We have some amazingly beautiful small backyard ideas and we shall give you useful tips for the landscape design and the decor of your outdoor place so that you can easily create a magnificent recreational or entertaining area for your family and friends.
There are homeowners who have large plots but there is a considerable number of citizens living in private houses and having a very small piece of land near their home so they face the challenge to arrange their backyard in a rational manner and use the available space in the best possible way.
How to design a beautiful small backyard? Before you start planning the landscape design you need to determine what “beautiful yard” means to you. What is your general idea, is it important for you to impress neighbors and guests with the splendor of decoration or you prefer practicality and convenience? What is your lifestyle, do you have children and pets, do you entertain often and have evening gatherings outdoors? The answers to these questions will affect the appearance of your backyard and a good initial planning will save not only money, but also time for alterations, reconstruction and corrections.
Of course, in many ways, the landscape design of your yard will depend on its size. If the area is large, then your imagination will be limited only by the financial possibilities but if it is a small backyard, then it is necessary to set clear priorities. It will be difficult to place a children’s playground, a place for barbecue, dining and lounge area, large flower beds and lawn when you are limited in space. However, a good plan will allow you to get the most so it is best if you marked the location of all the elements that you would like to have – gazebos, pergola, flower beds, rock gardens, ponds and patio deck. Experts advise to divide the whole plot into squares and each segment will have a key figure – a building or a decorative element. Thus, it will be easier to arrange all the desired elements of the landscape design and create a balanced and harmonious exterior.
Table of Contents
Small backyard ideas and landscape design techniques
There are many unique small backyard ideas that have successfully coped with the main challenge to expand the space visually by using some simple design techniques. Here are some basic rules you need to follow when you want to create a comfortable and elegant outdoor area on a limited space.
- Avoid large dark constructions. If you cannot do without them, then make the buildings as compact and “airy” as possible. Weaving plants or grapes will give them a noble look and will hide the heavy construction.
- A tall privacy fence will create an effect of a closed box, so it will be a good idea to choose an openwork metal fence, a privacy hedge or a lighter picket fence adorned with flowering plants.
- Planting tall, spreading trees is not a good idea as they take away a significant part of the territory. Shrubs and small trees will give you the dynamic in height so it is a better idea to opt for those varieties.
- Avoid clear geometric shapes and sharp corners in the layout which will accent on the small size of the plot.
- Carefully plan the decorative elements. Keep the decoration simple – planters with boxwood, flowerpots, decorative stones, lights.
- Create focal points. It can be a flower bed, a small pond, a tree or an interesting decorative element. They will attract the eye and visually divide the space into zones.
- Use multi-tiered and 3D layout effects. Playing on uneven terrain with color shades gives depth and volume to your yard. You can create a small secluded corner with a table and chairs under a tree giving a shadow. Hang on string lights, homemade lamps from bottles and mason jars, add original pots with flowers that will add even more comfort and coziness.
Small backyard ideas – landscape elements and creative designs
Large or small, any landscape design is based on a number of basic elements. We will show you some great small backyard ideas which can be your inspiration for the different functional zones and the type of elements you want to use. True, you may not be able to have a spectacular garden waterfall but this does not mean that you cannot have a water feature. A small size fountain or a space saving cascading design is a great option. Let’s look at the main elements that will transform a small backyard into a welcoming and comfortable space for you and your family.
Garden paths, steps and flower beds – Garden paths are an integral part of any landscape design. In addition to their main goal – the organization of safe movement around the site, paths and walkways perform the functions of zoning and decorating the territory. You can choose from a variety of materials – flat stones, concrete slabs, wood, bricks, cobblestones, covered with pea gravel or pebbles and combining different materials allows you to add a decorative function to the practical one.
Landscape design and geometry – For some homeowners, harmony and balance means smooth lines, rounded forms, winding paths and oval flower beds. Some need strictness and clarity – straight garden paths, strict forms and absolutely flat lawn. Only the owners know which plants and trees are pleasing to their eye and make them feel calm and tranquil.
Planting flowers in flower beds or outdoor planters will please you and your family with bright colors throughout the warm season. Even if your backyard is on a hill, there are many techniques for hill landscaping which will allow you to create amazing focal points, attracting everyone’s attention.
Water features – garden ponds, fountains and cascades add exceptional beauty and harmony to the outdoor space. It can be a challenge to create an artificial pond in a small garden so it is better to turn to specialists who will study the features of the soil and the landscape in order to choose the right place for your fountain or cascade.
Outdoor lighting – this is a very important feature which should not be neglected. A well thought-out and harmonious lighting system will allow you to move safely around the site in the dark and will also accent on the elements of the landscape design. Decorative lighting near the flower beds, garden sculpture, rock garden or pond will make them stand out. Ambient lighting will also add to the mood so you could take advantage of that and change the atmosphere in the backyard. Solar lamps, LED lighting – there are many options to choose from.
Outdoor fireplace – One of the advantages of owning a backyard or a small backyard is that homeowners have the opportunity to use their culinary skills on open fire. There are numerous fireplace designs, suitable for a small backyard and besides enjoying delicious food, the fireplace can be the center of the resting place for your family. Simply add comfortable lounge furniture or arrange soft seating area with comfortable chairs and relax watching the dancing flames.
Outdoor dining area – in a small backyard you need to carefully choose the type of dining furniture and enjoy the opportunity to eat in the fresh air. Avoid clumsy and bulky furniture pieces. Choose lightweight models which are functional and comfortable and will not make the space look cluttered and visually smaller.
Backyard shades and canopy ideas come in numerous options. From sail shades which are a great choice for modern style designs, to pergolas, canopies or simple outdoor umbrellas, these will protect you and your guests from the sun or rain.
Small backyard ideas – choose the style and materials
Whether you have all the basic elements of landscape design or you chose just a few of them, it is very important to create a balanced design which works harmoniously with the architectural style of the main building. Make sure that the overall design style of your backyard complements the appearance of your house. Traditional, rustic, Mediterranean, modern, minimalist – each style has its own rules so you need to choose the right finishes and materials. Whether you opt for wood and natural stone, polished concrete, wrought iron, LED lighting, concrete pavers, tile flooring, etc. – the finishes and furniture should be suitable for the particular style.
Enjoy the small backyard ideas in the gallery below and create your own stylish, beautiful and comfortable outdoor area. Inspiration and a little imagination will help you arrange a cozy place for relaxation of your family and wonderful time with friends.