If you have a small outdoor area, use it as an asset to design an inviting outdoor paradise. You will get the most out of every inch of your yard with a few strategic choices such as hiding storage and maximizing vertical surfaces. These outdoor living spaces and gardens will prove that less is often more and they will offer smart space saving solutions.
1. Create multiple areas. Although it may feel counterintuitive, breaking up a small garden into defined-use spaces will actually make the area feel bigger. An example would be to split an outdoor area into two separate spaces; one for outdoor dining and the other for relaxing by the fire pit. Also, incorporating built-in benches will maximize seating for your friends and family, while the planting areas behind the benches can add room for greenery such as shrubs and vines.
2. Add a focal point. Adding a few attractive areas for the eye to rest on makes a space feel larger. Consider adding a beautiful fountain to compliment your garden or some stone pillars to go with your terra-cotta pots that are planted to the garden gate. Also, by adding a focal point to your backyard design, you are able to personalize the space to fit your individual style, whether it is rustic, shabby chic or contemporary for example.
3. Level up. A great way to separate your outdoor living areas and create more dimension to the design is to build your design on multiple different levels. Taking a few steps up to a platform gives the sense of a journey to a destination and can make two parts of a small garden feel like distinct areas.
4. Use your side yard. One overlooked area is a side yard which can be a real asset to creating a small garden. You can also use the narrow space to create a sense of arrival to an outdoor lounge, making the garden feel more spacious. This often-neglected area can be a real asset to a small garden.
5. Build the biggest deck you can. Make the most of your design with the largest deck or patio that you can fit in your backyard. Unlike tiny decks that make you feel cramped and can make a small space feel even smaller, larger decks will allow for the space to feel open and comfortable. You can also add more greenery to the deck or patio by adding some plant vines along the edges of the hardscape or by using big containers with lush vegetation.
6. Add a structure. Pergolas and arbors help define an area of the garden for a specific use, such as relaxing in the shade or enjoying an outdoor dinner with friends and family. Adding a structure in a small garden creates a different environment in a space that could otherwise feel boring. Adding a patio cover or awning will also allow you to make more use of your backyard since you can enjoy it all year around.
7. Go dark. Consider painting your fences and walls a dark charcoal color to trick your eye into expanding the boundaries of a space, creating it to appear bigger.
8. Maximize growing space. When it comes to getting the most out of a limited area, vines, espaliers and containers are your best space-savers. If a small garden can’t accommodate a full-size fruit tree, take advantage of an otherwise wasted planting area to grow an espalier along a sunny wall.
9. Keep it clean. Simple lines and a tight color palette make a small space feel more spacious. When you begin your design, carefully select a color palette that is fitting to your style and that will help your outdoor living space feel calm and uncluttered.