How to Make the Most Out of a Small Backyard

Maybe your backyard doesn’t have room for a pool or a tennis court, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be an enjoyable space. Especially if your home is in an urban area, you’re probably faced with limited yard space. No fear, however, you can still spice it up with some excellent amenities.

The key to making the most out of a small yard is embracing its size, and not trying to make it look larger than it is. Many of the tips we’ll cover can also be applied to decks, patios, and balconies. While the tips you ultimately choose to follow will depend on the purpose you assign to your yard (gardening, entertaining, relaxing), they can certainly be universally applied.

Utilize wall space


Use wall space to make up for limited floor space. For example, if you want to garden and grow plants, buy containers that you can attach to the wall and garden in those. This is better for small plants, like herbs and flowers.

You can also adopt this practice with your fence. Hang things on your fences to make up for limited storage space, such as gardening tools. You might also consider incorporating wall lights (such as string lights or fairy lights for ambiance) as opposed to standing light fixtures.

If you want a nice space to eat and hang out, but don’t have room for a small outdoor dining set, consider installing a wall bar. Simply attach a nicely varnished wooden plank to the wall, throw up some bar stools, and use it as a spot for eating and drinking.

The opportunities for your walls are endless – especially if you’re handy.

Garden in containers

Limited yard space likely means limited available soil for gardening. Fortunately, container gardening could be the answer to your problems. Find stylish containers for each of your plants, and arrange them however you like.

One of the main benefits of container gardening is that it’s portable. You can move around and re-adjust the plants however you like. A small yard doesn’t have to stop you from indulging in the same hobbies as other homeowners. Multi-level plant racks help you maximize your yard space even more, by allowing you to plant vertically and not just horizontally.

Create levels


Use shipping pallets or wooden crates to create levels in your backyard. Whether you choose to make high or low ones, this will increase the usability of your space and make it look larger. You can use shorter wooden pallets to establish designated “spaces” in your backyard. By using each pallet for a different function (dining, meditating, gardening), it gives your yard a sense of versatility, despite its size.

If you use larger crates, you may have to install some makeshift stairs, but it’ll definitely maximize the space. By making your yard look like it has multiple levels, you’ll be able to create the sense of multiple rooms right in your yard.

Invest in multifunctional furniture

Multi-tasking furniture is the savior of those who have spent their lives living in small spaces. From this concept, we’ve birthed the Murphy bed and the ottoman. What about outdoor furniture, though?

You can line the perimeter of your yard with storage benches. These double as seating and a place to store tools, toys, and games. Some other multi-use outdoor furniture ideas include:

  • Fire pits that double as coffee/dining tables
  • Modular chairs and sectionals
  • Convert-a-Bench, dual table and bench
  • Extendable dining table
  • Bar/dining counter

Establish a focal point


Establishing a focal point in a large backyard is difficult, causing its purpose to sort of become marred by the many amenities it offers. In this sense, a small backyard can actually be an advantage. You’re more easily able to define its purpose, and turn it into an enjoyable place to spend time. This also makes decorating and following a design theme much easier.

A small fountain or dining set makes a great focal point if you want to instill comfort in visitors. If you’re planning on using your backyard as a place for entertaining, a small bar or outdoor kitchen can really go a long way as well. For less than $5000, you can install some outdoor cabinets, a grill, and a small bar top.

Emphasizing your backyard’s focal point with a minimalistic pergola or canopy is another way of adding some flair.

Oftentimes, small yards are even more tastefully decorated than large yards. A small space allows for better integration of styles, and causes us to be more selective about the quality of the pieces we choose. In this regard, consider your small backyard a blessing and feel free to get really creative with how you make the most out of it.

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