Make the Most of a Small YardYards are a great way to extend your living space and increase the enjoyment of your Maplewood/South Orange home – especially when the weather is nice. However, if you have a small yard, then you may feel like you’re missing out. But don’t be dismayed! There are many ways that you can maximize that outdoor space and turn it into something both functional and beautiful. The trick is to use every inch of your property and try to find ways for the spaces to do double duty. Here are several excellent ideas to help you make the most of your small yard.

Enclose your outdoor space

This may seem counter-intuitive, but hear us out. You can make your small yard feel more functional if you enclose it. By enclosing your space, you make it feel like a cozy and inviting room that encourages guests to linger. You can enclose your space in a variety of ways, from installing a pergola to creating vertical plantings.

Create a focal point

Does your small yard have a beautiful view? Then capitalize on it by arranging your space around it. If your view is less than desirable, fear not. You can create a focal point with a trellis, a fountain, or a unique piece of garden art. Having a focal point helps to anchor your design and draws the eye.

Create a container garden

Do you have the urge to garden, but you have no room for a raised bed? You can achieve the same effect by gardening in containers. Not only can you create beautiful plantings with flowers, but you can also grow vegetables and herbs. Choose containers that complement your garden design, and use a variety of sizes to create visual interest. And the best part is that when you get bored, you can rearrange them to your heart’s content. Just don’t forget to water them!

Use smaller furniture

One way to make your small yard feel even smaller is to use large furniture. Instead, opt for compact pieces like benches and chairs. Choose lighter looking materials such as metal or bamboo that will blend with the environment instead of blocking it. Having smaller furniture also allows you to easily reconfigure it to meet your needs.

Take advantage of vertical space

If you lack horizontal space, then it’s time to think vertical! Vertical gardening not only helps you to create a cozy environment, it drastically increases the amount of space you have for plants. Use trellises to grow vines, or hang planters on walls and fences.

Think cohesively

When designing your outdoor space, choose colors and patterns that complement what you have inside. By making your yard an extension of your home, you make the entire place feel bigger.

Avoid clutter

One big danger when designing your outdoor space is stuffing it too full. Instead, opt for clean lines and a limited variety of plants. Though it may be tempting to buy one of every plant you love, stick to a handful in a restricted color palette.

Encourage portable play

If you don’t have the room for a swing set for the kids, choose portable toys. Select items such as a tent that can be used indoors and out, and will do double duty for imaginative play. And choose outdoor games that can be stored away at the end of the day.

Don’t be afraid to use it

Finally, the best way to make the most of your small yard is to actually use it. The more you use your outdoor space, the more you will understand its features and limitations. Then you can begin to conceive of the best ways to use it and maximize its potential.


The Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group is a top producing real estate team based at Keller Williams MidTown Direct in Maplewood, NJ. We are local market experts, specializing in real estate and homes in Maplewood, South Orange, Millburn/Short Hills and West Orange, NJ and the surrounding towns. We are driven by earning great testimonials and referral business from happy clients. You can read our testimonials at