to entertain? A patio dining area might be for you. If you love to chat with your friends long into the night, consider an outdoor living room. Do you love a little peace and quiet in the morning? How about an outdoor coffee corner?

Measure your patio, deck or porch and see how many pieces you can work into the space. If you are short on square footage, opt for a small dining table and a pair of chairs. If you want to create the perfect outdoor living space, you definitely need a pouf or stool. These comfy little do-it-all pieces can act as a table, chair or footrest.

Skip a sectional and opt for a small sofa. When you pair it with chairs and an ottoman, you create a cool seating area that will be the envy of the neighborhood. Need to go even smaller? Opt for two accent chairs with an end table. You’ll have a complete look with only three pieces! Just add an ice cold drink for maximum impact.

Bring the Eye Up
Ready to hack your space into feeling bigger? We thought so. If you can’t expand outward, expand upward with lights or a pergola. Pre-made pergolas can be found at most home improvement stores, while custom options are available for those who want to have the perfect architectural fit. To take those lovely summer evenings into the night, hang outdoor-safe string lights across your space. Large bulbs become a design element; plus, they have the added benefit of adding light for any gathering.

Build Sectioned Outdoor Spaces
To really define the areas of your patio or deck, use an outdoor rug to create zones for dining and kicking back. An outdoor rug is also a great way to protect bare feet from hot cement or pavers.

Create a Cozy Outdoor Atmosphere
Now, it’s time to add that final layer of cozy with some decor. Increase your outdoor comfort level with throws for those chilly nights, throw pillows for relaxing chats with friends, and trays for carrying drinks and treats back and forth from your kitchen to your oasis.

For throw pillows, make sure you’re choosing outdoor safe options that can withstand a little sun and rain. Pro tip: Store your pillows and throws when they’re not in use. If you don’t have space inside, choose a storage coffee table. And be sure to cover all of your outdoor furniture with protective coverings. This will make your pieces last longer and look better!

Scout & Nimble is a retail site and blog that aims to make expert design accessible to all. Follow at


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