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The "How to" of Small Garden Design

Just because you have a small outdoor space doesn’t mean that you need to be limited on design options. In fact, smaller gardens have plenty of advantages because you can really be creative without spending too much money or putting your space at risk of appearing overly cluttered. From furniture to plants and colour schemes, this is our rundown of the very best ways to design for small outdoor space…

Make it Liveable

Many people mistake the mistake of compromising on the social aspect with small garden design. But you want your space to feel welcoming and be able to enjoy spending time in it regardless of the size. To this end, create a dedicated space for alfresco dining and drinks which will have the effect of making the garden appear bigger.

There are plenty of small-space-friendly furniture solutions – a folding dining table works great for very small spaces as you can pop it away when it’s not needed. You can also stack up furniture for the same effect. If you’re looking to use the area less for dining and more for casual drinks, a round bar table will also fit seamlessly into a small space.

Add Colour

Whether it’s with your plants or your furniture, adding splashes of colour will make all the difference with your small garden design. Colour adds interest and draws the eye to different parts of the garden for a lively atmosphere. Colourful accessories such as cushions or garden furniture with a jazzy pattern also have the same effect.

We love this retro bar set with colourful chairs which works beautifully within a small garden design thanks to the colours and the flexibility to line the furniture up against a wall for a neat, space-saving aesthetic. This is also a good way to make the most of a sociable space by keeping furnishings and large plants at the edge of the garden, leaving the central area free for socialising.

This retro cross-back 4-chair set is a great alternative with chairs in yellow, green, pink, blue or white to suit your chosen colour scheme. It’s also a great way to enjoy plentiful seating solutions with maximum comfort and without taking up lots of space. To make even more of your small garden design, mix up furnishings in bright and contrasting colours.

Balance out the Colours

While we recommend adding a mix of colour to your garden furniture, we’d advise the opposite when it comes to plants and flowers. Too much colour in the decorative aspect can be overwhelming within a small space so choose one key colour and mix up the tones, e.g. cooler and warmer shades of blue. This will avoid making the garden feel too busy or oppressive.

Small Garden Design on a Budget

A busy design is a great opportunity to show off your creativity with a unique effect across smaller spaces. Vertical shelving is one popular option where you can decorate with potted plants and fun accessories across a trellis or ladder. Mix up plants with different heights to create the illusion of space and maximise interest - think climbers beside low-lying colourful flowers,  busy shrubs and evergreen trees.

Break up the Landscape

We’ve already touched upon the importance of creating different areas of interest in your small outdoor space. Utilise the principles of Feng Shui and add a water feature, line a bench up against the wall for a comfortable multi-use space, create a dedicated dining space or add a hammock for a relaxing, chill-out area. Making the most of the many different uses that your garden can offer will really make the most of the area available. If you can, add a pathway through the middle of the garden with details such as crazy paving to add interest and maximise your space.

Lutyens Bench

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to design for small outdoor space. It’s just about using your imagination and knowing your options!


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