When you live in an apartment or in the city, any outdoor space can feel like a luxury. However, when you are surrounded by neighbors and concrete it can be hard to make that space feel cozy. With a few touches, even a wrought iron bistro set surrounded by metal railings can begin to feel warm and inviting. The trick is in softening the lines and adding the right colors.

Add Flowers and Greenery

The best way to soften the edges of a hard deck is to add flowers and greenery. If the space you are working with is small, then opt for hanging plants or railing flower boxes. These won’t use up valuable floor space. Larger decks should take full advantage of raised planter boxes. Not only do they offer a place for plant life, but they can also be used to define different seating areas. Some elevated deck systems, popular for rooftop areas, sell Bison IPE cubes that snap directly into the flooring system.

Create Intimate Seating Areas

It feels much cozier to be seated in small gatherings, rather than in a line of chairs all pointing the same direction. Unless you have a million-dollar view and no inclination to talk to anyone, pull chairs, tables and rugs in tight to make guests feel snug and secure. Intimate groupings are more conducive to conversation. You could use room divider screens to create a private nook. Trellises covered in vines or outdoor cloth can also be used to define different areas and keep out nosey neighbors.

Design a Focal Point

People tend to gather around focal points. Something like a fireplace or water feature drawls guests in a gives them something to talk about. Not many design elements feel cozier than a fire ring or fire table. If you don’t have room for a fire feature, then consider a fountain. Fountains may not keep you warm, but they have a truly relaxing sound that is perfect for relaxation. As a bonus, fountains can sometimes drown out unwanted noise. For really small spaces, hang a pretty picture or tapestry on the wall.

Incorporate Warm Tones

Subdued, warm colors feel cozier than cool tones. When choosing rugs, pillows or umbrellas, select colors that remind you of a sunset or autumn leaves. Different textures will give your patio a luxurious feel that guests will just want to settle right into. Add colorful blankets to the back of couches or chairs for cool summer nights or simply a splash of color.