Many new dwellings leave little space for a large backyard your children or pets can run around in. While small yards are not always appealing to everyone, this doesn’t mean you can’t create something with what you have.
Not only are there plenty of options for you to style up a small yard, but there are many different ways you can make your small yard feel spacious. There are style tricks and techniques you can use to create the illusion of space such as zoning, directing attention upwards, and using levels.
Let’s have a look through some of the most used and talked about ways you can easily make your small yard feel bigger:
It might seem almost counterintuitive to have a bunch of different sections in your small garden, but it can really help to create individual sitting areas and nooks that can create intimacy and a sense of exploration.
This can become so much fun, creating cool and intimate areas, as gardening has been said to foster self-esteem and give you a sense of accomplishment. This can not only help to create the feeling of space in your yard but it can be a really worthwhile project for you and your family. (1)
Break up your yard into different zones by placing planters, small walls, or even different ground surfaces such as pebbles, turf, or bricks. Arches and furniture sets, are also great ways to create zones and areas to explore.
When choosing furniture for a small yard you don’t want to get anything too big or overpowering in your space. Especially when zoning, you want to create intimacy in your sitting area. You can look into investing in a teak outdoor sectional, as L-shaped lounges can act as zoning frames too. Smaller chairs and coffee tables can also be used as they take up very little space.
Direct Your Eyes Up
If you can’t create space horizontally, turn your attention upwards and create vertical space. Things such as tall pergolas, arbors, trellises, tall trees, and vertical gardens can add a different type of dimension to small spaces.
Choose plants that grow upwards or hang your plants to remove any clutter from the ground. When people are looking up, they are less likely to notice how little the space is.
To make your yard feel wider, use the same paving or ground material across the space. A path lined out with same pavers, pebbles, or stones, whether leading into other zones or not, can create an effortless flow.
More and more younger people are now taking up gardening as a hobby, despite the fact that younger generations lack outdoor spaces, what is referred to as “plant parenting” is a real thing now. Thanks to COVID-19, from January to mid-May in 2020 the average amount spent on home and gardening was between nine and 21 million U.S. dollars. (2) (3)
Plants are, after all, the heart and soul of any yard and can be used decoratively and practically too. Small yards with high walls can feel quite domineering and encroaching, but you can soften the harsh edges created by boring garden walls by framing your yard with plants. Climbers work especially well to create the illusion of space, while hiding any walls that feel overpowering in a small space.
Keep it simple
Reducing the number of materials and plants in a small yard can make it feel more spacious and helps to unclutter the area. As mentioned above using the same materials is a great way to create the illusion of space. Don’t get bogged down with getting too detailed, as having too much going on can be distracting in a bad way.
Choose a few plants you can use multiples of, and that complement each other and can help to extend lines and carry a consistent color. Big trees will protect from the sun but can also create shade and darkness (and dark spaces tend to feel smaller).
When using shapes in your yard, again, keep it consistent. Remember the goal in a small yard is continuity. Curved shapes work really well in small spaces as they’re soft and unassuming. Shapes don’t just refer to objects but includes paths and decking too.
Terraced landscaping does wonders in making a small yard look bigger, and is a different way to zone areas too. You can elevate your dining area or create a fire pit to sit around in a sunken outdoor lounge. This creates more space for plants and lower walls can be used as benched seating.
Terracing is also a great way to draw the eye upwards to create that illusion of space.
Many people use mirrors in interiors to help create the illusion of space in small rooms, but they can be used just as successfully in a garden. Using mirrors in your yard can help to create the feeling of space by acting like an optical illusion. (4)
They are also great to cover any unsightly walls and can add vibrancy to your yard by reflecting the light and greenery.
Nearly any area outside your house can be considered garden space: front, back, and side. Many people neglect the space down the side of their house, but you can extend your yard by turning this area into a picturesque garden space.
Mismatched planting and paving help to counterbalance walls and tall fences to create a soft and welcoming area you can grow your garden in just as well as anywhere.
Extend your indoor space to the outside by opening up your living area to your backyard. Indoor/outdoor living spaces are all the rage, especially in areas where the climate is warmer such as in Australia. You can do this by installing French doors or folding doors in place of a wall or windows.
This not only provides the feeling of space,
much like an open plan living arrangement inside, but luxury as
Create a Focal Point
Creating a focus for your yard has two purposes. First, it works to create a theme for your garden. You can choose furniture, plants, and any backyard accessories to compliment the focal point. Second, it draws people’s eyes to something other than the space’s size and can make the yard feel less cluttered too.
Your yard doesn’t have to be large to be beautiful or feel spacious. You can create the feeling of spaciousness by drawing the eye away from all indicators of the space being small. Make sure to choose furniture, materials, and accessories that don’t overpower the area but work to extent it. Consistency will help to keep the space uncluttered and simplicity is always better than extravagance.
- “8 Surprising Health Benefits of Gardening,” Source: https://healthtalk.unchealthcare.org/health-benefits-of-gardening/
- “Home Gardens: A Leading Indicator of Changing Consumer Defaults,” Source: https://futurecommerce.fm/posts/insiders-038-home-gardens-a-leading-indicator-of-changing-consumer-defaults
- “Gardening Trends and Statistics,” Source: https://gabionreviews.com/gardening-trends-and-statistics/
- “How to Use Mirrors Strategically to Make a Small Space Look Lighter and Brighter,” Source: https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-use-mirrors-make-room-look-bigger-36820571