4 Patio Decorations That Are Inviting and Functional

One advantage of having a patio in your apartment is being able to have some outdoor space for yourself. Since apartment patios tend to run on the small side, the “less is more” approach is the optimal way to go.

Apartment space is a premium commodity, so use every part of it! Make your patio an extension of your living room with these four patio decoration ideas that can fit into small spaces.


String up Edison bulbs or bistro lights above a seating area, around the patio border, or wrapped around the railing to add easy lighting in no time at all. Don’t forget to swap or add colored lights for the holidays to show off your festive spirit. Many modern light strands use LED bulbs, which generate a fraction of the heat and draw much less power than incandescent bulbs. Having a more welcoming atmosphere and not raising your power bill is a win-win!

Another idea is to add hanging lanterns. They can be styled to whatever suits your personal tastes. Paper lanterns are inexpensive and have a variety of colors and shapes—some are already pre-strung with lights. Traditional lanterns can give a modern or rustic look, depending on the style and materials. Plus, you can use real candles or battery-powered lights inside them. These fun touches make sure the party goes on after sundown, or provide a peaceful, inviting atmosphere for spring and summer nights. 

lighted kerosene lantern -


Have colorful outdoor chairs, couches or even a reclining outdoor swing to settle in and be comfortable. Plenty of stores have seating options in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors to fit your personal style. If you want a table to sit by, consider a square camping-style table or a semi-circle to place against the wall or railing. You can also add a patio umbrella for proper shade, safety, and protection, and to complete your patio’s look.

To battle the sun, rain, snow, and other weather environments, use metal, bamboo, or plastic materials. They are durable, light, and can suit every design you want. An added bonus is if the chairs and table fold up for easy storage. They will take up less room when they aren’t being used.

If the chairs are big enough, add in some outdoor pillows and cushions for added comfort and a fun splash of color. They are weatherproof and more resistant to sun staining than traditional fabrics, so they can be used for many years to come. While your patio may not be as large as the one below, any kind of seating can make a huge difference in your patio’s usability.

Outdoor storage

While your space may be limited, make that space work for you. A small, sturdy outdoor chest or ottoman can double as both a storage bin for easy-to-grab items, gardening tools, or seasonal decorations; as well as a place to set your drink, book, citronella candle, or snacks while you enjoy the fresh air. Removable hooks or balcony railing is a great way to keep your bike out of the way while still keeping them within reach. 

Flower power

Potted plants add natural beauty to your outdoor space without needing a full garden. It’s easy to grow vegetables, herbs, or decorative flowers from the second story and beyond. If your patio is on the small side, use the porch railing or wall-mounted vertical gardens to display your plants.

Vertical gardens are an easy way to fill in unused wall space and are easy to maintain. You can even paint the pots yourself to further brighten up the space. Alternatively, you can use hanging baskets to show off your green thumb. Macramé is hot once again, so you can add a decorative flair to your hanging baskets instead of plastic hangers.

Plus, annual and perennial flowers are cheap to buy at a store or nursery. Or, you can buy the seeds if you prefer to grow them yourself. Be sure to take note of how much sun and shade your patio gets. Different plants prefer different lighting, such as part shade, morning sun, or full sun to grow to their potential, so plan accordingly.

red rose in bloom during daytime

Bottom line

Just because you are renting your apartment doesn’t mean you can’t put your personal stamp on it. There are plenty of options out there to spruce up and create your own outdoor haven for reading, relaxing, or entertaining.