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10 Tips for Arranging Patio Furniture on a Small Deck

A small deck with patio furniture arranged in a way that doesn't overcrowd the area

Planning furniture layouts and decor for small decks can feel limiting without a few tips to make the most of the space. No matter the size of your patio or deck, we want to help you maximize your space so you can enjoy your setup.

When choosing patio furniture, you can make the most out of your space by taking measurements beforehand, planning out how you want to use the space, and choosing versatile and multi-functional pieces

We have 10 tips to get you started with your small deck staging.

1. Don’t Overcrowd Your Space

Too much stuff on a small deck can overwhelm your space, making it appear even smaller. You or your guests might need to cautiously squeeze between tables, chairs, decor, and lighting, adding a little stress to your relaxing zone. Start with key pieces of furniture; what you consider must-haves. You can always add pieces to your space later if needed.

2. Define Your Lifestyle

Your lifestyle can guide how you use your space, and the furniture or accessories you need to make the space work for your needs. 

Do you like to entertain large groups of people? Then consider prioritizing seating. Do you enjoy family dinners outside on warm summer evenings? Your space needs to accommodate a dining area and enough lighting to see your plates.

Whether you use your space for socializing, lounging, or multiple purposes throughout the day, the patio furniture you select should work for your life. 

3. Measure Your Space Thoroughly

The size of your patio space is a crucial consideration. You may have your heart set on a luxurious lounge set only to discover your patio or deck is a few centimetres—or metres—too short for your sectional. Taking measurements of your space can help you set realistic expectations, so you can dream within reason. 

Knowing the square footage is the first step, but consider how the individual pieces will fit too. How much clearance do you need to squeeze between a chair and a table? When you bring your deck’s measurements into Patioline, we can help you map out the details. Taking the guesswork out means you can choose pieces to fit your lifestyle without clashing with your space.

4. Determine a Focal Point

 Adding furniture without a plan on a small deck can quickly become an obstacle course. Deciding on a focal point can make it easier to arrange your space. Your focal point might be a dinner table, firepit, pool, or a good view.

Ask yourself, what are people looking at when they spend time on the deck? Are you gathered around a central seating area? Or do you want distinct sections, such as a dining set for the family and a cozy nook for nice-weather days? You might arrange all the furniture to face the centre, face out, or distinct sections may face opposite directions.

Determining the focal point depends on how you plan to use the space.

An infographic displaying 10 tips tor arranging furniture on a small deck

5. Think of How You’ll Use Your Space

Your lifestyle and the size of your deck are the 2 biggest factors in deciding how you’ll use your space. The purpose of your space can help you choose the type of furniture, the focal point, and what items you need to make the space work for you. Some key questions you might ask are:

  • How many people will use the space regularly?
  • Should your furniture be adaptable for more people at different times?
  • Do you need to accommodate storage for hobbies or outdoor activities?
  • When are you using your deck—day, night, on special occasions, or every day?

When you’re stuck on design, or your list of questions keeps growing, the experts at Patioline are here to help. Talking about your small deck’s purpose, with measurements, can help focus the design.

6. Consider the Perimeter

With a small deck, wasted space can add up quickly. So when you’re arranging your deck furniture or decor, spread out to maximize space! Pushing big pieces, like lounge chairs, closer to the edge can help create open space where it needs to be: where people are moving or stretching out their legs.

Too wide a perimeter can make the center area seem overcrowded and waste the precious extra space you need to fit priority items.

7. Choose Smaller or Less Furniture

When you have less space to work with, less furniture is needed to make your space look cozy and welcoming. Using moderately-sized or fewer pieces can prevent your deck from looking overcrowded and make it easier to get around.

Small bistro sets can look stylish and allow more room, so you can pull up an extra chair for an extra guest. Think about the furniture items you’ll use most often, and what will make you (or your guests) feel most comfortable. Avoid extras for “just in case” or squeezing in large pieces.

8. Add Outdoor Lighting

Lighting contributes to the space’s style, so it should match the style and purpose you’ve defined for your outdoor space. Your deck’s measurements may also dictate your choices. For example, string lights can make your deck feel inviting and free up floor space. A fire table can add warmth, ambiance, and double as a dining or coffee table!

Think about the time of day you use your deck most. Do you want lighting to help you read a good book or see your plate when you dine? Or do you want gentler light, so you can enjoy quiet conversation? Consider your small deck’s purpose and measurements when selecting lighting.

9. Make Your Space Versatile

When your space has a dual purpose or sections, prioritize furniture with dual functions. You can make more work with less, so you avoid overcrowding and still enjoy the space. Cushion storage can double as a side table. A sofa set can be comfortable for lounging or dining. 

When you notice your floor plan is starting to look tight, items combining function and style can make a big difference on a small deck.

A small space deck with two black outdoor chairs and a coffee table.

10. Get Help from Experts

Getting advice from experts can help elevate your space and make the process fun and stress-free. We want to help you enjoy your space in comfort with furniture customized to your style and created with materials that last. The experts at Patioline can help you discover the right pieces for your space layout and lifestyle. 

Bring photos and measurements of your outdoor space to the experts at Patioline, and we can help make your outdoor space the best it can be. Visit us today to get started customizing your space.

Written by Marie Svindt

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