6 Tips to Make the Most Out of A Small Yard
When it comes to creating beautiful, comfortable outdoor areas at home, don’t let space put a damper on your dreams. Even a petite porch can transform into a peaceful oasis for dining, reading and relaxing alfresco. If you’re wondering how to make it happen, check out these 6 tips to get inspired and get your design project off to a blooming start.
Focus on Function
Small space design can require some focus when it comes to thinking about the elements you want to incorporate. Think about the two or three most important things you want to be able to do outside – do you want a vegetable garden and a comfortable lounge chair where you can sit and read? Are you more interested in making room for a small grill and a bistro table? You might not be able to fit a hot tub, dining table, fire pit and hammock all in your small backyard, but you can pick your favorites out of those things and really make the most of your available space.
Start with a Clean Slate
Once you’re sure of what you want to do in your backyard, clear it out. Take out every piece of furniture, every moveable potted plant and every tiki torch. Give your pavers a quick scrub or pressure wash, sweep the deck of any debris and give your landscaping a little TLC if necessary. Sometimes a quick cleaning can totally refresh the energy in the space.
Next, take a good look at your furniture. Is it time to replace that wobbly lounger? Has your table seen too many windy days? Measure your outdoor area carefully and be pick items that are scaled to fit well in smaller spaces. You’ll probably want plenty of room to move around and get comfortable. Think about space-efficient options such as circular bistro tables and multitasking storage furniture pieces so you can maximize efficiency with your big anchor items.
Whether you’re a master gardener or a casual fan of florals, you can make your small backyard feel lush and inviting with the right plants. Think about using vertical space – hanging baskets, creeping vines and petite patio trees are all fantastic options for bringing in some additional greenery. Plants add texture and freshness to an outdoor space, but they can also serve multiple functions when you’re short on space. You can even use hanging baskets to create a privacy screen if you want to give your backyard an enclosed, secret-garden feeling.
Create Color Pops
Color can go a long way toward making your small backyard feel true to you. Just as you laid a foundation with larger furniture pieces, you may want to go for neutral, natural colors for the bulk of your outdoor design. Then, you can choose one or two bright colors to use as accents that stand out, or go all the way with plenty of playful patterns for a lively, energetic feel. From a bright blue rug to a row of hanging lanterns in shades of red, the extra attention makes all the difference.
Maximize Your Yard
Your small backyard may have more room available than you realize! If there are any overgrown bushes or trees on the property, think about removing or trimming them back to make more useable room for furniture and other outdoor accoutrements. It may be a good idea to call in a professional landscaper to see if there are any other landscaping changes that can give you a few more feet of space to enjoy when you’re out in the fresh air. You can replace the old plants with lower-profile options or grass to maintain the new dimensions.
Accessorize with Intuition
It helps to stay focused on what makes sense for your backyard as you choose your accessories. If you’re dreaming of a water feature, consider going for a small stone fountain rather than a built-in pond. A portable fire pit may be more efficient than a built-in fireplace. Thinking about how you’ll use the space is useful in this context, too – if you want to be able to entertain in both a lounge and a dining setting in your small backyard, pick out a dining set with a foldable table and comfortable chairs so you can easily make the transition from one format to the other.