The Best Furniture to Complete Even the Tiniest Outdoor Spaces

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There’s just something about a nicely decorated outdoor space that lifts the spirits, but a lot of outdoor furniture is large, bulky, and not exactly suitable for smaller areas. If you’re working with a balcony or tiny patio but want to create an inviting outdoor haven, you don't have to resign yourself to setting up just a plastic chair or two. From bistro furniture sets and side tables to planters and lights, there are tons of modern, stylish options out there.

Here, we found the best outdoor furniture that'll make your small space come to life.

Best Patio Set: Bungalow Rose Alianna 3-Piece Bistro Set

Bungalow Rose Alianna Patio Rope 3 Piece Bistro Set with Cushions

This contemporary bistro set includes two rounded chairs and a small glass top table, making it the ideal size for a patio brunch for two. Perfect for setting up poolside or on your balcony, it features a unique rope design and metal base makes it as comfortable as it is beautiful. The resin rope is strong and durable, but lightweight and easy to move around so you can find your sweet spot.

The chairs come with thick padded cushions that you can remove for easy cleaning, but take note that you should cover or bring inside during rainy days.

Best Lounge Chair: West Elm Huron Lounge Chair

West Elm Huron Lounge Chair, Small

If you need to add some seating to your outdoor space, the Huron Lounge Chair is a laidback and comfy option that exudes style. Featuring gray and cream tones, this chair fits into any aesthetic and adds a clean look that blends in nicely without demanding attention.

Even better? It's rust- and weather-resistant, so you can leave it outside even when the weather gets a little rough. You can purchase the chair individually or in a set of two, depending on your needs.

Best Barstools: Noble House Sawtelle Wicker Outdoor Bar Stool

Noble House Sawtelle Stackable Wicker Outdoor Bar Stoo

A welcome addition to any outdoor bar space, these wicker stools add a touch of boho to your setup. With a wrapped rattan design set atop a black iron frame, these bar stools are a modern update to a classic look. The combo strikes a good balance between warmth and coolness, so they'll fit seamlessly into any décor. And because of the way they’re designed, you can spread them out around your bar area when in use or stack them up and put them off to the side to save space when you don’t need the extra seating.

Best Stool: Joss & Main Horsforth Garden Stool

Joss & Main Horsforth Garden Stool

A stool is the ideal multifunctional piece, and can be used as a makeshift table, footrest, or extra seating. With its jagged ribbed design, this ceramic option from Joss & Main is one of our favorites. There are two color options—mint and copper—that are guaranteed to add some personality to your space. It’s beautiful as a statement piece on its own, or you can use it as a planter or décor stand. And since it’s water-resistant, you don’t have to worry about bringing it inside if the weather gets bad (although it’s so cute, you might want to).

Best Pouf: Fresh American Braided Indoor/Outdoor Pouf

Fresh American Brown Braided Natural Indoor/Outdoor Pouf

Thanks to their versatility, poufs are one of the most functional pieces of outdoor furniture for small spaces. Similar to a stool, the right pouf can be used as a seat, an ottoman, and even an accent table. The natural color and textured finish of this indoor/outdoor pouf make it adaptable design-wise as well as functionally. It fits in nicely with other décor and has a timeless design that never goes out of style. It’s also made of recycled polyester (PET), which is as durable as it is sustainable.

Best Planter: Terrain Fiber Concrete Barrel Pot

Terrain Fiber Concrete Barrel Pot

If you want to add some (or more) greenery to your outdoor space, these lightweight concrete planters are the way to do it. Inspired by old English dolly tubs, these planters have a ridged finish and come in five different colors, from understated white to a standout yellow. Available in sizes extra small to extra large, you can mix and match the pots to add some depth and dimension to your outdoor area without taking up too much space.

Best Rug: Jungalow Herringbone Saj Outdoor Rug

Jungalow Herringbone Saj Outdoor Rug

With a medley of coral, yellow, orange, and light blue tones, the Saj Outdoor Rug adds a serious pop of color to any outdoor space. This weather-safe rug is handwoven from 100 percent poly yarn and is made in India by artisans paid fair wages, so it’s a purchase you can be proud of. And it’s available in several sizes, from 2 x 3 feet to 9 x 13 feet, so you can easily decorate whatever size space you're working with.

Best Pillow: West Elm Sunbrella Indoor/Outdoor Striped Lumbar Pillow

West Elm Sunbrella Indoor/Outdoor Striped Lumbar Pillow

Made with 100 percent Sunbrella acrylic fabric, these lumbar pillows are beautiful and durable. They have a thin pinstripe design in classic neutral colors, like tan, navy, white, and gray, so they'll add an upscale look to any piece of furniture. Plus, they’re designed to resist mildew, sun fading, stains, and chlorine, so you can use them in the garden or poolside. 

One thing to note: The cover isn't removable, so you have to spot clean them if they get dirty (something that doesn’t happen often since they’re stain-resistant). You can buy these pillows individually if you want to mix and match, or opt for a set of two.

Best Bar Cart: Fermob Luxembourg Bar Serving Cart

fermob-luxembourg-bar-cart

If you can’t fit a dedicated bar space in your outdoor area, Fermob's iconic Luxembourg Bar Cart is the next best thing. It has clean lines, plenty of storage space in a compact design, and a functional setup that includes a removable tray top, a wine rack on the bottom shelf, and wheels. It comes in almost two dozen colors—from classic white and gray to bright blues, corals, and pinks—so you can choose one that blends into your space or opt for a contrasting color that turns it into an accent piece.

Best Lighting: LEDPAX Outdoor LED String Lights

LEDPAX 48-foot Outdoor Waterproof 15-light LED String Lights

If you like to lounge outside after the sun goes down, the right lighting makes all the difference in the world. With their rich amber glow, these string lights add the perfect amount of twinkle to set the ambiance without being overbearing. The black waterproof wire and black hanging sockets keep them safe from all types of weather, but also add a modern touch that helps dress up any outdoor space. Each string includes 15 lights spread across 48 feet of wire.

Best Umbrella: Treasure Garden Pagoda 9' Collar Tilt Umbrella

Treasure Garden Pagoda 9' Collar Tilt Umbrella

Thanks to the Collar Tilt Pagoda Umbrella, you can shade yourself in style in any size patio. The pagoda-shaped outdoor umbrella is made of fade-resistant polyester so it retains its vibrant colors—you can choose from aruba (bright blue), canary (yellow), sunshine (coral), and a striped black and white combo—even with regular exposure to the sun.

As far as operation goes, this umbrella smoothly and easily cranks to open and close and has a twist collar tilt option that allows you to quickly change direction as the sun moves.

What to Look For in Outdoor Furniture

Type
There are tons of outdoor furniture options out there, but you certainly don't need everything. As long as you have lighting and some type of seating, whether that's one chair or a full dining table set-up, you're on the right track. Smaller spaces like balconies don't need a lot: A chair or two, a small rug to add some personality, and lighting is great, plus a small table if you can swing it. Look for 3-piece bistro patio sets, as those will typically be smaller in size, and foldable chairs that can easily be packed away if needed.

Material
You'll want to choose materials that are weather-resistant and durable, especially if you live somewhere with unpredictable weather. Teak, polypropylene, resin wicker, and aluminum are ideal for furniture, while polyester and acrylic are the best options for fabric. Similarly, synthetic fibers like polyester and polypropylene are best for outdoor rugs.

Function
Unsurprisingly, you should focus on multifunctional pieces if you're outfitting a smaller space. Stools and poufs are smart additions if you can fit them, as they can be used as a tabletop or extra seating. Consider buying chairs and décor (like throw pillows) that work both indoors and out, so you can use them all year round as needed.

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