Make Your Small Yard Look and Feel Bigger

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Don’t think of your tiny yard as a curse. Maybe it’s technically a small concrete slab that might accommodate a half-sized grill? Or if your patio is just big enough for you, a lounge chair, and a book? Your tiny space is actually your chance to really get creative!

Living large with a small footprint can be obtainable with a few tweaks to make your small space a retreat.  


1. The Great Divide

Wait, what? That’s right. Your square footage may be relatively small, but dividing it into two areas can actually make it seem bigger.

We recommend a small wood pergola, which you can purchase at home improvement stores or even build yourself. You can also use walls to divide the space. Try using short trellises, arbors, or vine-covered wooden fences to separate your loungers from your patio table.

As an added bonus, walls prevent visitors from walking in a straight line from one end of the patio to another, instead creating a winding path that makes your small space feel expansive.


2. Get to Planting

A peaceful space always feels larger than one crowded with noise and other distractions — Keep your evening downtime and morning coffee blissfully secluded with a few cleverly positioned plants.

There are a few ways to achieve privacy. Along the very edges of your space, plant a tall, wide bush, like the purple smoke bush, a fantastic, easy-to-care-for container plant that can grow six or seven feet every year. This makes an excellent privacy screen and a dramatic statement.

You can also privatize your patio without sacrificing any square footage with the oldest trick in the book: Install some climbing vines on a trellis to clearly tell your neighbors, “This is my special space.”


3. Just Add Water

A dramatic focal point can really add some intrigue to a mini yard. And a water feature, like a bubbling birdbath or wall fountain, can make all the difference.

Choose an element with a black bottom, which will create a darker surface that reflects sky and trees, making your outdoor space feel bigger. Just make sure your water feature doesn’t overwhelm your porch.


4. The Best Way to Go is Up

Distract from your tiny space by really maximizing your best feature: vertical space.

Use your walls, fence, or railings as extra space by adding vines or a living wall filled with flowers, herbs, and other eye-catching greenery. For a simple change, prop an attractive ladder against the wall and use its rungs as shelving for plants or other decor.


5. Expand Your Space. Wait, What?

Let me explain.  On a small porch, place a tall mirror on the ground behind a portico or a patch of greenway. This simple illusion makes your small space look larger than it really is. Think along the lines of small rooms in a home. Interior designers have used this easy trick of the eye to make a space look larger for years. Why not apply it to your outdoor space as well!

You don’t need a crazy large mirror to have a huge impact. Hanging a normal-sized mirror, like one you might find over a dresser, can make a tiny space feel much larger.   

Whichever mirror you choose, make sure to weatherproof it by first using a mirror edge sealer and a frame sealant to prevent moisture damage.

Remember, small spaces don’t have to be limiting. With a little bit of creativity, there’s no reason you can’t feel like you’re living in your very own paradise.


Joel Garza with The Garza Team at Abundant Living Real Estate is a Houston Heights Realtor with clients in Houston and surrounding areas. Joel is also a Houston Heights Resident since 1997 bringing experience to the area like no other.