17 Apartment Patio Ideas to Create an Outdoor Escape

apartment patio with awning

Dazey Den

Your apartment patio may be tiny, dreary, and a little bit drab, but it's your one connection to the Great Outdoors. The time has come for your patio to live up to its potential and become the outdoor retreat you know it can be.

So, put aside the worn-out plastic chairs and barely alive potted plants, and make your apartment patio a space you'll want to be year-round. Here are some of our favorite ways to upgrade your apartment patio.

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Create Extra Privacy

apartment patio with privacy topper

Blanco Bungalow via Turquoise and Tobacco

Outdoor space of any kind in an apartment or shared living space can be a godsend. But, sometimes that outdoor space doesn't come with the peace, quiet, and privacy you'd hope for. A great way to fix this is with a privacy topper on top of your shared wall.

If you're not able to alter the wall, consider using something temporary on top, like plants or a temporary screen.

02 of 17

Add Some Hanging Lights

apartment patio with hanging light

Calimia Home

If your patio is shaded or awkwardly covered by part of your building, you may not get much natural light. And if you're trying to host late-night dinner parties, you'll run into the same problem.

The solution? Extra lighting. But, take a step up from string lights by using a pendant light for a more grown-up, chandelier-esque vibe.

03 of 17

Use Your Corners

casa watkins apartment patio

Casa Watkins Living

Your apartment patio corners shouldn't be wasted space. Instead, utilize corner benches for extra seating, or build corner storage to store garden or patio supplies. And if you don't want to lean on an uncomfortable patio railing, use outdoor throw pillows for some stylish comfort.

04 of 17

Make It the Perfect Place for Plants

black and blooms apartment patio

Black and Blooms

Your apartment may be filled with houseplants, but don't forget to bring that gorgeous greenery outdoors, too.

If you're lucky enough to live somewhere sunny and warm, tropical plants can create summer vibes all year long. If you're somewhere a bit colder, bring your plants outdoors for the warm season and take them back inside once it gets cold.

05 of 17

Paint With Rich Hues

bespoke only patio black

Bespoke Only

Add some drama to your apartment patio by using bold colors. Think about painting a wall a dark, rich color or placing a temporary covering over it for an eye-catching and trendsetting effect.

06 of 17

Go Bold

apartment patio with bold color

Dazey Den

Want your tiny patio to make a big statement? Go bold with color. Pick a bright and sunny color and use it throughout your patio, like in furniture, accessories, and even its structure, for a memorable outdoor space that's totally your own.

07 of 17

Have a Space for Conversation

apartment patio with lots of seating

Dan Rak Design

If you want to use your outdoor space for plenty of entertaining, it's important that you have the seating for it. A great way to do this is by picking furniture that pairs perfectly with late-night conversations over drinks, like outdoor sofas and chairs that sit across from one another—they're a comfortable and stylish way to facilitate chit-chat on your apartment patio.

08 of 17

Make It Match

arbor and co apartment patio

Arbor & Co

Your apartment patio is probably pretty small, and small spaces can easily become cluttered spaces. So, cut down on excess visual clutter by using a matching patio set.

This will allow you to still add fun pops of style and personality where it counts—like with throw pillows or other accessories—while still maintaining visual clarity.

09 of 17

How About a Hammock?

ann living apartment patio with hammock

Ann Living

Patios are already pretty cozy spaces, but you can really lean into that cozy feeling with one easy addition: a hammock. Make sure you secure it to a stud or weight-bearing structure and get ready to cocoon yourself to sleep all summer long.

10 of 17

A Penchant for Pallets

apartment patio with pallets

Afro Bohemian Living

Looking to DIY some outdoor furniture, but lumber prices got you down? Say hello to our old friend, the pallet. Reuse these wooden jacks-of-all-trades for an outdoor sofa and coffee table, and spend the season lounging in style.

11 of 17

Practice Minimalism

apartment patio minimalist

Cottage and Sea

If your vision for your apartment patio is more private oasis and less entertaining central, consider a minimalist approach to its style. Use just a few carefully selected pieces for a peaceful, pared-down vibe.

12 of 17

Try Built-In Benches

built in seating apartment patio

Pure Salt Interiors, Photography by Vanessa Lentine

You may have more space than you think—if your patio has long walls or railing, try to place some benches against them. It's a great way to incorporate overflow seating for larger gatherings. For a custom built-in look, paint both the seating and the wall the same color, as seen in this gorgeous space above.

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Play With Texture

apartment patio with fireplace

Dan Rak Design

Your apartment patio doesn't need to be all concrete or all wood. Instead, bring in different textures for a contrasting and visually interesting look.

To make sure things still look cohesive, stick with textures that have similar hues, like dark brick and medium-toned wood. And for a pop of color, add in a few plants for some much-needed green.

14 of 17

Lay Down an Outdoor Rug

apartment patio with rugs

Goldalamode

Does anyone really enjoy the feeling of their bare feet on hot concrete or splintery wood? We didn't think so. Make your patio a more pleasant place for your feet to be with a few outdoor rugs.

They'll provide personality and comfort to a drab patio floor. Use a durable rug that's designed for the outdoors, or pick one that's made with natural materials, like jute.

15 of 17

Keep It Shaded

apartment patio with awning

Dazey Den

The heat of summertime sunshine may be great for a few weeks, but once the novelty of it wears off, you're left feeling hot, sweaty, and sunburned. Protect your patio from the unforgiving heat of midsummer with some shade.

If you need something only occasionally, use a large patio umbrella. Looking for something long-term? Use a retractable awning.

16 of 17

Use Natural Borders

apartment patio with natural borders

Dan Rak Design

Your patio doesn't need to feel so gray and dreary—bring back life on the wild side with some plant-based privacy. Use a combination of tall and bushy plants against your shared patio wall for a space that's secluded and filled with nature.

You can grow more than just flowers on your apartment patio—try your hand out at vegetable gardening, too. Get creative with your space with a few well-placed planters and make your patio a place for fresh veggies and herbs.

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Add a Little Bit of Gold

apartment patio with gold accents

Julian Porcino

Gold accents are the perfect way to take your understated apartment patio furniture to a whole other level. They provide a pop of luxe without looking tacky, and they can be DIY'ed with a trusted bottle of matte gold spray paint.

For the best look, use gold accents on hardware and accessories for a cohesive but not overwhelming look.

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