Finally moved into that dream home but realised your outdoor space is lacking? Picked yourself up a new BBQ but have no place to put it? Want to entertain outside but can’t find any furniture that will fit your space? We hear you!
Small outdoor space is a common problem, especially with city dwellers and apartment or townhouse owners. When all you want to do is invite some friends over and roast marshmallows, but you feel squished and limited on space, it can be enough to make you want to start over and move somewhere else! Before you go through all of that hassle, however, we’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you maximise the space you have and to hopefully grant you your outdoor space dreams.
Before you begin any big changes to your outdoor space, all that might be required is a bit of rearranging. Set aside one day to cleaning up the space, and stick to it. Try and create stations for your ideal outdoor space. For example, if you want a garden, create a gardening station where all of your garden tools live. This article will give you additional easy (ish) tricks for helping to organise your space.
Your outdoor space might need bigger changes to create more room. For example, you may need to have a tree removal company come in to trim the overhanging and/or dangerous branches, or remove the tree altogether if needed. This will open up a smaller yard and allow you to build a patio area if that’s your dream outdoor space. Make your water storage tank portable and move it to less used part of your outdoor area, such as around the corner of your house. Consider also using spaces of your yard that you don’t currently use, like the very back space.
When you can’t build out, build up! Green walls are an up and coming trend that look absolutely stunning anywhere in your yard. Go for plants that need the amount of sunshine you’ll have against the wall of your choosing, and consider installing a self watering system to prevent overwatering.
Vertical plants are not limited to crawling plants or ornamental plants, you can also build yourself a garden on that wall. With vertical gardens, make sure to use plants that require the same amount of light so they can be planted next to each other. You’ll also need to be careful of watering again, as plants at the bottom will likely get more water as each plant drips down its excess. Drip irrigation systems can help minimise this issue.
Creating a tiered backyard as well will help open up space and still allow you to have the garden of your dreams. This approach works especially well with yards that are extremely sloped and areas that seem unusable. It also means that you can have more accessible gardening space, if you choose to use it as such, as you can place pavers in several sections of the terraces to access each area.
Build it in
Make your storage areas invisible by building in things like your BBQ to create a bit of kitchen space and grilling area. Build in storage into your patio or deck area, using the area underneath. Built in benches make a perfect storage area as well seating for your outdoor dinner table or firepit area. Try looking for furniture that can fold up and be put away as well, like these foldaway tables.
Requiring clever brains and handy builders, double duty furniture can seem a bit daunting for some. There’s good news, however, which is that plenty of outdoor furniture comes ready to purchase instead of slaving away at building that built in bench. Try some of these double duty pieces to start. If you’re feeling handy or prefer to have someone build your pieces for a more custom feel, go for seating that double as storage, and a fire pit that doubles as a table. Even pieces like your outdoor lighting can be used as planters, or vice versa like some of these double duty plant and light combos that both help keep your plant healthy and provide light to a corner!
A louvred roof pergola can be an excellent investment for those who want both the sun and protection from the rain with the same contraption. One of these pergolas can also mean that you can use your space during multiple seasons and in multiple ways, like dinner parties with the roof open to see the stars, or a cozy reading time with it closed during a good rain.
Clearly having that giant garden of your dreams won’t be possible in a small outdoor area, but it doesn’t mean you have to kiss your garden dreams goodbye! Try your hand at micro-gardening instead of giving up. Essentially, this method makes it easier to grow food in a small space by maximising space using whatever materials that will fit the area.
One really important thing to remember with micro-gardening is that you don’t have luxury of plenty of outdoor soil and natural irrigation. You’ll need to take special care to make sure you provide your soil with rich nutrients from high quality bark mulch and organic matter to help your plants grow best in the confined environment. Try some of these tips for creating excellent soil for your plants.
We hope you now see it’s more than possible to have an amazing outdoor space without heaps of room. All it takes is a bit of creativity and a lot of organisation skills, and you’ll create the outdoor space area that you’ve always wanted, no matter how cramped it seemed in the first place.