15 Ways to Make The Most of Your Tiny Backyard

As many of you have probably experienced, big cities have a lot going for them, but spacious backyards aren’t one of them. City homeowners have always struggled to transform tight, narrow, or awkwardly shaped backyards into comfortable, functional extensions of the home. But when it comes to backyards, bigger isn’t always better. Especially if you can make your space your own by using some of these inspiring ideas we’ve compiled for you below.

Wooden Deck

You can create various versions of wooden decks for your patio furniture including pallet wood decks, diagonal wooden decks, octagonal wooden decks, and much more! If you have an old concrete patio and want to avoid the cost and mess of tearing it out, you can also use the simple alternative of interlocking deck tiles to add a little spice to your backyard space.

Vertical Garden Wall

It can be incredibly challenging to create a garden in a tiny backyard, so instead of creating a traditional in-ground garden, you can use a vertical garden to open up space for patio furniture and other necessities. 

Outdoor Solar Lights

Lighting plays a major role in how an outdoor space feels, so incorporate both task and ambient lighting to create the mood you want and to provide the amount of light you need. If you’d rather not purchase expensive lighting that requires installation, light your deck with affordable candles, torches, or hanging lights. You can tuck them into planters or hang them from latticework so they won’t take up much space.

Paver Stone Patio

A paver stone patio can be a great alternative to faux grass or tiles and is often the cheapest option if you are working with an unfinished backyard. Decorative stone can result in a classic, tidy-looking backyard.

Canopy or Umbrella

Embrace the intimate atmosphere of a small backyard with a patio canopy or gazebo. These outdoor structures add shade and privacy to your backyard. Add the comforts of an indoor room with an arrangement of patio furniture, an outdoor rug, and accessories like pillows and decorative objects.

Small Scale Furniture

Since you will not have a lot of room in your backyard it is important that you buy furniture that fits to the scale of your backyard. Furniture pieces with thin frames and narrow designs make a small space feel roomier. Compact bistro sets are perfect for a garden corner, balcony, or porch, and built-in benches can multitask by maximizing seating and storage in minimal space.

Seating Storage

Multi-functional furniture can help you maximize every inch of a small backyard (and save money on extra storage). An L-shaped bench, for example, can allow one person to stretch out or provide a perch for multiple people. Garden stools serve as side tables for holding drinks or stand-in as extra seating for gatherings. A built-in bench can also serve as a storage space for outdoor supplies.

Outdoor Rugs

Outdoor rugs are an amazing solution for a space that needs a bit more color or pizazz. They also do a wonderful job of defining the perimeter of a space, which is especially helpful if you have a small footprint. Make sure to choose a rug that is designed to remain outside, as it will be made with much heartier materials than a typical indoor rug. If you happen to find an outdoor rug that you love at a good price, you may want to buy two. We find that outdoor rugs tend to endure much more wear and tear, so it’s not a bad idea to keep a backup on hand if you can.

Faux Grass

There are some pretty strong opinions on both sides as to whether or not to go faux with plants or grass. But as long as it’s done right, faux grass can add a lot of character to your space. Faux grass is a great option for an urban patio or balcony to help add the feeling of an actual lawn. To create a more realistic look, make sure you’re putting the grass down across an entire defined area. You’ll want to eliminate any harsh edges that would immediately indicate that your grass is faux.

Break Things Up With Levels

A multi-level landscape design can create the illusion of a larger backyard. It breaks things up visually and allows you to designate each level to a different purpose. You can use the bottom level as a dining patio, and a shrubbery border as a transition into the upper yard.

Bar Cart

Spruce up any backyard with a well-styled bar cart. Extra perk: Since it’s on wheels, you can easily roll it back into the kitchen for refills and storage.


If you have a tiny outdoor space, you can still take advantage of the fresh air in style by hanging a slim hammock in your backyard. You can also make it pop with an area rug, fun throw pillows, and floor cushions for extra seating—no trees necessary!

Colorful Tiles

An eye-catching tile on the patio can make all the difference in a tiny backyard. Choose a whimsical pattern with bright colors and then use more timeless and neutral furniture that won’t overwhelm the eye or take up any valuable real estate.

Murphy Bar

Another option for a backyard bar is to install a DIY Murphy Bar, a bar that simply folds down into a table whenever you’re ready to use it! The shelves are perfect for storage, and you can stack plants on top for extra decoration when the bar is not in use.

Water Feature

Small water features can tie the overall design of your backyard together, especially if it is used as a focal point. You can find simple styles of waterfalls or water fountains at any of your local hardware or home design stores. 

Even though it may seem more advantageous to keep your small yard open and loosely planned, the opposite is true. The key to a more spacious backyard is all in the organization and design. When you define the spaces in your small yard and make their purposes clear, it gives the space character and aesthetic appeal.

If you don’t have the time or money to complete your perfect backyard this season, don’t sweat it. Complete your backyard in stages, focusing on building the deck or patio in one season and outfitting the space in another. Be inventive with room furnishings and splurge on just one or two high-quality pieces.

Any design or contracting questions? Email us at Contact@IanPerlerTeam.com.

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