How To Make The Most Of A Small Yard

In a compact yard, creating a stylish space that’s inviting and functional requires clever design solutions. Take a look at the following six inspiring designs and see how to make the most of your little outdoor space.

Harper Design Build
1. Give the Illusion of More Space

When considering ideas for a small yard, think about design tricks you’d use inside the home. A series of horizontal lines that run around the walls of a room can make the space feel larger, and this idea can be just as effective outside.

Lead the eye around your plot to give the illusion of size by installing horizontal slatted fences rather than vertical ones. The narrow lines on the wooden fences here create interest and draw your gaze up and around the perimeter of the urban yard.

Fenton Roberts Garden Design
2. Include Curves

A similar idea for drawing the eye around a yard is to incorporate curves. The lack of sharp edges will create a never-ending line that doesn’t stop and start. This small circular area of gravel looks soft and sweeping, and the design feels cozy but not cramped.
dSPACE Studio Ltd, AIA
3. Layer Plantings

If you want to plant more in your compact space, add layers to your planted borders. The raised beds on this roof terrace are staggered to fit in plenty of foliage plants and wispy grasses. The layers also give the area added interest, which lifts the vision away from the deck and creates the illusion of space.

Shop for pots and planters on Houzz
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4. Create Zones

Just because your plot is small doesn’t mean you have to limit how you divide it. In this California backyard, the designers included two seating zones, as well as ample planting and a lawn area.

The wooden bench at the far end of the space provides a focal point and makes it seem as if there’s more going on beyond. The lawn is surrounded by plenty of greenery, but the designers have limited the variety and color of plants used so the look isn’t too busy.
The wooden bench at the far end of the space provides a focal point and makes it seem as if there’s more going on beyond. The lawn is surrounded by plenty of greenery, but the designers have limited the variety and color of plants used so the look isn’t too busy.

architects AddisonSchierbeek
5. Extend Indoor Living Outside

If your outside space is limited, it could make sense to look at it as an extension of your interior rather than a separate area.

The decked surface of this small courtyard leads out from the living room through wide folding doors. The simple design is low maintenance, with perimeter hedging providing plenty of greenery.
The Association of Professional Landscapers
6. Add Level Changes

A simple way to add interest to your yard is to include some steps in the layout. The differing levels will give the space some depth and character. By punctuating the journey through the space with steps, you’ll encourage people to slow down and take it all in.

The levels in this small plot have been cleverly designed with a few different yet coordinating materials to give personality to the space without it appearing cluttered.

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