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How to Make The Most of a Small Outdoor Space

January 30, 2014
How to Make The Most of a Small Outdoor Space

Making the most of small outdoor spaces need not be an art form – more often than not it can be achieved with just some careful planning and a few tried, tested and true outdoor design tricks. Not all of us can enjoy the wide open spaces so often associated with Australia. On the contrary, most of us now live in the major cities and regional towns where space is an increasingly rare commodity.

So how do you make the most of small outdoor spaces?

Know Why You Want It

It may seem obvious, but being crystal clear on why you want your small space, or what you want from it, then informs all the remaining decisions you make. Do you want to eat outdoors? No – you just want to enjoy the occasional aperitif. Well that takes away the need for a large table. But you do want to read outside? in which case you need a chair that will be comfortable enough and in the right position to really make the most of this past time. Think about how you need the small space to serve you.

The View

A view outdoors is a little like a mirror indoors – it helps create an illusion that the immediate environment is bigger than it probably really is. Look at which vantage points provide the most expansive views and orientate your furniture to maximise this.

Less is More

When it comes to small spaces, less items equals more outdoor space. Keep everything to a minimum and avoid clutter; the natural enemy to any small outdoor space! This goes back to our first suggestion of really knowing why you want from your space and what you want it to be. What outdoor furniture items will help you achieve this, and what outdoor furniture is not really essentially, and will probably just make your outdoor space look cluttered? Prioritise, be selective and stick to your original plans – don’t over-indulge a small space as it will just end up looking confused, claustrophobic or chaotic.

Multi-Function Outdoor Furniture

Rather than buy multiple pieces of outdoor furniture, look for items that can provide multiple purposes so that you reduce the overall furniture footprint in your small space. For example, a table with drawers could be just the ticket to save you space and give you the surface top you need, as well as some storage solutions. In addition, consider outdoor furniture that can be neatly and easily stowed away, such as folding tables and stacking chairs.


orange folding chair

Folding outdoor chairs by Classic With A Twist


folding outdoor table

Folding Table by Cotswold Furniture

Create ‘Stages’

By creating different levels, platforms or layers in a small space, you can trick the eye into thinking the space appears larger than it really is.

Go Up

Why go across a small space if you can go up? Nowhere is this better demonstrated than with a vertical garden. This can not only provide an incredible aspect to a small space, but it frees up significant amounts of terra firma that can be used for other purposes.

Creature Comforts

Just because your space is small doesn't mean you can’t indulge in some gorgeous creature comforts. Soft cushioning, a special throw, a stunning hanging light – these are all accessories that won’t demand a huge amount of space, but will offer instant warmth and welcome to any area.


outdoor bed

Seawash Rattan Daybed by Rustique