4 Landscape Design Tips to Open Up a Small Backyard

May 7, 2018

A small backyard can seem like a waste if you’re not quite sure how to make it meet your goals for an attractive entertaining space.  However, if you have a small property, you can’t afford to let a single square foot go to waste, and this includes your backyard space.  If you want to open up your tiny Sioux Center, Iowa yard, here are just a few tips to get you started.

Let the Sunshine in

It’s tempting to add plenty of trees for shade and bushes for privacy, but crowding the vertical and overhead space in an already small yard can make it seem confining and even claustrophobic.  If you’re going to add tall elements for visual appeal, do so sparingly and plan your layout with a professional to make sure your landscape design isn’t too top-heavy.

Focus on Scale

You might not think a small backyard affords you space for planting, entertaining, and more, but when you scale appropriately, you can include both the natural beauty and the relaxing lounge space that transform your yard into a welcoming oasis.  This may mean forgoing a sprawling oak tree or mammoth weeping willow in favor of a smaller birch, dogwood, or Japanese cherry, just for example.  It could mean choosing a bistro set for your patio instead of a full dining table.

You might have to install a water wall instead of a more traditional fountain, utilizing vertical space for your water feature.  The same could apply to a fire feature – adding a fireplace could require less square footage than a fire pit, for example.  When properly scaled, the elements you add to your yard will fit perfectly in your available space, without overcrowding.

Limit Included Elements

Limiting yourself to just one or two surface types, such as small areas of grass and pavers, will ensure that your space offers visual appeal without looking cluttered.  You’ll also want to avoid going overboard with furnishings, plant variety, and other elements.

It’s tempting to cram as much as you can into your backyard so you can get the greatest use from your space, but if there’s so much stuff that you can’t move around, you’re not actually going to enjoy your backyard, and you certainly won’t be able to effectively entertain guests.  A “less is more” approach to your layout and design is essential to ensuring your small backyard is open and inviting.

Overlap Spaces

Small yards may be attached to small houses, but you can maximize both indoor and outdoor space by creating an extension of an interior room that flows into the outdoor.  Whether you have a sliding glass door or French doors off your kitchen or living room, or you’ve installed an entire wall that opens to the outside via accordion or garage-style doors, you can extend your living space into a small paved patio or deck that creates one larger room when the doors are open.  This will help you to open up both indoor and outdoor spaces in your Rock Valley, Iowa home.