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14 Clever Tricks to Make Your Small Backyard Live Large

Last updated: 02-17-2021

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14 Clever Tricks to Make Your Small Backyard Live Large

Better Homes & Gardens
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14 Clever Tricks to Make Your Small Backyard Live Large
14 Clever Tricks to Make Your Small Backyard Live Large
By Jessica Bennett
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Credit: David A Land
Stretch a little square footage into a lot of room for outdoor living with these budget-friendly ideas. The right furniture, landscaping, lighting, and accessories will help you make the most of limited outdoor space. Try these simple tricks to make your small backyard live large.
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Credit: Kimberly Gavin
You don't need an expansive yard to create an inviting outdoor dining and seating area. For small backyards, position your patio table and chairs against a fence or wall to take advantage of the privacy, but angle the chairs outward to create the feeling of more space. Containers with colorful blooms and an outdoor rug give the space interior-like comfort.
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Credit: Kim Cornelison
Multi-functional furniture can help you maximize every inch of a small backyard (and save money on outdoor seating options ). An L-shaped bench, for example, can allow one person to stretch out or provide a perch for multiple people. Garden stools serve as side tables for holding drinks or stand in as extra seating for gatherings.
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Credit: Edmund Barr
Embrace the intimate atmosphere of a small backyard with a patio canopy or gazebo. These outdoor structures add shade and privacy to turn your yard into a personal retreat . Add the comforts of an indoor room with an arrangement of patio furniture, an outdoor rug, and accessories like pillows and decorative objects.
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Credit: Laurie Black
Positioning an outdoor room against the house isn't always the best choice, especially if a section of your home or plantings obscure your yard's most expansive view. Instead, locate sitting areas so they provide a clear view of your yard's longest dimension. This helps direct the focus to make your small backyard appear bigger.
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Credit: Cameron Sadeghpour
Part of living large means enjoying your outdoor retreat to the fullest, and that means spending less time on chores such as watering and weeding. Place low-maintenance plants in lightweight containers so they can be easily moved around as needed. To give your backyard a sense of privacy , choose plants that grow at least 2-3 feet tall and arrange them to block the view from neighbors or the street.
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Outdoor Furniture for Small Backyards
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Credit: Rob Cardillo
Furniture pieces with thin frames and narrow designs make a small space feel roomier. Compact bistro sets are perfect for a garden corner, balcony, or porch, and built-in benches can multitask by maximizing seating and storage in minimal space. Additionally, comfy outdoor living requires shade, so make sure to include a sun umbrella, canopy, or pergola above any seating area .
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Credit: Edward Gohlich
Streamlining your outdoor color palette will help you avoid overwhelming a small backyard space. Pare down your outdoor decor and container plantings so they incorporate only a handful of colors. Having too many accents and different types of plants can make a small space feel disorganized, so stick to a few favorites.
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Outdoor Structures for Small Backyards
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Credit: Bob Stefko
An intriguing architectural detail, such as a trellis , arbor, or statue, can help take the focus away from the yard's small proportions. Position the structure at the end of the property or near the entrance to create a focal point that grabs attention. Add prominence with outdoor lighting or colorful planted containers for an even more standout structure.
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Credit: Ed Gohlich
Landscape lighting plays a major role in how an outdoor space feels, so incorporate both task and ambient lighting to create the mood you want and to provide the amount of light you need. If you'd rather not purchase expensive lighting that requires installation, light your deck with affordable candles, torches, or solar lights . You can tuck them into planters, hang them from latticework, or install them around the perimeter of a deck so they won't take up much space.
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