Warmer spring days make us want to fling open the doors and windows and beckon the sunshine and fresh air. We know you’re just as eager as we are to start entertaining friends, having fun outdoors with the kids or grandkids, hosting spontaneous cookouts or simply reading a book in the shade.
But what if your backyard or patio is on the small side? Not to worry: The size of your yard doesn’t have to put a damper on your spring and summer plans. These ideas make a big impact no matter how tiny your outdoor area.
1. Use the Walls
Growing plants, flowers and vegetables vertically can save on space and make an unusual yet beautiful display. Here are a few ideas:
- Attach pots to fences with screws or hooks
- Train plants up walls
- Use a ladder-style stand to house multiple pots while taking up minimal floor space
- Use our tutorial to create a shower caddy garden you can hang from a wall or fence
2. Gather Lots of Pots
Even the smallest concrete balcony can be transformed into an oasis with pots, troughs and window boxes full of plants, flowers, herbs and vegetables. Rummage through your stash of planters, wash them out with warm water and a few drops of Dawn Ultra Dish Soap and get planting. Mix wood, terracotta and ceramics for a natural feel.
3. Cheer it up
Use a weather-resistant outdoor paint from a DIY store or garden center to refresh walls or fences, decking, pots and garden furniture – bright colors pop more in a smaller space. Stick to two or three colors for a cohesive look.
4. Trick the Eye
Outdoor paint can also create the appearance of more space. Blue walls or fences will visually blend with the color of the sky, making their hard edges less obvious. Another trick is to observe where light enters your backyard or patio and paint that area white to reflect it, making it look bigger.
5. Make Smart Furniture Choices
If you love entertaining but think that patio tables and chairs take up too much space, look for foldable versions, such as metal bistro sets that can be hung on a wall or packed away when you’re not using them. Plastic furniture sets can often be stacked and are easy to keep clean – wash the chairs and table with warm water and a drop of Dawn Ultra Dish Soap to keep surfaces looking pristine. To remove scuffs and stubborn grime, use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Extra Durable. If space is especially tight, a storage bench or sturdy outdoor coffee table can act as extra seating, and outdoor cushions can double up as floor pillows when the grandkids come to visit.
6. Fake it
Artificial grass is ideal for small patios and backyards, and it’s growing in popularity. This alternative to lawns is low maintenance, doesn’t require yard tools like lawnmowers or trimmers, stays green all year long and can be laid on top of wood, concrete, stone or soil. Just keep in mind that it can heat up in direct sunlight, so shadier spots are better.
7. Let There be Lights
Brighten up a small space with ample outdoor lighting. String café bulbs overhead or along walls, and consider solar-powered versions that turn on automatically as soon as the sun sets.
Do you have any great ideas for making the most of a small backyard or patio? Share them in the comments below.