Easy, creative ways to make the most of small backyards

For many people living in popular urban or suburban neighborhoods, small outdoor spaces are often the norm. But just because you’ve got a small backyard, doesn’t mean you can’t get big enjoyment out of it. With just a little dash of creativity you can transform your small outdoor space into a beautiful and functional escape using these totally doable design ideas.

First things first. Having fewer square feet means you need to prioritize. Decide what’s most important for you to have in your back yard and focus on elements that will create a space that will give you the greatest enjoyment.

Gardeners and Green Thumbs

If you love to garden, you must have tools. And if you have tools, you need somewhere to store them. If your space is small, a compact shed is a must-have.  It’s cute, it’s practical, and it doesn’t take up much space. Check out this one pictured here from A Cultivated Nest. (you can click through for instructions to build your own).

Next, you’ll need some green. Full garden plots won’t work in a small space, but a few planters or pots can produce a bountiful harvest. Try using tiered planters stacked to maximize space and create more area to grow vegetables, herbs and flowers.

For an artistic twist, you can create visually beautiful living art with succulent wall gardens or wreaths. Or you could hang containers along a wall, using everything from Mason jars to interesting coffee cans, to create beautiful vertical gardens.

Outdoor Entertainers

If you love to entertain and would like to extend that to your back yard, first decide what kind of entertaining you would like to do most. Cooking/eating? Then you’ll want to create an outdoor kitchen area. Cocktails and comfortable chatting? Or maybe just more space for your family to hang out together? Then an outdoor living room is probably more your style. With the development of outdoor furniture, décor and technology, almost any room can be extended into your yard.

Comfortable, stylish furniture that would look right at home inside the house, is now built using sturdy, weather-resistant materials and featuring bright, stylish cushions and pillows that add a little flair. Outdoor rugs, as well, look just as good as their indoor cousins, yet are hearty enough to weather the elements beautifully while helping homeowners feel like they are still cozy in their family room. One more tip for making your yard seem larger than it is? Hang a few mirrors here and there to create the illusion of space.

If you want a space that will draw your guests and create a place to gather, a fireplace or fire pit is a great solution for small yards. You can have something custom made for the space, or there are a wide variety of good quality ready-to-go fire pits at local garden centers. And if you’ve dabbled in gardening, but want a way to transition to entertaining at will, here’s a solution: Be sure to use wheels on the bottom of planters and urns so you can wheel them away any time to create more space.

If you’re ready to buy, sell or learn more about the real estate market in the Arlington area (and look for a great backyard too!) I’m here to help! Give me a call at 703-593-6320 or email mike@mikesellsvirginia.com.