Make a Small Backyard Look Bigger: Some Getting-Started Tips
We look at techniques to make a small backyard look bigger so you can get the most out of your private outdoor space.
Working with a small backyard is both easy and tricky at the same time. The limited space is actually easy to work with, since you don’t have to add a lot of elements to fill it. It is also easier and more affordable to create different landscape designs for a small backyard. On the other hand, the limited space means you have to be extra creative with what you add to the yard.
There are actually so many things you can do to make a small backyard look bigger. While it’s fun to talk about the different design ideas and tricks to try, we’re going to focus on the top three tips that will help you get started.
Use Diagonal Lines
It is not a secret that diagonal lines can help make a space appear bigger when used correctly. Instead of adding straight lines or patterns, one of the first elements you should add to the limited backyard space is diagonal lines.
You can, for instance, lay pavers in a diagonal pattern or simply make the walkway diagonal. You can also add extra layers to enhance the effect. Adding stepping stones on top of the pavers or using slightly different shades of decking to form the diagonal lines are great ideas to try.
Another trick you may want to try is creating the illusion of space by reducing the width of the walkway as it gets further to the back of the yard. Do it subtly; a small reduction is enough to create a believable illusion. This will make the yard look bigger than it really is.
While the backyard itself is limited, the vertical spaces on its sides aren’t. In fact, you should have more freedom with the vertical space, which means you can easily play with designs and ideas to fill it. A vertical garden is always a good idea to try.
One thing to avoid is filling the entire wall or vertical space with vine or other similar elements. According to Laura Westrude from ALD MN, this will actually make the entire space look smaller and more cluttered. What you should do is add wooden racks with plenty of spacing.
You can then use tin cans and pot hangers to add plants to the vertical space. This will also make the entire space easier to clean and maintain in the long run.
Let There Be Light
One last tip you should keep in mind when working with a small backyard is to control the way light hits the space. You don’t want large trees or other obstacles blocking the light, but you also don’t want the space to be too open.
A simple, transparent or patterned patio roof covering a small portion of the space can help. Alternatively, you can use smaller trees placed near the corner of the backyard to help create the same effect. Make sure you don’t end up cluttering the space with furniture and other items too.
Are you ready to turn your small backyard into a comfortable space to spend time in? Use these tips to help you get started with designing your own beautiful garden.
- Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design by Michael Bayer
- Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature by Douglas Farrs
- eBooks by Landscape Architects Network
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