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Written by Deanna Kane
For city dwellers, having outdoor space is the ultimate goal. If your urban home is equipped with a tiny yard, balcony, or rooftop, maximize every inch to create your own metropolitan oasis. A few tweaks can turn the tiniest outdoor space into a livable, beautiful retreat.
1. Add foliage
Just because you have limited space does not mean you have to sacrifice greenery. Fill your outdoor space with potted plants and vibrant hanging flowers to add color to the area. Small outdoor spaces are also perfect for growing a vertical garden, by securing small flower pots to a lattice screen, or even by planting vines to crawl up the screen. If your thumb is not that green, artificial potted boxwoods lend a polished look to any space. Artificial boxwood hedges also create a clean look, while providing privacy.
2. Accessorize the space
Amp up accessories to maximize the cozy factor. Begin with an outdoor accent rug to anchor the area. Add colorful outdoor pillows and cushions to the seating options, and display a small outdoor bar cart to create an extension of your indoor living room. When the lakefront breeze picks up, have a basket of cotton blankets by the door to stay warm, allowing you to continue to enjoy the fleeting summer evenings.
Garden stools are also a small, outdoor space staple. They are multi-functional and can be used as extra seating, a food rest or to set a beverage. For privacy, outdoor curtains or privacy screens add visual appeal while helping to block out city noise, or too-close neighbors.
3. Plant an herb garden
There is something about growing your own herbs that makes cooking feel more special. Herbs are a low maintenance edible plant that are easy to grow, take up minimal space, and can lend a delicious aroma to the area.
4. Create a dining space
If your outdoor space doesn’t allow for a full table, rely on bistro tables to do the job. Whether you space them out or group them together, having several bistro tables provides a place to serve a meal for a small group. For more informal seating, a bench with outdoor cushions and pillows, surrounded by garden stools and several outdoor ottomans is a perfect place to curl up with a book or to enjoy cocktails and apps, al fresco.
5. Add lighting
Lighting is the finishing touch to creating a cozy outdoor living space. As you sit outside taking in the skyline, watching the traffic below, or catching a glimpse of Lake Michigan in the distance, string lights or lanterns complete the scene when creating your own private urban outdoor oasis.