If you’re green-fingered or simply like to spend time outdoors, you might be longing for lots of outdoor space of your own for homesteading. But, a small backyard isn’t the end of the world, as you’ll know if you’ve figured out how to make a small home work for you. Here are some clever exterior design solutions to ensure you’re getting the most of your yard…
Trick The Eye
If you’d like your outdoor space to look a little bigger or brighter, consider painting your brickwork or fences white. This is a trick used in interior design as it can have a brightening effect on a space. You’ll also find that a white backdrop makes the color of your garden furniture and flowers pop, too. Or, go for the opposite approach by painting your walls and fences in a dark color: doing this will blur the boundaries of your garden, and when filled with climbing plants, can make a small space look as though it contains hidden depths.
Also, pattern tricks the eye in the same way paint can, blurring the boundaries of a garden and making it look larger than minimalist surfaces might do. So, opt for pavers arranged in a repeating pattern, and think about how to include patterns in your soft furnishings. For example, you could accessorize with cozy blankets, or with patterned seat cushions or a printed parasol.
A small backyard probably means you don’t have much space for homesteading and doing things like growing plants. In fact, you may not have a lawn or any soil at all. In this case, plant vertically. Plant climbing varieties of your favorite flowers and greenery, and fix plant pots to fences and walls so that you can cram lots of life and color into your outdoor space without needing lots of land to do it. Making some pallet planters are easier than you think and super cheap too. Just check out craigslist for free pallets and get to work! You can also enquire at your local nursery to find out which plants thrive best in pots, and give careful thought to where you position them if your walls are shadowed by neighboring houses and apartments.
Another clever design solution for a small backyard is to simply add a mirror. Mirrors aren’t just for indoor use and, in fact, if you place a mirror strategically it can either become a stylish way to add quirk and character to your outdoor space or can seemingly disappear. Whatever the case, you’ll give the impression that your backyard has doubled in size by having a mirror reflecting the light, materials, and foliage its surrounded by.
Furniture is something to consider carefully if your outdoor space is limited. As a minimum, you’ll probably want a small outdoor table and a set of chairs so that you can dine alfresco or simply just sit in the sun for a little while. Choose a set that’s made from materials that won’t easily degrade – especially if you’re not able to move your garden furniture indoors in bad weather – and, better yet, choose designs that are stackable or fold when they’re not in use.
Finally, if you’d like your backyard to do some good for the planet but don’t have tons of space to work with, add one or two simple additions that will make a big difference without requiring much floor space. For example, you can help bee populations by planting some lavender, simply adding some to pots on your balcony or windowsill if that’s the only space you have. Similarly, a feeder will help to provide birds with food throughout the year, and you can buy models that easily fix to metal railings or even glass windows if you don’t have a way of fixing one in the ground or to a tree.
Will you try any of these clever exterior design solutions for your backyard? And do you have any recommendations of your own to share?