10 Gorgeous Outdoor Living Ideas for Small Backyards
Here at Structurally Speaking, we aren’t scared of a small outdoor living space. Many homeowners think they need a large space to create a beautiful outdoor oasis. However, the truth is with a few smart design choices, you can make a small backyard into a gorgeous place to relax and even entertain. Here are our top 10 outdoor living ideas for small backyards.
Go Vertical with Your Planters
If you have a small space, the easiest way to make it look bigger is to think vertically. Planters are a great option for a tall wall, since they will draw your eyes up. You can also add a pergola or trellis to use with climbing plants. We especially love climbing plants that are native to North Carolina, such as climbing aster.
Keep it Cozy with Fun Textiles, Prints, and Colors
Small spaces can feel really cozy, but you also want to avoid making them feel small. One great option for making a small yard feel cozy without feeling claustrophobic is to add textiles in fun prints and colors. We recommend a large outdoor rug to create a splash on any deck, porch, or patio, as well as some outdoor throw pillows. If you don’t have enough room for a fire pit or other fire feature, consider a slim built-in outdoor fireplace for your custom deck (or even a few tiki torches!).
Streamline the Space
Clutter can make any space look small, even an outdoor living space. You can make a small backyard look good by removing unnecessary items when they are not in use and sticking to minimal decorations. For example, you might keep extra chairs stacked in a shed or garage when not in use, instead of having a tiny deck that seats multiple people, even when it is just you enjoying your deck. Keep as much clear, open area as possible.
Use Movable Carts for Cooking
A wheeled cart is perfect for cooking in a small space. Even if your small backyard is only big enough for a tiny grill, you can still cook outside by turning the cart into a countertop prep surface with a cutting board. Simply wheel the cart back inside when you’re done. This is one of our favorite outdoor living ideas for small backyards because your cart can be used inside as well, as an extra workspace during big family meals.
Create Smart Storage Solutions
Small spaces are all about finding smart solutions for storage. We love storage that plays double duty, like built-in benches with storage underneath or planters that also serve as walls or railing. Keep in mind that you can also move your storage inside if your home has more available space than your yard.
Look for Multi-Functional Furniture
Speaking of items that serve more than one function, think about how you’ll fill your small outdoor space with furniture that plays multiple roles. For example, instead of a seating area with a table, you might instead want a lower coffee table that can give you a flat surface without taking up as much space. Other examples:
- outdoor chairs around your table that recline and have expandable foot rests for lounging
- sectional seating that can be moved into separate pieces with foot rests as needed
- posts where you can set up a hammock or a laundry line, or remove completely when you want more yard space
- a fire pit with a cover so it can also serve as coffee table or ottoman when not in use
The more functional your furniture, the better you’ll be able to optimize your space.
Take Advantage of Your Entire Yard
If you have a tiny backyard, make sure you’re taking advantage of every square foot it has to offer. This might mean thinking outside the box, especially when figuring out how to divide up the space. For instance, if you want a deck, you might find that a floating deck in the middle of your yard makes more sense than a deck coming right off your back door.
Incorporate Natural Sound Barriers
Often, homeowners that have a small outdoor space live close to their neighbors. If you’re hearing a lot of noise from next door, think about ways you can incorporate natural sound barriers. We especially love water features, such as a fountain, which can mask the sound of your neighbors or traffic. You can find some vertical hanging fountains that work well on fences or walls without taking up much space. They also give your backyard space a great ambiance, even if you aren’t struggling with noise issues.
Think about Curved Corners
In small spaces, curved corners are your friend. Curves can often make a yard feel bigger because they draw your sightline out and make full use of a space. As an added bonus, curved designs also can be the best way to match your home’s style or natural landscape.
Add a Custom Deck or Porch
Last but not least, one of our best outdoor living ideas for small backyards is to have a custom-designed deck or porch. Out-of-the-box designs are often not optimized for small backyards because they are simply rectangles. That’s not going to work the best for most small spaces. Instead, we can build a custom deck or porch that works perfectly with both the size of your yard and your personal style.
FAQs About Our Outdoor Living Ideas for Small Backyards
We’d love to answer any questions you may have about building a custom outdoor living space. Here are a few common questions we hear:
How do I turn my backyard into an oasis?
Add small, special touches like the aforementioned water feature. Think about what makes you feel most relaxed, and then let us know! We can help you incorporate those ideas into your deck design.
What materials will work best for my small backyard?
Often, lighter colors work best to make your small backyard look bigger. However, you aren’t limited to pressure-treated pine. We offer a wide selection of decking materials.
Is my small backyard big enough for a deck or porch?
In most cases, yes! We’ll help you maximize the space of your small backyard. We can even build a two-story deck or deck/porch combo to give you more outdoor living space.