The season of backyard barbecues and bonfires is upon us and after last winter’s record snowfall and temperatures, we’re all looking to soak up the sun and spend as much time as possible enjoying the great outdoors. Not all backyards are created equal; most homeowners would agree that bigger is better. If your property doesn’t fall into this category, never fear; we’ve got plenty of ways to make the most of the space you’ve got.
Be Selective with Furniture: Oversized furniture takes up too much space and emphasizes the fact that there isn’t enough to begin with. Backless benches and bistro table sets rather than full blown patio sets work well in this type of situation.
Build Up, Not Out: So you’re restricted by the width of your backyard; that still leaves the height. Instead of planting a traditional garden that takes up valuable real estate, consider a vertical garden which utilizes staggered pots where fruits, vegetables and herbs can be planted in. An advantage to taking up less space, the planter also becomes a conversation piece because of its unique design.
Create Unity Through Color: Interior designers often paint all the walls and ceiling in a small room the same color in order to make it look larger. Steal this idea by picking 1-2 accent colors for your backyard instead of endless splashes of color in order to trick your eye into thinking it’s bigger than it is.
Grass Length: Lower the setting of your lawnmower so that your grass is the shortest it can be; this provides the illusion of additional space.
Elongating Walkways: Whether it’s decking or pavers, the utilization of a diagonal pattern can create the optical illusion that an area is longer than it is. More small pavers, as opposed to fewer larger ones will also assist with making the area appear larger.
Space with a Purpose: Think of your backyard as an additional level of your home with an open floor plan. Section the yard into 2-3 different “rooms” that serve a purpose such as dining, reading & relaxing and a spot for the kids to play. Even a small platform deck with a couple of steps can create a layering effect, making the entire yard seem larger.
Vegetation: Stick to dwarf plant varieties that won’t eventually overtake the space as they mature.
Bonfires: While an in-ground fire pit in a small backyard may not be the best use of space, there all alternatives such as portable fire pits that can be brought out when needed (a bonus-some even come with carrying cases for portability and easy storage) or a tabletop fire pit.