Making The Most Of A Small Backyard
Even a small backyard can be transformed into a beautiful and inviting space. Be inspired by some stunning examples.
When we bought our townhouse, we were smitten from the day we moved in. We loved everything about it including the small backyard. I was able to see this small space had enough potential to become an outdoor haven where we would be able to relax and make wonderful memories.
Just because your backyard is small, it doesn’t mean it can’t be used like a larger backyard. After all, a small backyard is better than none at all. Maximizing space means that any backyard can serve a purpose beyond what you initially perceive, as long as you have a little time to plan and execute. Backyard decorum generally calls for a place to sit and a place to eat, and our strategies for making the most of your backyard will ensure it remains functional.
Here are some great ways to make the most of your small backyard like we did.
Utilize What’s There
The first step to making the most of a small backyard is to address the tiny elephant in the room: you have a small space, but you want to make it feel big, so start with what’s there and then continue. If you have hedges, a fence, or other fixtures that provide direction to your backyard plans, follow them.
String lights can beautifully highlight your paths and draw attention to certain areas or features. Adding furniture and decorum to create a feeling of privacy can lead to a lot of wasted space, so use what’s there.
Gardening can take up a huge part of your backyard if you’re growing everything directly from the ground. Instead of planting in rows, try planting vertically, using tall planters that facilitate vertical growth. Managing eight or more types of flowers is extremely easy with a vertical planter setup, and it only takes a few square feet of the total backyard.
Tiered planters are exceptional for planting herb gardens. Interestingly, this concept can also be applied to stepping tiers. Having multiple levels to step on gives the illusion of added space.
If your backyard is long and narrow, or short and wide, extra space can be created by creating zones to give your backyard a more domestic vibe. There are many ways to do this, but one of the most effective concepts in zoning is using bench seating to create hard angles that make “rooms.” Placement of a table naturally creates a “room” around the table as well. By strategically placing furniture, you can create zones that allow for privacy of conversation when outdoors.
Last summer, we repaved the entire patio floor. We had two sets of shrubby on both sides and we found it really limited our outdoor space so we removed all the shrubs and adding patio blocks to extend the space. It made a huge difference. Now, we can entertain three times as many people as we did in the past.
I have to get “my green on” – we’ve had really cold nights so far this Spring, and I didn’t want to start planting until it at least got warmer outside. Once I add some green, I know it’s going to brighten up my backyard and make this space inviting and add some pops of color!
One of the reasons I liked this patio set was it gave the option to add a footstool as opposed to a full recliner. This was a definite space saver for an already tight space. When you have a smaller space to work in, you have to think of alternative ways to get the look you want without having to sacrifice too much.
And of course, I have a lot of lighting going on back there too. I have string lights on both sides of the fence as well as some spotlighting too.
The ability to recalibrate your backyard by utilizing moveable furniture creates endless design options for your backyard. Gardens can be constructed in movable planters, folding chairs make for great temporary seating during events, and propane grills come in small sizes that can be stored indoors when not being used.
Create a Focal Point
Creating a focal point takes your guests’ attention away from the size of your backyard. A beautiful statue, or a grouping of plants like the vertical planters mentioned earlier, can create an elegant distraction that takes attention away from the physical properties of your space. Positioning the focal point is dependant on the layout of your backyard, but generally, there should be a natural path to the focal point from the threshold.
A small backyard doesn’t have to feel small. Smart planning and a little ingenuity go a long way in the quest to create an efficient backyard space. Your small backyard will always have the advantage of feeling cozy, so start from there and follow our tips for making the most of a small backyard.
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