Not everyone in the San Diego area is blessed with a large
space for a backyard oasis. If you have limited square footage outdoors you can
still turn the space into an area that rivals a high-end resort. Here are our
small yard design tips to maximize and transform your backyard into a
destination made for fun and entertaining.
Separate the Space
One trick to make your backyard look bigger and make it more functional is to separate it into zones. You may want one area dedicated to cooking, one for dining, another for lounging and a zone that encourages mingling at your next outdoor get-together. As discussed in a recent post about your San Diego side yard, consider reclaiming that space as a place for your barbecue and perhaps an outdoor refrigerator. Food can be prepared in that small, narrow space and then brought to the dining area.
Consider using furnishings and landscaping to separate
backyard zones. Trellises, waterfalls, trees, rugs and even curtains can be
used to create divisions within the space.
Light It Up
Smart lighting is an important part of small yard design. You
will need a source of bright light next to the grill so you can easily see what
you are cooking at night. Around seating and lounging areas, try scattering end
tables with outdoor lamps. Strings of lights criss-crossed throughout the
largest area of your backyard provides a subtle and playful form of
illumination. Low-to-the-ground pathway lights help forge a brief trail through
Gain Square Footage
by Extending the Indoors
One way to gain a bit of extra square footage in your small
yard is by opening an indoor wall to the outdoors. This is a really popular
option this year. Many San Diego area homeowners are taking a dining room wall
and opening it up with a sliding door or a roll up window that exposes a long
bar with stools outside. You could even do away with a permanent wall that
separates your dining or great room from the backyard and simply rely on sturdy
blinds or shutters to close when the weather is inclement.
Use the Proper Scale
Our small yard design tips include a very important
consideration: scale. In a small outdoor space, you don’t want to overwhelm it
with large pieces such as bulky sectional sofas or broad outdoor fireplaces.
Everything needs to be scaled down to look appropriate. Consider a cluster of
chairs rather than a sofa for seating and occasional tables rather than a long
coffee table. A couple scattered market umbrellas work well to provide shade,
as opposed to a large shade structure. Remember scale when it comes to plants
and trees, as well. A tree that will grow taller than your home will dwarf the surrounding
space so stick with shrubs and bushes instead.
Create a Focal Point
Our final small yard design tip involves one focal point to
draw the eye and minimize the fact that your outdoor space is lacking in square
footage. The easiest way to create a focal point is by adding a water feature
in the middle of the yard. Not only is this a mesmerizing focal point, it helps
mask the noise from neighbors and street sounds.
We hope you find these small yard design tips useful for
transforming your outdoor space. If you have any suggestions for features that
you have incorporated in your own backyard oasis, please leave a comment below.