small yard guide

10 Simple Backyard Ideas for Small Yards

In Buyers Guide by Jamie

Do you have a small backyard? Well, you have come to the right place but there’s no need to worry. A backyard isn’t always valued on its size, but rather its visual appeal. You can walk into someone’s backyard and it can be huge but it might be bare. No matter the size of your yard its time to utilize your space and apply these 10 simple backyard ideas for small yards!

What to Consider When Doing A Backyard Makeover?

The Price

A budget is always a great way to start. Without it, you might see yourself spending much more than you anticipated. Trust me, you do not want to start a quarrel with your housemate over costs, whether it be a loved one or not. This kind of gives you a general vision of what you can picture for your yard. Obviously, the higher the budget the more detail you can put into your yard.

With a small yard, you can usually place yourself at a lower cost, because you have less square footage to deal with. You can do simple backyard ideas, or you can still go extreme with high-end outdoor gear. Decide what you want to spend and then pick some ideas you can do!

DIY or Hire a Pro

This decision can be considered when thinking about the price as well. Of course, DIY will save you money, but just be aware of your own skills when thinking about the outcome. I love DIY jobs personally, and I have saved lots of money from them. I also realized you learn from your mistakes, because you may not get it right the first time. Messing up may end up costing you double than what it would have been to hire a professional. If you are looking for the best quality of work you can’t go wrong when hiring someone who knows what they are doing.

The Design

Choosing your design after your pricing decision is fun. This is where you can choose what you are going to do. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do I want a simple design?
  • How long will this project take?
  • Is it practical for the space I have?
  • Do I really need this? Or am I going overboard?

Basically, just be sure you are doing what you really want. Just because you have a small backyard does not mean it is always easy to change once it’s completed.


10 Simple Backyard Ideas for Small Yards

1. A BBQ Area

A backyard is always a great place to design a small BBQ area. Place the barbeque and build your design around it. There are plenty different size barbeques to choose from, you do not need a massive grill that leaves you no room to sit around. Choose the right size barbeque and then search for a dining idea.

The dining area can be a fancy set from the store or just a simple picnic table. The option is available for you, outdoor dining sets are very nice but definitely increase the budget. Simply find an old table and place a nice tablecloth on top and voila, you have a cost-free outdoor dining set.

Be creative and come up with a unique design. The more creative you are the better the area will look and feel. Grilling up burgers, hot dogs, steaks, and anything is what the backyard is all about.

2. Garden Ideas

Gardening can make or break the way your yard looks. Put some valuable time into these ideas. There are so many flowers and plants you can place in your backyard to brighten it up. Here is a list of some unique and creative gardening ideas:

  • Make a planter box
  • Create a garden bed
  • Build up plants vertically
  • Hang plants around
  • Grow plants in pots/containers
  • Design your own plant pots
  • Build a small trellis

Grow low maintenance plants if you are a beginner. This will save your time and make your garden look much better. Slowly build up more difficult plants overtime to get the hang of it!

3. Outdoor Living Room

Even with a small area, you can design a living space outdoors. Pick up some weatherproof furniture and build yourself a beautiful space. Grab a couch, a couple of chairs, a coffee table, and maybe even a nice outdoor rug. Having this living space provides options on a nice day, people can socialize in the sun and enjoy a glass of wine.

What is great about this idea is the number of ideas you can come up with. You have multiple types of furniture to choose from, there are so many material types and you need to search for what is best for you:

  • Wood
  • Polymer & Plastic
  • Aluminum
  • Wicker
  • Steel
  • Wrought Iron

Design the outdoor living space to your own desire, choose colors that suit your home. If you have older outdoor furniture you can simply find new cushions to bring them back to life.

Read one of our outdoor furniture articles, the Most Comfortable Outdoor Sectionals, or the Most Comfortable Outdoor Lounge Chairs.


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4. Build a Mini Shed

You may or may not have the room for this one, however, it is a great addition. Having a small shed for extra outdoor storage is a huge plus. If you have a garden, furniture, or anything outside this provides a place for storage. Store away tools, garden tools, cushions, BBQ tools, and whatever you feel. If you build it large enough it can be a place for the kids to hang out and play some games!

Decorate your shed, paint, shape, and do whatever you like. This is a chance to be as creative as you want. If you aren’t a builder, you can hire someone to build a small shed. It can cost a few dollars for sure, but it is only small so nothing that crazy. Small sheds do not have to be created with newly purchased wood, they are great when recycled materials are used. Go on a hunt for old wood, used pallets, and even old doors you can box together.

Inside you can build shelving, place hangers, and even have an indoor garden if you want. If you have the room, place a chair and you can have an extremely peaceful reading area away from the family. This shed idea can be a place for whatever your heart desires.

5. Water Feature Ideas

There are so many different backyard ideas you can do when it comes to water. Heres a list of multiple ideas that you can include in your backyard:

  • Wooden Water Fountains
  • Concrete Water Fountains
  • Solar Power Fountain
  • Decorative Pond
  • Fish Pond
  • Fish Tank
  • Water Wall
  • Disappearing Fountain
  • Water Garden
  • Rock Fountain

There are various ideas to choose from, some are much easier than others. You can easily turn this into a DIY project, or just keep it simple and buy a water feature product. Many water features require electricity, meaning they would need a technical setup. This may require someone with the appropriate knowledge and skills for the highest level of safety. You do not want electricity flowing off wildly.

We have a 10 Most affordable water fountains list if interested click here!

Furthermore, since on the topic of water features, many of these ideas originate from water fountains into pools and hot tubs. If the size is available, a small pool and/or a hot tub can increase the value of a home. In the warm summer, just a simple dip in the pool can make you feel great. A hot tub in the cold snowy winters is lots of fun too. I have both and highly recommend them if you have the time to keep them maintained. They certainly cost a lot for maintenance, and regular cleaning when comparing to a standard yard.

6. Focus On The Firepit

With minimal space, a great idea is to focus everything on an outdoor fireplace. There are many different fireplace ideas, there’s customized stone, steel, cast iron, and more. Stone fireplaces are great to focus in on, they are a beautiful addition to have in the yard. Place seats and even a table around and you have a wonderful outdoor area.

If there isn’t much room you can still buy a steel or cast iron fireplace. Simply place chairs around the fireplace and enjoy a cozy night by the fire. It’s almost like camping out in the backyard. Roast some weiners, and make some smores. For those musicians, take out the guitar and everyone can sing along!

7. Build a Bar Area

If you enjoy having people over for a few drinks having an outdoor bar area is a great idea. There are several different bar designs you could choose from. Many people choose the wooden look, which is very nice. There are also stone counters and sometimes unique glass ideas too.

If there is enough space, having a nice mini fridge outside is a great addition to the bar. No need to be running in and out of the house non-stop to grab drinks. Small storage cupboards would be great for any glassware and other bar accessories. Overhead having hanging wine glasses is very appealing to the eye, this gives an elegant design look.

Placing up old bar signs and posters is cool for a man-cave bar area. Have it waterproofed and even set up the tv for Sunday night football. The bar idea can be personalized to any style you prefer, the idea is to be creative and to build a backyard that suits who you are as a person.

8. Build Around The Path

I have seen some unique and intriguing backyards. The path idea is so beautiful, and it is completely designed however the creator wishes. How does it work? Just build a path on the ground in any shape or direction. Use rocks, stones, or even pieces of wood. You can space them apart or place them connected together.

What I think is a great idea is to have a path centered through the yard in a straight line. This gives you an option to build a symmetric yard. On each side place flowers and furniture symmetrically, leaving your backyard looking beautiful.

Another option is to use this path to connect the house to the shed, fireplace area, bar, pool, hot tub, or even the fish pond. Create a path to wherever your heart desires. The creations are limitless.

9. Turf Zone

If you happen to live in a place where the grass is difficult to grow and you just want a lawn, then artificial turf is a huge thing now. Many people who live in hot places like Las Vegas have been installing the “fake grass” in their yards. Stressing out over an ugly lawn is annoying, so buying artificial turf ensures a nice-looking yard. It certainly increases the home value when living in grass-free locations.

It is a perfect place for the family to hang out at home on a sunny day. Place soccer, catch, or have a picnic with the kids. Everyone will enjoy having artificial grass in the backyard.

10. Build a Patio or Deck

small backyard deck

No matter what size the backyard, you can always build a patio. A patio can be ground level, which is an easy make. Nevertheless, they really are built at any height. This is great if your yard is a huge hill. Hills and slopes are not the best when looking for a place to hang out. Building a level deck creates a backyard area to hang outside. You can simply turn it into any of the ideas we mentioned above.

Patios are known to surround pools, fountains, and gardens. Furthermore, they can support a bar area, living space, and even a fireplace. If you are handy you can build a deck yourself, if not you can hire a carpenter to do the work!


How to Make a Small Yard Look Bigger?

Having a small yard is very common, houses are being built on small pieces of land. Without that large outdoor space, homeowners think there is no point to have it decorated for outdoor fun, but that’s not the case. A small space can be designed to look bigger and better, just follow these easy tips!

Create Some Privacy

Having a private space can make a backyard area feel bigger, just implement some of these ideas:

  • Tall Verticle Planters
  • Large Plants
  • Plant a Tree
  • Build a fence

Build Up, Not Out

Since you don’t have the space to build your backyard area wide or long, use the space over your head! Buidling vertically enables you too utilize the space you never would have thought of using. What are some ideas of building up?

  • Pergola
  • Hang string lights
  • Hang plants
  • Utilize fence, walls, and other surroundings
  • Verticle Planters

Utilize Your Space

If you don’t have a lot of space try utilizing it better. Yes… that’s a pretty broad answer but if you think outside the box you can come up with some pretty neat ideas. Treat it like your dream yard, have your kitchen area in one corner with your BBQ and mini bar, while you set up your outdoor sofa in the other corner along with an outdoor movie zone! Maybe you would rather a hot tub with a pergola overhead, while string lights and plants hang near your head. Anyways, divide up the area into sections that you love, having multiple areas will create a larger feeling when in the yard.

Hang up Mirrors

I know weird suggestion right? But hanging a mirror outside in your smaller yard can make the space look bigger!

Lay Down the Floor

If your yard is small it might be best to have a comfortable flooring option. Small yards should avoid grass just because mowing a ten-foot lawn will just make an overall mess back there. Try installing a paverstone floor or build a deck, these ideas make for a better and more comfortable living space. It will almost feel as if you added another room to your home.

It’s about finding comfort in your space because in the end the size of your yard just doesn’t matter, its about the overall experience.


Final Thoughts

A backyard is an endless place for ideas. Having yard space or not you can build a backyard area that people will enjoy to socialize. If you do not care much for a social area, build a beautiful garden with scenic fountains and even a fish pond. Your backyard is full of possibilities, it is time to become creative. Make your backyard a beautiful place today.

We hope our ideas were interesting, feel free to leave a comment about any ideas you have come up with for your yard. If you enjoyed any of our ideas let us know which one!