I grew up in NYC. We didn’t have a backyard; Central Park was our backyard. But just because you don’t have a sprawling garden to plant flowers doesn’t mean city dwellers can’t enjoy all the trappings of outdoor fun in the sun! Even if your space is just a small balcony in Manhattan or a tiny backyard in L.A., it can be your favorite area of the home for eating, entertaining and relaxing. Approach your outdoor space like you would any other room in your home – your style and comfort should be first and foremost but ideas will need to be scaled to a smaller area. The market has answered the need for scaled-down items that suit compact spaces, so you’re in luck!
First, how many people will occupy this area? One? Four? It makes a difference. Furniture placement is key when defining a space outdoors. Pick compact chairs and benches you can easily rearrange to accommodate different uses and that still allow people to move about freely in the area. Try to find multifunctional items – storage benches for seating, ottomans that can be used as a table or a chair, etc.
When it comes to accessorizing a small space, use the same rules you apply to interior decorating. An outdoor lighting fixture suspended from an umbrella adds instant ambiance and doesn’t take up any floor space. Outdoor rugs come in a full range of sizes nowadays. Compact bistro tables and folding chairs are great for this type of area, as well.
In most NYC apartment buildings, they don’t allow grills of any kind for safety reasons, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dine outdoors. Make sure you get some pretty outdoor decor to brighten up that table. A hurricane lamp, some mod trays and plants are your summertime BFF’s for city dwellers.
City spaces might be smaller, but they can be equally fabulous!