9 Tips that Make Tiny Backyards Feel Bigger

— By Debra Immergut

It’s a basic human desire to own a little plot of land. But what if your plot is really, really little? With some clever planning and a few spatial and visual tricks, you can still make a very modest outdoor space into an interesting, functional, and enjoyable spot to relax and entertain alfresco. Read on for 9 strategies for living large in a tiny yard.

1. Add a Bit of Decking

Photo: zillow.com/digs

When you can’t spread out, spread up—varying levels can make a compact space seem larger. The raised deck (yes, even the smallest of lots can have a deck!) nicely defines a lounging area adjacent to a shed, which makes it convenient to stow away cushions when bad weather approaches.

Related: 16 Amazing Homemade Sheds to Inspire Yours

2. Use the Terrain Wisely

Photo: zillow.com/digs

Here again, this time achieved solely with landscaping, multiple levels can create the illusion of a larger yard. Instead of fighting against a sloping site, this homeowner created a sense of space and depth with a stepped pathway that meanders through a varied, textured array of plantings.

Related:  10 Enchanting Landscape Lighting Solutions

3. Think About Lighting and Props

Photo: flickr.com/cmurtagh

One advantage of a small space is that it doesn’t take much money or work to give it a major upgrade. Simply installing a fence and stringing up lights transforms what could have been a sad and bedraggled yard into a cozy, romantic hideaway.

Related:  New & Notable - 15 Lighting Solutions to Brighten Up Your Outdoor Decor

4. Define Distinct Zones

Photo: zillow.com/digs

The geometric forms of this modern home give shape to specifically designated spaces within the landscape design. A wooden fence and gateway surround an intimate outdoor room and make the outer yard feel more expansive. The path of concrete pavers provides a sense of movement and connection between the two areas.

Related:  10 Ideas to Steal from Picture-Perfect Patios

5. Create a Visual Adventure

Photo: flickr.com/drh

To add interest to a tiny yard, consider creating a pathway to visually expand the space. In this back garden, a stone path takes the eyes on a mini journey through pretty ground cover and a tapestry of green plantings, with a stone bench and a tiny pond serving as a final destination.

Related:  No More Mowing - 10 Grass-Free Alternatives to a Traditional Lawn

6. Complement Lush Plantings with Structure

Photo: zillow.com/digs

This thickly planted yard looks much more inviting with the addition of a graciously wide brick path to lend some air and openness. The slight brick deck—just wide enough for a doormat and planters—creates a graceful transition from house to yard without eating up much space.

Related:  The Right Path - 15 Wonderful Walkway Designs

7. Squeeze in a Wow-Worthy Feature

Photo: zillow.com/digs

Just because the yard is low on square footage doesn’t mean it can’t be a grand space for gathering. A fire pit or an attractive stone design—or both, as seen here—is a dreamy feature that takes up very little space considering the amount of entertainment it provides.

Related:  8 Low-Cost Kits for a 21st-Century Log Cabin

8. Focus on Multitasking

Photo: instructables.com

Hardworking furnishings are just as important in a small yard as they are in a small house. To make the most of a minuscule patio area, this homeowner constructed a planter bench that combines guest seating with raised garden beds. The frame in this Instructables DIY is metal and required welding, but the same functionality could be achieved using a wooden frame.

Related:  Double-Duty Furniture - 9 Affordable Favorites That Save Space

9. Go Vertical

Photo: etsy.com

Don’t neglect vertical space when looking for ways to expand the visual depth and functionality of a small yard. A fence or wall can be painted a vibrant color, used for storage, or even put to work as a growing space. These living wall gardens are filled with succulents, an excellent choice for a hot and dry spot.

Related:  16 Sneaky Storage Ideas

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