One design for a small backyard patio is a circle of cobble-edged brick amidst plantings of pyramidal evergreens, hydrangeas and prostrate shrubs that nearly hide an unattractive fence. Stepping stones set on a diagonal and buried in gravel lead to the circle from what is probably the house.
Ground covers are found in the gravel between the stepping stones. The circle seats two simple chairs and a side table, and the entire space is lit with bollard lights.
Another small patio design is an outdoor room with a dining table set with candles and a dinner service, a fireplace, side chairs and potted plants arranged on a flagstone floor. A canvas sail shades the entire space.