Big Ideas For Small Yards



Remember these 3 things to make the most of your outdoor space

1. Proportion

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San Francisco Dining Terrace modern patio by
 Christopher Yates Landscape Architecture (via Houzz)


Small spaces  — inside or out — require even greater attention to proportion and scale.

·      Choose furniture, plants and accents that suit the size of the space — too many small items can make a small space feel cluttered, over use of oversized elements can make a small space feel cramped

·      Balance large, medium and small elements in a constrained space to give the eye places to rest — a large tree in the corner of a small yard, for instance, or the large expanse of concrete set against the wood decking in the photo above

·      Choose one or two large pieces and one or two collections or grouping of small items (like the closely spaced grid of plantings above) to break up what could otherwise be a monotonous arrangement of same-sized components

2. Hardscape

houzz outdoor path mediterranean.jpg

Mediterranean Landscape by
AMS Landscape Design Studios, Inc. (via Houzz)


Hardscaping — those outdoor elements that are not plants — is even more important in small spaces.

·      Paths provide a sense of space simply by suggesting a start and finish — an entrance and an exit

·      Pavers and stones offer opportunities to create interest in small spaces — while a sweeping expanse of uninterrupted lawn can look luxurious, a small area of grass often looks like an untended green postage stamp

·      Take advantage of small spaces  combinations and patterns of stones and variegated greenery look lush and inviting in a constrained space — the same arrangement would look busy and overwhelming in large areas

3. Contrast

houzz san fran trad landscape iron gate.jpg

Designer Showcase Traditional Landscape by
Frank & Grossman Landscape Contractors, Inc. (via Houzz)


Contrast — heights, colors, textures, materials — can transform a small space from “ho-hum” to “oh my!”

1.    Choose a select combination of plants — greenery, trees and flowers — to create interest and feature moments in your space

2.    Limit the variety of any element — stones, plants, accents, furniture — in small spaces to create appealing contrast rather than appalling clutter

3.    Maximize levels in a small space — the square footage may be small, but your vertical options are sky-high — placing eye-catching low elements against attractive tall or large elements will highlight both, more than either on their own