Small back yard, big ideas
April 21, 2016
Just because you don’t have a sprawling landscape behind your home doesn’t mean you have to limit your vision for back yard fun. With a little creativity, you can apply some big ideas for a small back yard and turn it into your outdoor oasis. Go up against the wall. Use the wall space to hang planters, rather than take up ground space. Attach pots or mason jars, upcycle a colander and hang it from a hook or tree branch. Put up shelves to display your colorful pots and plants. Do double-duty. Choose furniture that provides storage as well as seating, like an ottoman with a lift-off cushion for keeping games or extra pillows. Add a coffee table where you can stash candles, paper plates, linens, and other items for outdoor entertaining. Focus. Create one focal point in your back yard, like a small water feature, container garden, or sculpture. A small memory garden makes a great focal point. Scale it down. Large outdoor furniture will dwarf a small back yard. Choose a bistro set with two chairs, or a table that can be expanded, as needed, for entertaining. And, while those big comfy cushioned chairs are attractive, they’ll make your space look crammed. Opt for simple lines and smaller sizes. Don’t shut me out. While you certainly want some shade to escape the heat, avoid the temptation to provide too much cover, either with greenery, pergola, or canopy. Open up your outdoor living space to let the sun shine in so you’re not closing in your back yard. Simplify your colors. A varied color palette can overpower a small back yard. Limit your color choices for your furnishings, and carry it over to your accents. Use the burst of colors in nature’s beauty, like the flowers in your garden, to add the splash you want. Table your heat. Don’t have room for a fire pit? Place a fire bowl on your table. You’ll get the cozy feel of the outdoor fireplace without taking up space. When you’re working with limited outdoor living space, you’re only real limit is your creativity. Think simple and cozy—for size, color, and volume—and you’ll make the most of a small back yard.