Friday, August 6, 2010

Patio Ideas For Small Backyards

Using more delicate patio furniture in a small yard helps the space feel larger.

Many homeowners become frustrated when trying to landscape a small backyard because there does not seem to be enough space to make many improvements. However, you can use the limited space available to add an embellishment like a patio if you think creatively. If you are planning to build a patio in your small backyard, there may be some challenges, but there are several ways to maximize the space so the patio does not feel cramped and you are still able to enjoy the rest of your yard. Does this Spark an idea?

Choose a Single Material

In a larger yard, homeowners often choose to combine several different paving materials to give their patio a unique pattern. However, in a smaller space, using several types of stones, tiles or other materials can overpower your patio and give it a busy, chaotic look. Instead, select one material and use varying sizes of the stone or tile to create a distinctive pattern. In general, lighter colored stone and paving materials work best for a smaller patio because they help give the illusion of a larger space. Concrete is often an ideal option for patios because it is highly durable, low maintenance and budget-friendly. It can also be dyed many decorative colors, including light shades like beige and tan, and may be stamped with patterns that mimic the look of more costly paving materials, such as slate, brick, flagstone or tile.

Add a Wall

When building a patio in a small yard, it often helps to mark off the area to make it feel like a distinct space. One way to mark the area is to create a low perimeter wall around the patio. This separates the patio from the rest of your yard and helps it have a more defined feel. The wall can be used to house potted plants to add color and greenery to the patio or to serve as additional seating when you have friends and family over for a barbecue. However, be careful not to build the wall too high. Even going as high as waist level will completely box in the patio and make it feel smaller than it actually is.

Select the Right Furniture

With a patio in a smaller yard, choosing the right furniture is essential. Large, bulky furniture can overpower the space and make it feel even smaller. Opt for furniture that features clean, sleek lines. Cast aluminum and wrought iron furniture often work well on smaller patios because they usually have an open structure that can help make the patio feel larger. In addition, do not overload the patio with many pieces of furniture. A couple of chairs or a love seat should provide plenty of seating for a smaller patio. Forgo a traditional patio table with an umbrella and several chairs and opt for a bistro-style table that has a more delicate feel.

Keep Accessories Simple

As with furniture, adding too many accessories to a patio in a small yard diminishes the open space and makes the area feel smaller. Keep your accessories simple; focus on one or two main decorations and leave the rest of the patio bare. A couple of potted plants or trees that grow vertically can add color and interest to the corners of your patio without taking up too much space. You can also install a trellis against your home so decorative vines can grow vertically and provide additional color. A small fountain or water feature can be added to your patio for heightened drama and soothing sounds as well.

Tags: make feel, paving materials, small yard, your patio, because they, feel larger, feel smaller