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Wallet-Friendly Ideas for a Cosy Small Backyard

by lillian connors (follow)
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A beautiful pergola covered in vines, a small bistro set, a glass of wine on the table and a copper period-inspired chandelier above. It seems like you are in the middle of a fairy tale garden. However, you are not dreaming. You are sitting in your cosy, small backyard, ready to enjoy the silence after a long day at work.

Pathway as the Focal Point
Small backyards should have strong focal points, giving the eye something to land on. Otherwise, the moment one scans the garden, they realize how small it is. Lines define edges, making pathways perfect attention-getters. Also, if you plan to divide the garden into different areas, create a pathway for each one. Choose diagonal walkways to visually elongate the tiny space.

For example, mulch and gravel paths are affordable, easy to install and ideal for meandering paths. Lay out the landscape fabric on the ground, install the plastic, aluminium or steel edging and spread the gravel or mulch. Stepping stones are another amazing idea. You can go with 5 cm thick flat stones or concrete patio blocks. Finally, you can grow plants around stepping stones to achieve a more natural look.

Choose Furniture Wisely
Small-scale furniture makes a tight place roomier. Consider a vintage bistro set you can locate in a garden corner, or on a tiny patio. Retro furniture is generally more compact than the regular one. If you have a wall in the garden, you could attach a bench to it. Additionally, nested and narrow coffee tables can also be space-savers. If you are one of those passionate do-it-yourselfers, you can make a pallet table with a hole in the centre, where you can plant your favourite flowers.

The Power of Vertical Gardens
Vertical gardens are one of the best options for mini backyards. Firstly, they create the illusion of a more spacious area. Secondly, they are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Whether you opt for a vertical garden made of recycled pallets or you want to buy a vertical garden kit, all you need are planters and pots. For an edible garden, stack crates and reinforce them with wood planks.

Fire Feature
Even a small patio can lend itself to a beautiful built-in-fire feature. All you need to do is dig a hole in the concrete slab floor of the patio and voila, your fire feature is ready. A tabletop fire bowl is another option. Find a terracotta container you will fill with recycled glass and then, put a sterno fuel can in the centre of the container. If you want to go a step further in enhancing your outdoor decor, you can even choose one of those sleek modern fire pits.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Choosing reflecting surfaces for small spaces is not an indoor-only trick. You can create the illusion of depth by installing them on the patio, or even on the fence. If you can, put two mirrors one opposite the other. Opt for vintage mirrors you can buy for a couple of dollars. However, make sure the frame is weatherproof and that you installed it properly in case of inclement weather.

Colour Palette
Too many prints and colours in the confined space make it look disorganized. To avoid such effect, choose two or three complementary colours. White, grey and pastel colours are especially suitable for outdoor furniture. Accessorise with bald colours, patterns and textures. Make sure you have black items, too. Their function is to clarify other colours. Connect a dining area, a lawn and a planting area with similar shades. Having the pillow matching the planters, for instance, creates cohesion and spaciousness. Vertical stripes on the fence or wall draw the eye up.

You can make even the smallest backyards and patios special with a little bit of decorating tips and tricks. Opt for affordable DIY projects if you are on a tight budget. After all, economizing on things by making them yourself brings greater appreciation for the world around you. At the end of the day, no money compares to the feeling of fulfilment and achievement when you do something yourself.

All images courtesy of flickr.com/creativecommons

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