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.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Opdahl Remastered
1 / 6
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.

 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Bay Area Ipe-Clad Backyard Getaway
2 / 6
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.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Creative Landscape Design for a Renovated Eichler in California
3 / 6
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.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Dance Dance Renovation
4 / 6
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.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Japanese-Inspired Landscape Design in Berkeley
5 / 6
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.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in L-Shaped Indoor-Outdoor LA Home
6 / 6
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.

 

 

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

senses smell products
The nose knows: Though fleeting and immaterial, scent is the lifeblood of Proustian memories, both evoking and imprinting visceral associations.
February 06, 2016
design icon josef frank villa beer vienna
Josef Frank: Against Design, which runs through April 2016 at Vienna’s Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, is a comprehensive study of the prolific architect, designer, and author.
February 06, 2016
senses sound products
From an alarm to a symphony, audio frequencies hold the power to elicit an emotional call-and-response.
February 06, 2016
Italian Apline home with double-height walls on one facade.
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
February 05, 2016
A built-in sofa with Design Tex upholstery marks the boundary between the two-level addition and the bungalow. Leading up to the master bedroom, a perforated metal staircase, lit from above, casts a Sigmar Polke–like shadow grid on the concrete floor.
From a minimalist Walter Gropius design to a curving sculptural stair, these six stairways run the gamut.
February 05, 2016
distant structure lakeside prefab norway facade stones green roof
Dwell has traveled all over the world, from Tasmania to Indonesia, to report on modern houses.
February 05, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment master bedroom atrium
Get ready for a weekend of rest with these sleepy, little cocoons.
February 05, 2016
lamp show 99 cent plus gallery 0
At Brooklyn's 99¢ Plus gallery, 30 artists and designers re-imagine the lamp in an illuminating light show.
February 04, 2016
Hidden storage stairwell with raw brass hardware
Having ample space to stow items is a daily struggle—peep these modern homes for some ideas on maximizing your square footage.
February 04, 2016
modern fairhaven beach house blackbutt eucalyptus living room Patricia Urquiola sofa
Whether it's along a coast in Australia or the French Alps, wood provides a natural touch in these interiors.
February 04, 2016
Glass and steel sculpture in Printemps store of Paris.
In the Paris' venerable Printemps department store, two Toronto-based firms were tasked with enlivening a new atrium and creating a unique experience for visitors. YabuPushelberg, partnering with UUfie, designed this stunning steel "sail" embedded with vibrant dichroic glass.
February 04, 2016
Monochromatic Master Bedroom in Copenhagen Townhouse
Whether it's to maximize limited light or create a soothing interior, these five projects go white in a big way.
February 04, 2016
EQ3 Assembly quilt by Kenneth LaVallee
The new Assembly collection from EQ3 celebrates up-and-coming figures in Canadian design. Discover this newly appointed class, which debuted at Toronto's Interior Design Show, here.
February 03, 2016
The Greenhouses of Half Moon Bay
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most viral design and architecture shots of the week.
February 03, 2016
Deck of Australian addition to Edwardian home.
A 1,500-square-foot home in Melbourne welcomes a modern black and white kitchen, dining, and living area.
February 03, 2016
open plan concrete home in japan
Embracing the organic, imperfect material, these raw concrete surfaces are a step up from exposed brick.
February 03, 2016
Renovated DC Row House loft space with Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair.
The classic designer's signature and comfortable forms continue to be popular in homes today.
February 03, 2016
Zinc-roofed cabin France.
An architect builds an energy-efficient home near one of France’s most popular pilgrimage sites.
February 03, 2016
1973 Palm Springs home
Made for casual design enthusiasts and Palm Springs connoisseurs alike, Unseen Midcentury Desert Modern offers a peek into 51 buildings—some not open to the public—in that Southern California mecca of modernism. Begun in 2008 by photographer Dan Chavkin, the book is set for release this February 9th and will be available on Amazon and at multiple venues of Modernism Week in Palm Springs, February 11 - 21. Here we preview some of its images.
February 03, 2016
Millennial concept home with an outdoor living area
A concept home aims to reflect the requests of the Millennial market.
February 03, 2016
The two twelve-by-sixteen-foot bedrooms, directly above a comparable pair on the first floor, feature a glass transom that follows the pitch of the roof. “The stair and railings were very simple,” Depardon observes. “We added a bit of design, with panels
Skylights needn't be simple overhead daylighting; sometimes they can truly define a room.
February 03, 2016
Modern small space Rhode Island cottage with landscaping and cedar cladding
Surrounded by nature, these cottages are tranquil retreats from the city.
February 03, 2016
The couple kept original touches, including the arch.
Historic archways belie these contemporary homes with physical reminders of each structure's storied past.
February 03, 2016
modern guesthouse in norway with angular facade and cutaway patio with spruce cladding and ikea chair
These houses make room for nature, not the other way around.
February 02, 2016
Modern kitchen with yellow sectioned walls and monochrome appliances
Whether it's a splash of color or bold strokes, this collection of interiors brightens up these homes.
February 02, 2016
Rust-washed concrete wall in Moscow apartment renovation.
This 590-square-foot apartment was stripped down to admit sunlight and dramatically reveal forgotten surfaces.
February 02, 2016
Nendo's collection of objects inspired by Star Wars
In a galaxy not so far away, Japanese studio Nendo has released a versatile collection of objects inspired by classic Star Wars characters.
February 02, 2016
Monti catered to his mother’s love of cooking by giving her ample storage areas along the 70-foot long walnut wall-slash-cabinet. The refrigerator, kitchen items and other goods easily disappear into the wall when not in use. The nonporous, stain-, scratc
Sometimes the earthy colors and vivid grain of a wood like walnut is all you need to make a space.
February 02, 2016
renovated modern home in Austin interior kitchen
From California to Connecticut, these midcentury interiors still shine through thanks to the careful attention of architects and residents alike.
February 02, 2016
Outdoor dining area at a Saigon home.
A city home honors the local culture with communal outdoor space and reclaimed materials.
February 02, 2016