6 Ways to Upgrade Your (tiny) Yard
Outdoor space is at a premium for most Philadelphians. Unlike the rolling green yards of the Main Line (and their tremendous upkeep), city properties can expect between 300 and 1000 square feet of yard or roof deck space, so its important to make choices that maximize what you’ve got. Here are our tips on making your outdoor space feel grand and luxurious.
DEFINE YOUR STYLE
Your outdoor space should complement your indoor style, merging the two helps the transition between them and create a cohesive look and feel throughout your living spaces. Choose a style that best fits your lifestyle as well as your aesthetic – hosting guests in a minimalist space is a different experience than hosting them in a formal garden or boho retreat. Every style has room for your own special touch, but keep in mind while planning that some of these styles – like the English Formal – can require much more maintenance than others to keep them looking their best.
STARTING FROM THE GROUND UP
Many of the backyards found in Philadelphia are already covered in poured concrete, but just because you can’t plant grass doesn’t mean you’re stuck with bland gray floors! From stenciled and pained concrete (don’t forget the sealant!), to better-than-your-grandma’s fake grass – there are lots of options for transforming the ground space of your yard. If you’re willing to put in the effort to tear it out – or if you’re lucky enough to start with dirt – your options are even greater. Low maintenance options like paver and river rock designs are fantastic, or consider using different materials to set spaces apart – pavers or concrete leading to a raised deck for dining can be visually compelling and give the illusion of a much bigger space. Creating a deck over a concrete base is easier than ever these days. Interlocking square wood tiles are available at many home improvement stores and online, along with footers to ensure water drains correctly from your brand new deck.
STEP INTO WONDERLAND
Unless you’d like to buy your neighbor’s house just for their backyard space (which, hey, we totally support), the only way to make more space is to get creative. We know you’ve heard it for small indoor spaces, but mirrors can give the same illusion outside – doubling the perceived depth of your space.
Adding vertical visual interest means eyes are drawn up – and with the right choices, they can even add to the privacy you enjoy in your outdoor oasis. Adding height adds to the perceived square footage of your space, creating the feeling you’ve got lots of room to move. Build a garden wall and plant fast growing bamboo or use the extra height to set your container plantings apart.
Got the room in your budget for a little construction? Consider adding a deck off the 2nd level of your home. We love the mix of wood and glass on the railings of this one, the wood provides privacy while the glass creates a cohesive feeling with the rest of the space.
ITS EASY BEING GREEN
Most urban backyards have wooden or metal fence surrounds. Why not take advantage of that space with a vertical garden? Use edible plants, herbs, and container-friendly veggies to add freshness as well as color, or perennials and greenery to create stunning visuals. There are so many ways to incorporate this idea – something for every style.
SIT, SIP, EAT
With small spaces, its vital to get creative when considering entertaining options. Murphy options and folding tables are more stylish than ever before, giving you the opportunity to hide unused furniture. Consider creating built-in seating options with storage to really maximize space. You’ll be hosting dinner parties for eight and still have room for dancing.
We hope we’ve given you lots of inspiration for your own outdoor space. Share it with us on social media with the hashtag #PhillyLovesCCL and let us see what you’ve created!