Article by Naomi Webb
Not all of us are blessed with long lush lawns and huge gardens. Some of us have to settle for the sort of outdoor space that isn’t likely to be associated with the words ‘landscape gardening’, ‘water feature’ or ‘big shed’ any time soon. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy being outside. Having a small space just means that you need to be smart with how you use it.
Here are five ways to make best use of what you’ve got…
You can still use your space to sit outside but you need to be careful not to fill the little area you have got with a whopping great table and chairs. Those smart space-saving Scandinavians over at Ikea have come up with some folding furniture solutions that would help you to be able to stick the table and chairs to one side when you’re not using them.
Plants and flowers aren’t just the preserve of people with huge beds to fill up alongside their perfectly mowed laws. By hanging baskets along the fence or walls that surround your outdoor area you won’t be eating up valuable floor space, but you’ll still be able to add a splash of colour and grow some of nature’s wonders. This piece by House To Home offers some advice on which flowers will flourish in hanging baskets.
If there’s no room for the sort of decking or paved area that many like to have in their gardens, then why not consider a neat alternative? It’s possible to upgrade a roof window and transform it into an outdoor space. Have a look at this Velux cabrio balcony from Ken’s Yard, for example. This sort of addition to your room would buy you extra outdoor space and could maybe free up the small outdoor space you have on ground level for something else.
Which direction does our house face? Chances are if you’ve got a north facing outdoor space then you’ll struggle to get much light. Equally, if you’re facing east then the late night summer sunshine won’t illuminate your area. That might well mean you need to invest in some outdoor lights. There are plenty of options of solar and LED lights that can become a smart feature of your outdoor space and ensure you’re not in the dark. If you’re in the opposite position – and benefit from lots of natural light – then make sure you do nothing to block this and arrange your furniture to capitalize.
Don’t overload, be creative
Don’t try to do too much with your outdoor space. If it becomes a cluttered mess, then you’re less likely to want to go out and relax in this area. Focus on one or two uses and keep it as clear as you can. Treat it as a challenge to come up with creative alternatives to the sort of things people with large garden areas have. This post from Country Living should provide some inspiration for things you can do.