Space-saving tricks to bring big style to small outdoor spaces

Shelter magazines this time of year are fond of featuring expansive outdoor spaces with sprawling gardens and entertaining areas.

But for many people, especially city dwellers, the at-home al fresco area is more postage-stamp than palatial.

Not a problem, says Katy Kiick Condon, a senior editor at Better Homes & Gardens magazine. She advises using the same space-saving tricks outdoors that you do indoors.

Think of the terrace as an extension of the kitchen or living room.

“Try using the same colour scheme and styles. The continuity will visually combine the spaces, and make your terrace feel larger,” Condon says. “Outside, you can punch up the colours, and be a little more playful with art and decor.”

New furniture designs for 2016 take into account the challenges of limited space, says Jackie Hirschhaut, executive director of the International Casual Furnishings Association’s outdoor division.

“Manufacturers have created compact, functional furnishings that add style and comfort to even the most pint-size patios,” she says.

A round table can work for stand-up cocktails or as a dining table, with sturdy, stylish, stackable chairs brought into service.

Check out West Elm’s Mosaic table collection; tiled tops in a variety of patterns come on wood or metal bases. (

Bend Goods has a hip little stacking chair made of galvanized wire, available in neutrals as well as amethyst and emerald. (

If you’re more into lounging than dining outdoors, forgo a table for one or two comfy chaises or chairs. Look for colourful, folding Adirondack chairs made of recycled, durable synthetic wood. (

Or Target’s Bryant faux wood/upholstered club chair has uptown chic. (

If you’ve got a view, don’t block it. Orient the furniture to take advantage of it.

But what if you’ve really got no room for any furnishings, and no view either?

“If the best part is just 10 square feet of fresh air, add a gorgeous runner and find some plants to breathe it in with you,” Condon advises.

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Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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