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Our 15 Best Tips For Decorating A Small Backyard

Our 15 Best Tips For Decorating A Small Backyard

Here at Happy Gardens, our customers are always curious about how to decorate a small backyard. But here's the thing about a small outdoor space: even if there's limited room, there are tons of small backyard ideas that can transform a small yard into an outdoor oasis. 

In this article, we'll offer tons of tips and tricks to turn even a small patio into a place for your friends and family to enjoy the great outdoors.

Here are 15 ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

1. Add a fire pit

A fire pit is a compelling, beautiful way to add character and depth to your tiny backyard. Fire pits have surged in popularity lately and can single-handedly transform your outdoor space. You can decide whether you'd prefer a ready-to-install fire pit or would like to build one from scratch.

To ensure your fire pit becomes a true focal point, surround it with fire-safe patio furniture. Oversized chairs will complete the look and give your friends and family a place to sit by the fire and relax.

A word of caution: if you're going to install a fire pit, make sure it's safe to do so. A small patio might not be roomy enough for a fire pit. The same goes for any outdoor space that's covered or partially enclosed. If you have any doubt, contact your local fire department for guidance on what's safe and what's not.

2. Create an outdoor living room with patio furniture

Our next idea? Go all out—and transform your backyard space into a true outdoor living room.

Start by thinking about what you love most about your indoor living room. We bet the list includes a comfy couch, a coffee table, a chunky blanket, a potted plant, and an oversized rug. Now, start shopping for weatherproof, durable versions of those products.

Remember to choose an outdoor rug that'll hide dirt and stains—or opt for one that can be hosed down.

One pro tip? Buy inexpensive, seasonal decor to help you "reimagine" your outdoor living room season after season. You'd be amazed how quickly you can transform a patio from fall to winter to spring with the right decorations.

Related: 4 Ways to Beautify Your Outdoor Lawn or Garden on a Budget

3. Plant a space-saving garden

 A vertical herb garden.

While you might not have room in your tiny backyard to plant the garden of your dreams, we bet you can find a little bit of space to grow a few herbs you cook with day in and day out. Whether you choose parsley, basil, chives, or cilantro, there are tons of products on the market designed to help you garden in a tight space.

One of our favorites for a small herb garden? A vertical garden that can grow various plants up a wall instead of horizontally on the ground.

And yes, you can also grow flowers, too! While traditional flower beds might be tough with limited space, even the tiniest outdoor spaces can handle hanging plants. Look for your favorite perennials at your local nursery—then ask if these flowers would do okay in a hanging planter.

You can also save space by storing gardening tools in patio furniture with built-in, hidden storage.

4. Splurge on a tiny swimming pool

This next idea is a little wild—and pretty expensive, too. But we've seen some pretty impressive results when people with limited outdoor space splurge on a small swimming pool. Of course, in-ground pools cost a fortune, and permitting can be a nightmare.

Don't be afraid to try an above-ground pool. They're better looking than ever before, and with the right floating LED lights and trendy pool toys, you're sure to have one of the most coveted small backyards in town.

5. Go wild with potted plants

Here at Happy Gardens, we're serious about plants. We love them indoors, outdoors, on our Instagram feed—you get the point. And if you're as big of a fan of potted plants as we are, why not add a whole bunch of them to your outdoor space.

Whether you add one, two, or ten potted plants to your outdoor space, you'll add greenery to your outdoor area. This is especially transformative for those in urban areas, where a backyard is often not much more than a small patio paved with concrete.

6. Add a water feature to your outdoor space

Many people shy away from a focal point when decorating a small space, assuming the tiny area is too small to handle a statement piece. But that's just not the case. And often, adding a water feature is the perfect way to level up a small patio, house, or backyard.

You can find unique water features at secondhand shops, garage sales, or on our Happy Gardens website. Or make a DIY water feature for a true one-of-a-kind look.

7. Hang some string lights

There's a reason why every restaurant patio in town features string lights. They're an inexpensive, charming way to transform a "blah" space into something truly remarkable. String lighting will add depth to your outdoor space while offering warm, dim lighting perfect for al fresco dinners, barbecues, and more.

Even if you don't have an outlet in your small backyard, you can still add lighting. Just look for solar-powered string lights, and ensure to install them properly.

8. Build a DIY outdoor kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is another excellent way to transform a small backyard space into a fabulous cooking and dining area for your family and friends.

Sure, you could spend a small fortune installing a full-blown kitchen and bar, but it's not necessary. A grill, a small workspace on wheels, and a counter-height bar table and chairs are all you need.

If you have a slightly larger space, you could add a larger table and extra seating. Add a statement, outdoor-friendly pendant lamp and an area rug to complete the look.

9. Do more with your fence

Another one of our favorite small backyard ideas? Making the most of your vertical space with unique wall art. Many of our customers are amazed by how quickly they can transform a boring privacy fence into a memorable outdoor gallery wall. All you have to do is collect outdoor decor that speaks to you.

Whether that's one piece of wall art from our Happy Gardens shop, or a collection of decor you've sourced locally throughout the years, one thing's for sure: you're creating a one-of-a-kind look for your small space.

10. Add interest to a simple patio floor

If you've got a small backyard that's paved with faded asphalt or cracked concrete, you don't have to accept your fate. There are inexpensive pavers, rubber tiles, and teak floors that can be tessellated together to give your backyard a more finished, stylish look.

Some homeowners, especially those with small children or pets, prefer to line their small yards with artificial grass or turf. While installation is expensive, this investment can be well worth it, since it's low maintenance and truly transformative.

11. Make a one-person outdoor lounge

If you're working with minimal square footage, you might not be able to create an outdoor living room, kitchen, or dining area. But what you almost certainly have enough room for is a one-person lounging area.

Create a comfy seating area with a rocking chair, chaise lounge, or swinging bench. Then add greenery to a dull, stone patio with new plants, a touch of charming garden decor, an outdoor rug, and a little table for coffee or reading.

12. Create a space for warm summer nights

If you have a porch, deck, or similar space, create a place that's perfect for long, warm hangouts. You can add citronella candles and shade-providing plants for protection. You can also add seasonal decorations, like brightly-colored paper lanterns, to truly transform the space.

Other must-haves for a summery outdoor space? An oversized drink dispenser for iced tea or lemonade, playful garden decor, and an outdoor speaker!

13. Add garden decor for a big impact

If you've already jazzed up your small backyard, simply installing a few pieces of unique garden decor can take your small yard to the next level. You can find one-of-a-kind wind chimes, garden stakes, and outdoor statues at secondhand shops—or look for unique, ready-to-install alternatives right in our Happy Gardens shop.

Whatever you choose, remember that your garden decor is a reflection of you! Feel free to choose whatever speaks to you, and remember, it's okay to change things up season to season... or even week to week!

Hanging a wind chime, in particular, can really transform a small yard. 

That's because a wind chime is a multisensory decoration. It delights not only the eyes but also the ears. Hang one from a rafter, a tree branch, or just a few inches off the exterior of your home. No matter where you place it, your backyard will thank you.

14. Build an outdoor dining room

Consider transforming your small yard into an outdoor dining room if you have the space. Since your outdoor space is so limited, building an outdoor dining room on your property is a great use of the square footage you do have. That's because you'll enjoy it every night the weather's decent, whether you're entertaining or not.

Choose a right-sized outdoor table for a magazine-ready outdoor dining room and add built-in benches to conserve space. Hang decor, lights, and plants from above to add depth and color to your patio without using up more space.

Don't forget to pick up some outdoor-safe plates, cups, utensils. That way, you won't have to worry about broken glass.

And remember, no outdoor room is complete without finishing touches like weatherproof accent pillows and a few plants.

15. Start a miniature garden

Yes, you could transform your small backyard into a lot of things... But if you truly love to garden, then converting your backyard into an urban garden makes sense. You can build flower boxes full of soil on top of concrete, too—just ask your favorite nursery for a bit of guidance based on what you intend to plant.

We don't all have the luxury of a sprawling backyard, but that shouldn't stop you from turning your limited outdoor space into something truly amazing. And whether that's an outdoor kitchen, a vertical garden, a one-person living room, or something else entirely, one thing's for sure: you're going to create a fantastic oasis in your backyard.

Need help deciding what garden decor would look great in your small space? Here at Happy Gardens, we're here to help you find exactly what you're looking for! Just give us a call, email us, or chat with us. Our team would be happy to assist.

About Happy Gardens

At Happy Gardens, you will find an online collection of unique, charming garden decor perfect for any outdoor space—even tiny ones. From birdhouse to rain chain to garden stake, every single item in our shop is handcrafted with love by talented artisans. And, best of all, our merchandise is truly unique—helping your outdoor areas stand out from the pack.

Want to be the first to know when new products drop? Find out the latest and greatest about all of the Happy Gardens products by joining our mailing list. We also serve up daily inspiration on our Facebook and Instagram.

So, what are you waiting for? Start transforming your small backyard into a truly Happy Garden today. And, if you need any assistance at all, we're here to help.

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