3 Design Tricks to Enlarge Small Outdoor Spaces

May 23, 2019

Home shoppers are focusing their attention on outdoor spaces, but with yard sizes decreasing nationwide, how can you make a small backyard appealing to your buyers? A recent article at Apartment Therapy featured designers who showed off their best design tricks to make a small backyard feel less cramped.

Contemporary landscape

© Kate Gould Gardens

Add Seating

“No matter how small your outdoor area, you’re going to want to create a sitting area or else you won’t take full advantage of the space,” says Kristen Ekeland, principal at Studio Gil. “Choose a petite table and loveseat or chairs that will instantly turn the little space you have into an outdoor retreat.” Also, consider tucking a sectional into a corner to maximize floor space, suggests designer David Dillon.



Traditional patio

© Visionscapes NW Landscape Design

Bring in Some Green

Cover the outdoor area in as much green as possible, suggests interior designer Courtney Hill. Jasmine or ivy on a wall, plus a mix of potted plants, can help green up a space. “One of our favorite tricks when it comes to decorating an outdoor space is to rely on plants to add color and life to the overall design,” says Caroline Grant and Dolores Suarez, co-founders of Dekar Design. “Make a selection of your favorite flowers, potted plants, and ferns to diversify the space and create that outdoor oasis you’ve always dreamed of.”


Transitional patio

© Meridith Baer Home

Paint it White

“Make a small outdoor space seem so much bigger by painting it all white,” says Jade Joyner, co-founder and principal designer of Metal+Petal. “You can even go for a monochromatic color scheme with all-white cushions, a white outdoor rug, and white metal pieces. I often add in mirrors and large-scale plants to create the illusion of a larger space.”

View more photos and tips on how to enlarge a small yard at Apartment Therapy.