The first thing that comes to mind with designing a small backyard is functionality. Even though it may be a small space, you still want it to have purpose. You want to be able to enjoy all aspects of the space. A few key tricks come to mind:
1. Keep the clutter elsewhere – It’s understandable that you have things that need to be kept outside. If the garage isn’t an option, find an all weather storage bin that can double as a bench. Add a cushion to make it comfortable and to add color.
2. Add a small garden – Make sure your backyard gets enough sunlight for a garden. Then, build a small, 2 foot by 3 foot, above the ground garden. I’ve found wood is the best choice. You can pick it up at your local hardware store. Just know your dimensions before you go. Finally, choose your favorite herbs and vegetable. Don’t go overboard! If you won’t eat it, don’t plant it. And remember, some herbs and vegetables grown like weeds (excuse the expression, you certainly don’t want weeds.)
3. Make your backyard a place you can enjoy year round – Spring evenings may be wonderful to sit outside and enjoy the open sky, but summer afternoons can be detrimental to you health. Consider adding a covered pergola to your backyard. It creates a nice space for furniture and an outdoor grill. Multiwall plastic sheet, known by the brand name Polygal, is a good choice because of its double and triple layers protecting you from unwanted elements as well as providing UV protection. Depending on the color, Polygal allows light in but keeps the temperatures under the material cool.
4. And lastly, don’t forget about custom cutting boards. This tip really doesn’t help the “function” of a small backyard, but it sure makes grilling and gardening a little more fun. With a variety of colors and your creativity, the possibilities are endless.