written by:
July 11, 2014
We can’t change the size of our backyard, but there are many simple ways to make your outdoor space feel larger than it is. Whether your yard consists of a large grassy area, narrow lot, or small deck, use these tricks to make your space feel welcoming and spacious. This article was originally posted on Porch.com.
The Opdahl House, designed by Edward Killingsworth for Richard and Joyce Opdahl, is located on the island of Naples, in Long Beach, California, and the design responds to the constraints imposed by the compact site.Unlike the neighbors, whose  homes unfli

Create false perspective with lines

Take full advantage of the power of perspective by using low split-rail fence and delicately slanting the long straight rows of shrubs to one another. This will create an illusion of having a big outdoor space. Much like stripes on an outfit, create lines where you want your space to feel long. Using a mixture of various paving materials is another way to create distraction, which will help make your yard feel spacious.

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Originally appeared in Opdahl Remastered
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modern backyard deck ipe wood

Set up mini-rooms

Invest some time to create a series of garden rooms or areas. If your outdoor space allows for furniture consider setting up a few chairs in one area and a bench in another. Small spaces can still have “rooms” with a simple piece of sculpture, grouping of containers or a bird bath. If your buget allows, outdoor structures like arbors or pergolas can add height and movement to the rooms and help create more established areas.

 

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Originally appeared in Bay Area Ipe-Clad Backyard Getaway
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modern outdoor backyard guesthouse garden

Create hidden spaces

You can use lush shrubs to make your small outdoor space seem larger than it is. By effectively “hiding” parts of your yard you create a greater sense of space and movement. Plant shrubs that fill out to touch each other or move potted plants to create mini-hedges. Remember that your plants will grow – even your smaller, shorter plants will eventually grow into bigger plants. The large leaves of big tropical plants can help to change the scale of a small space to make it feel larger.

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Originally appeared in Creative Landscape Design for a Renovated Eichler in California
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Outdoor sculptural gas fire pit

Find a focal point

Use an attractively designed item as a focal point to attract the view. This will give a clean and spacious look to the space. You can use a single tree, distinctive plant or a garden art as the focal point. Even better, create a path or walkway that leads to this focal point for even greater dimension.

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Originally appeared in Dance Dance Renovation
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modern landscaping terrace pie deck reflecting pool granite patio

Go vertical

Plan and effectively divide the annuals, beautiful plants, and perennials in such a way that your small backyard seems to be big.  The use of vertical space for growing can also bring great impact on the size of the yard. There are a number of vertical containers on the market that work well even for the smallest of decks and patios. Vines can be trained up well-placed stakes or lattice or use plant stands that create height.

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Originally appeared in Japanese-Inspired Landscape Design in Berkeley
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Outdoor gardening in Los Angeles, California

Color creates a dynamic space

Colors can add charm and a welcoming feel to your space. It can also create greater dimension. Placing bold and bright colors in the front view will help to catch the attraction and impart a receding feeling to the rest of the landscape, making your small landscape feel larger. If you’re not sure how to utilize your colors to create space, try planting them in easy-to-move pots and test them out in place. Or simply leave the plants in their original pot until you decide the best spot for them.

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Originally appeared in L-Shaped Indoor-Outdoor LA Home
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The Opdahl House, designed by Edward Killingsworth for Richard and Joyce Opdahl, is located on the island of Naples, in Long Beach, California, and the design responds to the constraints imposed by the compact site.Unlike the neighbors, whose  homes unfli

Create false perspective with lines

Take full advantage of the power of perspective by using low split-rail fence and delicately slanting the long straight rows of shrubs to one another. This will create an illusion of having a big outdoor space. Much like stripes on an outfit, create lines where you want your space to feel long. Using a mixture of various paving materials is another way to create distraction, which will help make your yard feel spacious.

Photo by Catherine Ledner.

 

 

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