Tips for Small Backyard Design and Maintenance

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When you’re living in a townhouse, condo or smaller property, you probably don’t have much outdoor space to worry about — but that doesn’t mean you don’t want the outdoor space you do have to look bad or function poorly. Fortunately, small backyards can be incredibly chic, and because of their size, they are especially easy to care for. Read on for tips and tricks for designing and maintaining your diminutive great outdoors today.

Embrace Minimalism

Minimalism has been the top design trend for years, and for good reason: It cuts clutter and allows spaces to feel bigger and more open. The tenets of minimalism include focusing on functionality, prioritizing neutral colors and highlighting simplicity. Thus, with a minimalist design scheme in your yard, you can pack in a living space, storage space and an aesthetic space without feeling cramped. Even better, because minimalism has been around for so long, you can easily find landscape inspiration online.

Admittedly, in interior design if not in landscape design, minimalism is waning in popularity to its exact opposite, maximalism. Maximalism is a style defined by big pieces, loud colors and busy tablescapes — essentially, clutter. While it is possible to make a small space fun and attractive with maximalism, it is a much more difficult endeavor — and it might not remain on trend as long as minimalism will.

Use Vertical Space

You can double and even triple the square footage of your backyard by taking full advantage of your vertical space. The walls of your home and the fence around your property offer plenty of opportunities for function and style. While vertical gardens are the most popular choice for utilizing vertical space, they aren’t your only option.


For instance, you can install shelves or peg board in your backyard to function as a storage space for garden tools or other paraphernalia. You can also build furniture onto your walls; benches placed against walls enjoy a sturdy backrest, and you can construct tables that fold murphy-style into the wall when you aren’t using them. If you think creatively about your vertical space, you’ll imagine a solution that suits your needs and wants.

Get Cozy

One of the best ways to marry high design in small spaces is to lean into the coziness. Intimate spaces are very much in style, and if you can make your small backyard feel comfortable and relaxed, you will achieve something that many larger landscapes often fail to do thanks to their spaciousness.

A significant step of increasing your yard’s cozy factor is furniture; there should be enough of it to give most of your guests a comfortable space to sit. Natural materials tend to enhance the coziness of a space, so you should prioritize furniture and décor that rely on wood and natural fabrics. Cozy spaces also tend to have plenty of greenery, which can confine a space without making those inside feel claustrophobic. Finally, you should add lighting that is warm and soft, even providing a fire pit or fire table for extra ambiance.

Go Green

Finally, because you don’t have much yard space to worry about, you can truly embrace sustainable yard care practices economically. You can research yard and lawn care tips for toxin-free fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides as well as environmentally friendly practices for keeping your yard as healthy as possible. For instance, you might consider creating a small compost pile, with which you can feed your lawn and garden. Additionally, you might consider using materials that are reused, recycled or upcycled — and doing so will often decrease the costs of decorating your outside spaces. There are many examples of DIY outdoor furniture projects using found materials, like wood pallets, so you can prevent excess waste and enjoy a well-furnished backyard.

On one hand, buying a smaller property means you have less space to worry about; you’ll never need to buy a riding lawn mower or devote a long weekend to pruning trees and raking leaves. However, if you want to make your small outdoor space functional and attractive, you will need to spend some time properly planning. Fortunately, if you know what makes a smaller yard look good, you can create a welcoming and comfortable space in no time.



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