14 Ways to Make Your Small Yard Seem Big

Even a small yard can feel spacious if you design it the right way. Read on for our favorite ways to make your small yard look bigger.

  1. Plan Your Space

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    Small Backyard

    You might think that keeping a small yard open and loosely planned would make it feel bigger, but the opposite is true. The key to a more spacious feeling is all in the organization. Define the spaces in your small yard and make their purposes clear. Delineate a dining or lounging area with a stone patio, or separate the play area from the dining area with plantings. All of a sudden, it looks like there's so much more space.


    Related: 1 Dozen Ways to Make the Most of a Small Yard

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  2. Play Up the Side Yard

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    Side Yard Garden

    Side yards are often ignored, or just relegated to garbage can storage. Used correctly, however, this precious square footage can help you expand your usable space. Incorporate the side yard into your landscaping plan by planting a culinary herb garden, or add a slim cafe table for a morning coffee retreat. Surely, you can find room for those garbage cans in the garage.


    Related: 10 Inspiring Ideas for Your Side Yard

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  3. Create a Destination

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    Backyard Fire Pit

    A small yard will feel more grand if you turn it into a destination. Create an outdoor room with a nicely arranged patio set and grill. Or add a special feature like a fountain, fire pit, or cozy reading nook to make this tiny spot worth the visit.


    Related: No Money to Burn? 9 Fire Pits You Can Afford

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  4. Frame a View

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    Backyard Pergola

    Architectural features like arbors or pergolas are perennial favorites in small yards. Use one to frame a view, hang a swing, or even plant a climbing garden. The height of these backyard structures gives the illusion of more space, while the features themselves add interest and character.


    Related: 9 Creative Ways to Build a Backyard Hangout

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  5. Choose the Right Trees

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    Small Yard Landscaping

    You can plant trees in a small yard so long as you choose ones that grow up instead of out. Taller, thinner shapes, such as columnar evergreens, and dwarf varieties of shrubs will give you lush landscaping without eating up all your space.


    Related: 10 of the Best Trees for Any Backyard

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  6. Use Levels

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    Terraced Yard

    Incorporating terraced landscaping helps to designate spaces, making a small yard look bigger. Elevate your dining area, or sink a conversation pit around an outdoor fireplace. Terracing can also carve out more space for plantings, while a lower wall can double as bench seating.


    Related: 10 Outdoor Living Ideas to Steal from California

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  7. Skip the Fence

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    Fenceless Backyard

    With the neighbors close by, you may feel the urge to put up a privacy fence. Try to resist. Your yard will appear bigger if the eye can take in the plantings and trees beyond your property line. With a continuous view, the unobstructed greenery can all seem part of the same landscape.


    Related: 11 Ideas for Better Backyard Privacy

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  8. Garden Vertically

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    Vertical Gardening

    Attention plant lovers: filling a small yard with shrubs and flowers is a surefire way to clutter the space. Instead, grow your garden vertically with hanging baskets, wall-mounted flower pots, or stacked crates of greenery. You’ll add color without taking up precious real estate on the ground.


    Related: 12 Backyard Updates You Can Do in a Day

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  9. Stick with Small Furniture

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    Small Furniture for Patio

    Not only does bulky patio furniture take up lots of space, it also overwhelms a tiny backyard. Stick with smaller pieces instead—preferably ones with a see-through pattern, which lets the eye travel further.


    Related: 15 Doable Designs for DIY Outdoor Furniture

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  10. Shop Smartly

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    Best Outdoor Furniture for Small Yard

    When shopping for a small yard, always buy patio furniture that’s versatile and functional. For example, collapsible chairs and portable fire pits can be stashed inside the garage whenever you need more space. Double-duty pieces (like a bench that converts into a picnic table) also create less clutter, making your yard appear bigger than it is.


    Related: 8 DIY Pick-Me-Ups for a Plain Patio

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  11. Texturize Your Yard

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    How to Add Texture to Your Yard

    It’s true that layers of plants, shrubs, and garden features add interest to a yard. Thankfully for homeowners with limited space to spare, texture also creates the same eye-catching affect. Select a handful of plants with a variety of textures, like wispy ornamental grasses, coarse Canna lilies, and delicate cosmos. When arranging your flower beds, place the bolder varieties near the front to create an illusion of depth.


    Related: 25 Plants for Your Easiest Garden Ever

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  12. Create Curves

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    Curved Landscaping

    Straight garden features sometimes look blunt and unsatisfying. To add depth and dimension, rely on winding and curving lines instead, whether it’s for a garden path or landscape edging. The swirling shape draws the eye, creating a sense of movement and opening up the space.


    Related: Edge Your Beds: 11 Easy Ideas for Landscape Borders

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  13. Store Items in the Garage

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    Smart Storage

    If possible, don’t impose on your yard with clunky sheds or storage bins. Keep clutter at bay by stashing yard tools, outdoor equipment, and children’s toys in the garage instead. As a result, your property will look larger and more streamlined.


    Related: 9 Clever Landscaping Hacks for Your Best-Ever Yard

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  14. Blur the Lines

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    Indoor Outdoor Living Space

    Take a cue from warm-weather dwellers by blending your indoor and outdoor living spaces. Transitional features like large glass windows and sliding doors create a seamless boundary, giving the illusion of a bigger backyard.


    Related: 14 Spaces That Blur the Line Between Indoors and Out

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  15. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!