June 24, 2014

Creating an intimate and functional space in a small backyard can sometimes be easier than a large expansive property. Here are 5 things to consider:

1) Decide what your goals are for the space. Do you want a fireplace, dining area, social or relaxing space, grilling space, or something else that is important to you?

2) If the grade or elevation doesn’t work for you, consider making changes that will help you accomplish your goals. We raised our grade by 3′-0″ and this helped with flow from the house (reducing the number of stairs) and a water drainage issue.

3) Consider materials and how they function and look together. Natural wood and stone or pre-finished materials.

4) What is the visual focal point from both the inside to the outside or if you are standing in the space? You will want to control the eye’s focal point so that it rests on something unique and interesting. For example, notice the large stone fireplace in this photo. You can see if from inside the house as well as anywhere in the yard.

5) Let your plants help you define space. From large arborvitae to potted plants, they are able to soften lines and create walls.

Check out this article 16 Ways to Get More From Your Small Yard for more interesting things to consider.