7 Small Outdoor Spaces That Are Ridiculously Big on Style

published May 13, 2022
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Credit: Rox Van Del

Oftentimes a small outdoor space can end up neglected because it’s hard to see the potential in a tiny scrap of yard or even the narrow alley between two buildings. No matter how small their house, these homeowners and renters found ways to make the outdoors their own — and you can, too! Find inspiration in their unique ideas and biophilic solutions below.

Thrifted White Farmhouse Vibes

If your style skews white and bright, this inspiring backyard is sure to fuel your creative side. Rox Van Del of @houseofvandel transformed a corner of her yard with thrifted finds and a generous dose of white paint (see above). A vintage rattan patio set got a fresh coat of paint and new cushions. Van Del painted also painted her shed a matching shade of white and added a platform step to dress it up. Potted trees and paper lanterns add ambiance, while the coffee table and outdoor rug make this space feel like a true outdoor room.

Mandala Oasis 

Talk about backyard patio inspiration: Helen (@designed_by_me_helen_p) didn’t have much space to work with when redoing her backyard, but she made the most of it by adding a bunch of cozy seating, complete with animal-print pillows and cushions. The chic backdrop features a built-in shelf, eye-catching metal mandala, and lanterns that hang above the space. What really makes the space, though, is all the greenery. Potted plants with trailing vines line the shelf, and big palms and other leafy greens surround the seating area to make it feel peaceful and private. 

Garden in an Alley

What do you do with an extremely narrow backyard? Turn it into a garden, that’s what! Instagrammer Clare (@mytinybackyardgardendiary) did just that, planting sunflowers, tomatoes, marigolds, and more in pots in her tiny North Somerset yard. In the height of summer, a jungle of tomato plants line a small stone pathway and walls made of stone. The garden has surely improved the view from the windows that overlook the former alley.

Potted Succulents Escape

Renters and those living in hot desert environments might want to take a few notes from this tiny Australian backyard. The minimalist design features a horseshoe-shaped garden bed surrounding a small, narrow patch of turf. However, instead of holding the usual dirt and flowers, the beds feature a few foundational shrubs, gravel, and large planters filled with succulents. A colorful array of pots and plants makes the space lively and inviting — and the homeowners can take them with them if ever they move.

Backyard Barbecue Patio

This couple didn’t have much space to work with, but Sarah (@swallows_in_the_window) still managed to fit a smoker, outdoor kitchen, pizza oven, and patio furniture. A wooden structure houses their outdoor kitchen. String lights and outdoor rug add indoor ambiance. Walk down a few steps and you find yourself in a small garden. The entire space isn’t more than a few hundred square feet, but it packs in tons of function.

Hidden Tropical Spa

It may have taken Anna the host of @ojardimtofo two and a half years to build this backyard oasis, but it was worth it in the end. The space offers a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Take a nap in the hammock, a dip in the pool, or a rinse in the outdoor shower — all tucked into a narrow space behind a garden wall. Giant palm fronds, ferns and trees tower above, providing shade and natural beauty to the serene little hideaway. 

Simple Terraced Patio

This cute little space is the side yard of the Utah home of Deone of @lifeonrusticdr. Lush greenery envelopes the patio; warm, natural tones like brown, beige, and tan make the area feel especially peaceful and inviting. Built-in stone planters outline the seating area and add a bit of dimension to the space. Trees stand at nearly every corner, too, transforming the patio into a secret hideaway for whoever has the time to enjoy it. For a finishing touch: string lights dot the arbor overhead.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 7 Small Spaces With Big Outdoor Style