Here’s How To Maximize Any Outdoor Space — From Fire Escape To Stoop

Our passion for spacial problem solving has deepened over our increased time spent at home — and now, as the weather warms, our outside areas (or lack thereof) are top of mind. For those of us without access to private open-air oases, investing in the right al-fresco finds can be a strategic move in maximizing whatever outdoor space we're working with. Whether you have a window sill, fire escape, shared rooftop, cramped concrete patio, front stoop, tiny grass patch, real backyard, or full-on meadow, we hunted down goods to help make the most out of them.

Ahead, everything from makeshift windowsill daybeds to front-stoop folding chairs you can easily tote and then stowaway, compact inflatable pools, fire pits, and full-on glamping-gazebo tents that will distinguish your own outside slice for optimal enjoyment.


At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

If you have a window sill...

Make a designated sunshine nook out of it by adding a cushion to its ledge (if wide enough) — or, by stationing a bench or daybed that complements its dimensions beneath it for lounging and catching rays.
Urban Outfitters Hopper Daybed$298.00 Buy
Sunbrella Wade Entry Bench Cushion$99.00 Buy
Brighton Home Youth Upholstered Bench$135.99 Buy

If you have a fire escape...

...That you can safely access. Instead of fully stepping out onto it, try fixing it up into an outside dining or cocktail table that you can access while still firmly rooted inside your space. Look for a durable tray or a portable picnic table that will hold your spread, then just pull some chairs up to your window sill and enjoy that al-fresco happy hour. And don't leave anything out on it!
Kato Folding Portable Bamboo Outdoor Picnic Table$59.96 $32.98 Buy
West Elm Wood + Glaze Tray$69.00 $29.99 Buy

If you have a stoop...

Maximizing your stoop space has everything to do with portability and comfort — meaning it's best to invest in pieces that can be easily carried up and downstairs, folded up and tucked away when not needed, and still feeling better to sit on than a bare concrete step. We suggest folding chairs for the top or bottom of your stoop and vibrant outdoor seat cushions for nestling into the steps — plus a folding table for cocktails and card games.
Hashtag Home Ainsley Patio 3 Piece Bistro Set$289.90 $144.99 Buy
Anthropologie Tie-Dye Indoor/Outdoor Seat Cushion$32.00 $22.40 Buy
Winsome Trading Robin 4-Piece Folding Chair Set$99.99 Buy
Bonton x Maison Sarah Lavoine Floor Cushion Pink$75.00 Buy

If you have a shared rooftop...

Since you've got some more square footage to work with up there, we suggest going the inflatable pool route complete with portable fold-up lounge chairs — your verified quarantine crew will be on board.
PoolCandy Lemon Sunning Pool$19.99 $15.99 Buy
Bay Isle Home Tatianna Reclining Beach Chair$123.99 Buy
Summer Waves® Inflatable Watermelon 3-Ring Pool, 45" x 10"$20.93 Buy

If you have a concrete patio...

Whether your concrete patio is a cramped front balcony situation or ground-level outback setup that's facing a lovely brick wall, opening it up to oasis-style is as easy as adding in some greenery. Invest in tiered plant stands that will not only add visual levels to the minimal space but will also give new sunlight-reaching height to your green friends.
Urban Outfitters Rattan Plant Stand$129.00 Buy
SONGMICS Bamboo Customizable 9-Tier Plant Stand$72.99 Buy

If you have a patch of grass...

If you're only dealing with a patch, you're going to want to get elevated. Instead of over encumbering the already limited green carpeting, invest in a hanging chair or freestanding hammock setup that will open up your abilities to sit back, relax, and enjoy it.
Anthropologie Pacific Hammock Chair$228.00 $159.60 Buy
Best Choice Products Indoor Outdoor Padded Cotton Hammock Hanging Chair$66.99 $42.99 Buy

If you have a backyard...

Lucky you — get a fire pit! These backyard gadgets have become more and more mainstream, meaning they're easy to find at affordable price points, safe to operate, and streamlined for fitting in with whatever backyard size or setup you've got — plus, they are sure to deliver some much-needed kumbaya ambiance.
HBeeFire Large Hot Rolled Steel Fire Pit$293.07 $263.76 Buy
sonoma goods for life Chevron Square Fire Pit$149.99 $89.99 Buy
Terrain Copper Dish Fire Pit$498.00 Buy
Ebern Designs Parson Portable Pellet Steel Wood Burning Fire Pit$102.99 Buy

If you live in a meadow...

Go glamping in it with a full-on gazebo-tent setup that you can fill with whatever outside accessories strike your fancy — whether that's sleeping bags for sheltered camping occasions, a lounge area for club-like table scenes, or a covered inflatable pool setup.
Destination Summer 10-Foot x 10-Foot Steel Double-Tiered Gazebo in Neutral$249.99 $187.49 Buy
Winado Outdoor Gazebo Pavilion Event Canopy$102.90 $74.99 Buy
Load more...