Making a Small Yard Look Bigger

Making a small yard look bigger seems impossible at first. And while we agree that it can be challenging, it’s not impossible. You can make your small yard look bigger if you follow at least some of the tips mentioned below. Bear in mind, not all of you will be able to put all of these in practice. In some cases, it’s because of the location, in others, well, you will see for yourself below.



Lighting can be a very powerful tool, but only if used properly. You can make tall rooms look lower, you can make small rooms look more spacious, and you can also make narrow paths look slightly wider. Luckily, you can also use lighting outside!

If you position it properly, at the right place, at the right angle, your yard will look bigger, at the cost of a few outdoor lamps or bulbs.

Put some lights upwards, and see the magic happen. It will feel as if you have much more space. If you have hanging trees, put the lights away from them. Things like this can be the difference between a successful and a failed attempt. This is why it’s important to look for advice online.  A good source for this purpose, among others, is Top Yard Design.

Clean Pathways

The whole idea of a pathway is to create a destination. Ideally, you want the pathways to be curved, to create the illusion that they are longer. Moreover, don’t put any pots on the pathway itself. This is why the headline is “clean pathways”. If, say, it was a big yard you’re having, it would be nice to have some decorations along the way.

A cool trick you can pull of, make sure that the pathway has long tiles that are parallel to the direction of the pathway.


Create Several Levels

If you can’t go wide, go up. Even if the levels are not too high, meaning they don’t stand out, they make it seem as if you have much more real estate. Leveling a yard can be extremely time consuming, and resource demanding. This mostly applies to big yards.

Leveling a small yard is much easier, and in our experience, much more enjoyable. When creating levels, make sure you plan it out well. Any change made is somewhat permanent, because it takes a lot of time and effort to undo.

These mini lawns, or mini platforms for your flowerpots will make a huge difference. Moreover, when you put some extra lighting there, it will look much more spacious.

Vertical Garden

Creating levels and creating a vertical garden are two different things. You don’t need to make a garden out of your levels. If you do, you can go to the extreme. Since it’s a vertical garden, it won’t take much space, yet it can look abundant. Nevertheless, even in this case you should be careful with the type of flowers or plants you use. We’re going to mention a few types of plants that are recommended.

The best part about vertical gardens is that they can be so diverse. The only limit is your imagination and creativity. And that’s not all! You can create one yourself, without any special expertise or tools. If you previously had ideas of what flowers you wanted to have in your yard, yet you couldn’t because of lack of space, this will fix that! Lastly, it doesn’t cost a fortune.

Tropical Plants with Big Leaves


We made it clear earlier that positioning is everything when it comes to creating this illusion of a small yard appearing bigger. If you, for example, would to put plants with big leaves in your small yard, you would be making a mistake.

However, if you put these tropical plants at the entry of your small yard, things take a different turn. For example, put these at the start of the curved clean pathways we mentioned earlier. You will multiply the effect!

Here are a few plants that fit the need:

  • Hostas
  • Elephant’s Ears
  • Persian Ivy
  • Canna
  • Alocasia
  • Ligularis

Note, because this is an important element of the “illusion”, you have to make sure the leaves are clean and in top shape. You don’t want the first impression to be poor.

Create “Mini-areas”

Remember how we said not all of these tips can be applied at the same time? Well, here’s one that fits long narrow yards. If you cannot “create a destination”, rather the destination is the first thing people see, you clearly cannot create mini areas.

For example, a mini area can be defined with a small fountain, an eye-catching plant with some light falling on it, a decoration such as a bird house, or you can make a garden cart axle out of wood. As long as people can clearly identify the place, you’ve done a good job.

Again, if you don’t have the means to do this, or if you have doubts about it, don’t do it. There is an alternative which fits your case much better. Just read on.

Remove Unnecessary Items

This is a no brainer, yet people seem to ignore it. The last thing you want in this situation is to have a crammed yard. Less is more, and you should really be careful with what items you have in your small yard.

You should dispose of items which:

  • you’re not using
  • haven’t used in a long time
  • which are just in the way
 ones that are decorations that go against the tips outlined here.

Remove Fences If Possible

Fences put a line where the yard ends. Now, the whole idea of all of these methods is to push or eliminate this. Ideally, remove it in your eyes, and the people that are going to visit. Fences are your worst enemy in this case. If you happen to live in a state where fences are not required, get rid of them. Your yard will blend in perfectly with the surroundings.

Of course, you cannot remove the fence adjacent of your house, but getting that extra few feet of yard out of the existing fence in the front and backyard can make a huge difference!

Less is More – One GOOD Area

There are small yards that you can’t do much with to make them look bigger. In this case, you should aim for at least one good area. Ideally, it will be the area where you spend time with your friends and family, such as the BBQ or the patio areas. Even if you have a small pool, a hot tub, it can all fit nicely, with a bit of fine tuning.

Even if you can make only one “spacious” area in your small yard, you can do so applying most of the approaches above, excluding any that simply require more space.

Making a Small Yard Look Bigger
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Tina Martino

My passion is gardening. Along with my husband and children, each year we grow a garden large enough to provide our family of five with over half of our needed produce. Besides vegetables and a small berry patch, I also focus my attention on beautifying our home with strategically placed flowers, herbs, and flowering plants. Gardening is more than just a hobby; it is a way of life.

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