How to Add Style and Privacy to a Small Patio Area

Even if you have a small home without much outdoor space, you can still create a welcoming and inviting patio area; however, you might need to add a few simple touches so you have both style and privacy. Note a few design tips that can help make even the smallest patio space more cosy and relaxing, and which can help with privacy issues that are common in a smaller backyard area.


For privacy, a tall wooden fence is always best; however, a solid fence can make a small space seem claustrophobic and closed-in. Use a very light oak colour or paint the fence white rather than using something in a dark cherry or mahogany tone. Also, avoid using small slats for the fence, as smaller slats for a larger fence can look busy and cluttered.


If you prefer something green, you'll want to plant shrubbery, but should pick something that will be thick enough to provide privacy and noise insulation. Look for any variety of yew, as this evergreen grows to be very thick. French lilac also provides a thick covering and beautiful blooms during summertime. Camellia Japonica is another flowering shrub that grows to be very thick, and its pink-red blooms resemble open roses. Opt for any of these for your small patio so they help block the view of neighbours and give you some privacy.

Outdoor rugs and other fabric

Rugs and fabric can help to make your patio area look more inviting and relaxing, and also help to absorb noise from surrounding neighbours. Rugs and cushions can be especially important if you only have a metal table and chairs on the patio, as these can seem a bit dull and even downright industrial. Choose a very thick, colourful outdoor rug along with some thick cushions for the chairs, to insulate sound and add some comfort to the space. Cover the table in an outdoor tablecloth that coordinates with the other fabrics. These may seem like simple touches but the softness of fabric and the colours and patterns can make your patio seem much more relaxing overall.

Water feature

A running water feature or bubbling fountain can provide some background or white noise to help drown out the sound of neighbours and even traffic, and also make a patio seem more relaxing. Many plug-in fountains are available at gardening supply centres; these can be hung onto a home's exterior wall and may even run with batteries, for added convenience.