No matter the size of your backyard, side yard, or patio, there are creative design solutions that can make the most of this limited outdoor space.
By keeping a few key design elements in mind, you can make small spaces appear larger and more inviting. From creating an eye-catching focal point to adding plants and vertical gardens, these tips will help you create an eye-catching outdoor oasis that serves both aesthetic and functional purposes.
Create a focal point.
Establishing a focal point is the initial step to maximizing small outdoor areas. It could be anything from an individual plant or tree to an interactive water feature.
Focal points create tranquil moments in a garden and help guide the eye from one area to another, making them an essential design element for any landscape.
For instance, a tall Orange-leaved Canna or weeping Japanese maple can be an eye-catching focal point in any garden. But it should be scaled appropriately for your space and give some breathing room to grow.
Create a limited plant palette.
Establishing a limited plant palette is one of the simplest and most economical ways to make the most of small outdoor areas. Not only does this save time and money, but it can also create an eye-catching design theme.
When designing a limited plant palette, the key is to use multiple varieties rather than one single species. This will enable you to explore new colors and textures without overdoing it and creating an uninteresting garden scene.
A limited plant palette can also be used to showcase the latest and most exciting trends in garden design. For instance, you could incorporate water features, animated lighting features, or even an exhilarating fire pit feature to stand out from competitors and make a statement in your backyard.
Create harmony through repetition.
Harmony through repetition can be an effective tool to draw attention to a focal point and unify an overall design. Repetition of elements like color, form, and texture re-emphasizes visual units while creating focal points for attention.
Repetition can help create symmetry in a design, providing the illusion of balance and serenity within the space. However, too much symmetry may make the design appear monotonous or disjointed.
Contrasting shapes can create visual discord when juxtaposed. Jagged-edged lines against curvy lines, for example, create a sense of conflict. Instead, shapes that differ by consistent ratios achieve an optimal level of balance.
Create a unifying element.
Designing for a small outdoor area can be intimidating, but there are plenty of creative solutions to make the most of your limited yard area. One effective technique is creating an underlying theme that ties all other design ideas together.
One way to create the illusion of a larger outdoor space is with portable elements like patio furniture, fire pits, and BBQ grills that can be stored away when not in use. Doing so will help make your outdoor area appear larger than it actually is!
The great thing about this solution is that it’s both effortless and cost-effective. Just be sure to take an accurate inventory of your available outdoor space before beginning design! Doing so will enable you to come up with the most successful design for your area.
Make use of the walls.
The same principles that make small interiors appear larger and cohere can also be applied outdoors. Paint a feature wall in an inviting color, create a plant-based gallery wall, or install a trellis for privacy in your garden.
Another way to visually enlarge a small space is by opening up windows and letting in natural light. This trick works best on patios or decking, where even one window can make an area appear larger than it actually is.
Create separate zones for relaxing, dining, and entertaining to break up smaller outdoor living areas. A rug can help define each zone and offer people a cozy place to rest their feet.