When house-hunters compile their lists of must-have home items, a dreamy backyard space is often near the top. After all, who doesn’t want an outdoor oasis of their very own? From summer barbecues to open space for your dog to frolic—everyone has their own aspirations when it comes to creating the perfect backyard paradise. But as homebuyers seek properties deeper within city limits, and Millennials opt for properties with urban amenities and access, home-connected outdoor spaces are becoming a bit smaller in stature. Of course, size isn’t everything when it comes to outdoor space. Even balconies, rear patios, and ultra-tiny yards can provide homebuyers with the outdoor reprieve they crave—even on a smaller scale. For a few ideas that can help you envision all the possibilities of a micro outdoor space, read on for inspiration.
When space is at a premium, think up instead of out. In other words, make the most of small spaces by capitalizing on your backyard, balcony, or patio’s overhead height. Mood-setting string lights, hanging pocket or wall gardens, floating shelves, and modern overhead hangings can create a sense of privacy and luxury without cluttering the square footage on the ground.
Upgrade the look of structural components.
Not in love with your patio pavers? Don’t have the sweetest view off your balcony? Whatever your small backyard living space gripe may be, there’s always a solution if you go back to the basics. Consider the structural components of your outdoor space that you aren’t in love with and there’s likely an affordable, eye-pleasing solution. For instance, plenty of home goods retailers make a variety of punchy or luxe outdoor rugs that can disguise stained or lackluster outdoor flooring. Power-washing is another great solution for old grime and dirt that’s an eyesore. Don’t have a great view? Planting ivy on bare walls, installing adjustable mood lighting, or hanging planters can create a more inviting ambiance.
Soothing sounds set the mood.
While there may not be room for a swimming pool or pond in a micro yard or balcony, you can still bring the calming presence of water to your outdoor oasis. Fountains run the gamut in sizing and price, making this amenity an easy acquisition. What’s more, a running fountain not only adds a soothing sound to your space, but it also helps drown out noise from the street or the neighbors—making your space entirely your own and stress-free.
Don’t compromise on your culinary dreams.
If you love to entertain in outdoor spaces or relish the chance to man the grill—small outdoor spaces don’t have to trip you up. Grill options (both propane and charcoal) come in a range of sizes, many of which can be outfitted securely to balcony posts or be tucked away and out of sight when out of use. Consider nesting tables or those with a removable leaf to adjust your seating and dining options depending on company. Another trick? A small, oscillating fan can keep air flow moving in a small space during grill season—and can be easily affixed to walls or posts, as well.
Don’t let yourself or clients be discouraged by spaces with more limited square footage in outdoor areas. Furniture and design trends have already begun shifting toward providing better small-space options, and at the end of the day, a backyard space is all about providing an area for relaxation. With a few well-placed, strategic choices, you can still have it all.