10 Great Design Ideas for a Small Backyard

Balcony with a view

When it comes to outdoor spaces, size does not mean everything. Some people with limited outdoor space may still want to utilize what little space they have to enjoy some outdoor relaxation. Potted plants, fast-growing greenery, outdoor furniture, interesting surfaces and a clever design can make even the smallest outside space a pleasure zone.

* Fill the space with plants. A small space with plants all around can give the perception of a larger area that the actual space. Use different tiers for the plants, and diversify your plants, using small potted plants, some trees, and perhaps even bamboo. A black wall or other dark color can also add some visual depth to the backyard.

* Capture as much light as possible. If your backyard does not receive much sunlight because of its location, you can attempt to capture as much light as possible with patterns and other objects. Gloss tiles and light-colored walls help to bring as much light to the small space as possible. Chairs and perhaps a small table can also help capture sunlight depending on the color and material.

* Theme it along with the rest of the house. Look at the exterior of the house and perhaps the interior as well, and match up the colors and theme to the outside. Even with reduced space, having matching themes add much substance to the outdoor space.

* Build a solid foundation. While you may want your outdoor space to look pleasant, form and function come first. Foundation materials include brick, glass, decking, and wood. Mix these up to add variety to the outdoor space before sprucing it up, such as adding a mirror or wall plants.

* Look up. In a small or tricky space, building upward can produce great results. Look for plants that grow upward rather than outward. Not only will this emphasize height, but it will take up less horizontal space, a valuable thing in a small backyard. Things that can hang from the wall also emphasize height, such as potted plants, wall plants, paintings, or other wall fixtures.

* Transition the flooring. Depending on the location of the door to the outside, you can use the same flooring material inside and outside. This works best with tile, and can vary in size as well. For example, the inside can use big tiles, while the outside can use smaller tiles, all aesthetically designed the same.

* Give life to the walls. As previously mentioned, smaller backyard spaces tend to have plenty of walls to utilize. While you can certainly plant tall trees or place potted plants around, consider installing plants that cling to the wall. A wall of greenery adds interest and softness to this small space.

* Work with the building’s materials. The structure of the building can help to determine how to set up the backyard. A stone wall lends well to grey tiles, while a brick wall creates opportunities to set up red colors around. In this case, potted plants can enhance the view of the outdoor space.

* Add vertical levels. Think in terms of vertical tiers for various things. Instead of plants in the ground, install planters for elevated plants. Some plants can even go up and above the wall. Instead of a table, opt to place a shelf outside to store multiple items. Utilize the vertical height as much as possible to make the most of the space.

* Pick a color theme. A small backyard doubly functions as another room since it cannot accomplish much else. The lack of space prevents planting big trees or a garden, but some matching flowers can alter the mood, providing a serene setting for relaxing or enjoying a meal outside.

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