30 Small Porch And Patio Ideas To Make The Most Of Your Space

These tiny-but-mighty spaces are giving us major inspiration.

Blue Patio Chairs with Blue and Green Striped Curtains
Photo: Hector Sanchez

While we love the look and feel of spacious porches, massive square footage is unnecessary to have a true Southern porch. A large, wraparound patio might be something to dream about, but these little beauties will make a case for living small and loving every square inch of your space. Even if your patio area is limited, your design style can still be splendid. We've included a handful of our favorite small front porch and seating area ideas to help boost curb appeal, ensuring your abode is the most welcoming house on the block.

We also wanted to include the back porches, so we have plenty of back patio and screened porch ideas. These small-space decorating ideas will make your porch or patio area feel like an outdoor oasis, no matter its size. Find the right solution for your cozy outdoor space—you'll never want to leave your relaxing porch or patio again.

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Overflow To The Screened Porch


ALISON GOOTEE; Styling by Dakota Willimon

A small table in the center of this screened-in porch acts as the focal point. It's right off the kitchen, making it an excellent spot for overflow when entertaining. Extend your next dinner party outdoors to enjoy its beautiful ambiance on temperate nights.

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Party For Two

White Porch with Green Wicker Rocking Chairs
Laurey W. Glenn

A consistent color scheme keeps this porch from being busy. Two wicker chairs and a simple vintage table perfectly suit the space for a party of two. End the day in this serene spot, or start the morning with a cup of coffee or tea.

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Chill In The Airy Mountains

Mountain House Screened Porch
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Lizzie Cullen Cox

Even if your outdoor living space is small, you don't need to compromise on seating and entertaining possibilities. Mixing textures on indoor-outdoor furniture and a rolling bar cart makes this porch suited for any time of the year, including those chilly autumn nights when living in the mountains is so magical. These textures warm up the area, specifically when you include cozy blankets and soft pillows.

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Add Permanent Pavers

Concrete Dining Patio
Laurey W.Glenn

This patio was previously a rickety deck but transformed into a beautiful dining space. The permanent pavers add a personal touch to any outdoor area through distinctive layouts and textures. An established dining space can also include an outdoor grill or fire pit to roast marshmallows.

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Construct Utility Space

Outdoor Galvanized Sink
Laurey W. Glenn

Think outside the box. This small patio is used as a beautiful utility space thanks to a stunning galvanized sink. Whether you like to make a mess in the garden or your kids need a place to rinse off their hands, installing an outdoor sink allows you to keep the dirt outside.

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Create A Coastal Patio

Coastal Blue Patio
Hector Manuel Sanchez

A recessed, built-in window seat doesn't take up valuable real estate on this little patio. Garden stools that serve as side tables are ideal for a small spot—they move easily and double as extra seating. Coastal blues and plants add a cottage charm to this open space.

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Retreat To A Swing

Porch with Green Shutters and Swing
Laurey W. Glenn

All a Texas farmhouse porch needs is a swing and a small bench. Southern patios become instantly idyllic once you add this quintessential, inviting feature. Sip some sweet tea or lemonade while waving at everyone who walks by your home, or create a retreat for reading a great book.

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Landing Spot Turned Patio

Green Shutter with Pink Flowers and Bicycle
Hector Manuel Sanchez

A small landing spot can transform into a patio space by adding a few inviting decor items. As an outdoor mudroom, adding a designated area for bikes and garden tools can increase the functionality of your small space. As a tip, keep containers small so you can relocate them quickly in a pinch.

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Lounge Screened-In

Tropical Screened-In Porch with Beage
Hector Sanchez

This comfortable porch is perfect for sipping a glass of wine on a breezy, warm evening. A screened-in porch or patio makes year-round outdoor entertaining even more effortless. Whether to protect from flies or to savor the sound of raindrops on a summer evening without getting drenched, covered spaces keep you comfortable amidst nature's disruptions.

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Light And Breezy Loggia

Blue and White Porch with Wicker Chairs and Swing
Melanie Acevedo

The blue and white palette of this loggia keeps things breezy and gives the appearance of more space. A loggia, a room with one or more open sides, creates an ideal indoor-outdoor living experience. Increasing your entertaining, dining, and socializing options is always a bonus.

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Create Something Simple

Two Adirondack Chairs on Porch
Laurey W. Glenn

This deck keeps things simple. Two Adirondack chairs are all you need when the views are this good. Remove the clutter, and relax on your outdoor patio or porch.

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Latticed Porch

White Latticed Front Porch
Helen Norman

The designer enclosed the home's entrance with white latticework to create a cozy porch. Two small garden benches on either side of the door make the perfect spot for sitting. This ornamental framework adds character to your house with minimal updating.

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Add Plenty Of Seating

2019 Idea House Resource Guide Swing Porch
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Liz Strong

Dueling porch swings provide plenty of seating. The wide front steps can also work as a place to perch in a pinch. Everyone will want to stop by for a chat when the resting spot is this comfortable.

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Pair Seating Spaces

Blue Patio Chairs with Blue and Green Striped Curtains
Hector Sanchez

This tiny patio, dressed with striped outdoor drapery panels, is just the right size for a pair of chairs and a bitty bistro table, providing a perfect spot for sipping early morning coffee. The bold green and blue palette adds interest to the space but pairs well with its natural surroundings, so it does not overwhelm the area.

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Set For Cozy Cocktails

Cocktail Porch with Blue Rug
Laurey W.Glenn

This 130-square-foot screened porch was too small for a dining table or sofa but was the perfect size for a cozy cocktail porch. Arrange furniture to facilitate a conversation and add a bar cart for convenience. Layering in an outdoor rug can help people feel even more at home.

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Embrace The Woods

Tod and Jenny Childress Fishing Cabin Porch Eating Area in Rockbridge County, VA
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Frances Bailey

Use nature as your guide when designing an outdoor space. You don't need cabin decor if you have mountains or a lush forest as your backdrop. Embrace the perfectly designed scenery as is.

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Prepare To Host

screen in porch for yearlong living of The Loudon house in Habersham southern living inspired community
Laurey Glenn

You can move the party to your porch with enough seating for your whole family. Throw blankets and pillows accent the space and turn it into an outdoor living room. Take advantage of seasonal weather to host holidays or special occasions beyond the interior footprint of your home.

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Add Rocking Chairs

front porch with rocking chairs on porch of house in Habersham southern living inspired community
Kathryn Lott

Two rocking chairs and a place to rest your iced tea is a porch formula that we will always stand behind. Life's stresses seem to slow down with the rhythmic motion of a rocking chair. A rocking chair is all you need when creating an inviting and relaxing patio.

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Assemble Cohesive Decor

Lounging Porch
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Furniture keeping with the house's color palette creates a cohesive look, making the porch seem like a continuation of the home. When attached to a kitchen or entertaining room, the entire space appears larger because of the visibility of the outdoors. Adding cozy elements to the outdoor furniture, like pillows or throws, emphasizes the inviting atmosphere cultivated inside the home.

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Focus On The View

2022 Idea House primary bedroom patio

This cozy upper porch focuses on the view with simple furnishings—a comfortable pair of lounge chairs. Rather than opting for solid furniture, the light rattan complements the setting.

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Cherish Rustic Dining

Alabama Cabin Outdoor Dining Table with Metal Chairs
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Kiera Coffee

Outdoor dining can be an elegant affair, even on rustic patios. Adding string lights or candles will add a romantic aura. Opt for a large table to host outdoor dinner parties if your space allows it.

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Build In Interest

Small Porch with Two Rocking Chairs
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Small porches meet container gardens. With planted trees that elevate the eyes, well-placed greenery can help remove the focus from square footage and draw attention to other stunning elements of your home. Hanging plants and vertical gardens are great ways to add dimension and interest to a space.

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Increase Coziness

Brandon Ingram Florida Cottage
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Create intimacy within an open-air space with soft textures and pieces that divide the area into sections. Plenty of plants create a calming scene and offer seclusion when having those ever-important chats with friends. Adding decor to an outdoor space also increases privacy without being completely closed off from your surroundings.

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Try Transient Decor

Idea House 2020 Outdoor Bistro Table Sitting Area on Porch
Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Kendra Surface

A small porch setup can be as simple as bistro-style folding chairs and a table. Tuck them away when needed and easily reassemble them in a pinch for surprise company. The temporary dining station is ideal for small spaces because it can transition to become whatever you need.

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Incorporate Some Botanicals

Haint Blue porch ceiling
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Let your porch accentuate the natural colors seen around your home. Shades of green, blue, and even purple can create the illusion that your porch is just a continuation of the outside world. Surrounding yourself with plants and flowers creates a more relaxing environment.

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Salvage Brick Spaces

Georgia Brick Porch
Photo: Tria Giovan, Styling: Olga Naiman

A bed swing provides plenty of seating on this brick porch. A vintage mantel hung above the swing is a shelf for displaying decorative objects without using the valuable square footage below. Using tucked-away spaces for patios is a great way to make a big impact with little room.

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Quickly Access Greenery

Layered potted plants on front porch
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Design: Julia Berolzheimer

You can always find pieces that elevate your container gardens if you're more inclined to make your front porch a functional space. Tuck a chair in the corner for your gardening oasis. An herb container garden adjacent to the kitchen keeps fresh ingredients just a step away.

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Enjoy A Hidden Reprieve

Sunroom with green ceiling and hand-crank jalousie windows with golden retriever looking out
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

Incorporate durable furniture that can take a little wear and tear, so the entire family—even the furry ones—can enjoy the outdoor space. Outside your porch, add bushes that will grow tall for additional privacy. A painted ceiling makes the room even cozier while reflecting the natural surroundings.

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Add Lantern Lighting

Watson Family Farmhouse in Savannah, GA Outdoor Dining Area
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Elizabeth Demos

We love the style of an oversized lantern to add an attractive focal point on a front porch. The overhead lighting brightens the space so you can enjoy it well into the night. Finish the look with antique planters and a rocking chair.

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Find Flexible Solutions

Screened Porch with Wrap Around Bench

Utilize furniture wisely to create a multi-use space. This wraparound built-in bench doubles as seating for an outdoor dining area, but it also serves as a lounge perfect for napping. The easily moveable dining table can quickly be switched out for a low coffee table, creating an adaptable porch to suit any entertaining needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a sleeping porch?

    sleeping porch is an enclosed or screened-in area on a deck or balcony in Victorian-era and early 20th-century houses. The sleeping porch is typically located at the house's corners to provide as much cross-breeze as possible. Without air conditioning, a sleeping porch was a family's refuge from the summer heat during hot and humid nights. 

  • What is a Charleston porch?

    As an element of a Charleston piazza, or "open space," the open-air porch extended the length of a house and helped families stay cool during hot and humid South Carolina summers. The Charleston porch typically included several pairs of doors that helped extend the summer breeze to the home's interior.

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