Whether you have a sprawling lawn or a small backyard, getting outside is key to enjoying warmer weather in the privacy of your own home. No matter how tiny your space, you can still enjoy a beautiful garden, seating area, and even a campfire — we swear!
These 15 small backyard ideas will help you make the most of your every inch of verdant space.
1. Create privacy
Chances are, your small backyard butts up to your neighbor's small backyard. Create privacy and avoid awkward run-ins by attaching bamboo fencing to your deck or existing iron or chain-link fence. You can also hang outdoor curtains or install a gazebo canopy with enclosed mesh sides.
2. Opt for a bistro set
You can still enjoy a meal outdoors, even if you don't have space for a full dining set. Instead, opt for a bistro table and chairs that matches your personal style. Go for powder-coated metal for a retro vibe, enhance your boho aesthetic with wicker and rattan, or create a country feel with wooden porch rockers. All that's missing is homemade lemonade.
3. Add a sunning pool
Inflatable pools aren't just for kids! Blow up a small sunning pool to cool off and relax on a hot day. Have fun with it, and choose a colorful style that makes a splash. Looking for something more permanent? Make your own stock tank pool for under $500.
4. Light a fire
You don't need a fancy permanent installation to enjoy a backyard fire. There are a ton of affordable fire pits on the market at every size. No yard at all? You can enjoy a portable, tabletop fire from City Bonfires on your deck or patio.
- See also: How to build a fire pit
5. Create a vertical garden
No room for garden beds? No problem! Create a vertical wall garden by mounting planters to your fence or patio. Or, choose a vertical planter with a built-in drip irrigation kit. If you need to move your plants with the sun, select a planter and trellis on wheels so your green babies can enjoy peak light.
6. Hang your furniture
Have a covered porch? Maximize floor space by hanging a comfy swing chair or bench. Complete the look by hanging plants from macramé plant hangers, and add faux fur toss pillows for a boho vibe.
7. Downsize your grill
Nothing says summer like throwing a few hot dogs on the grill. And a small backyard doesn't have to keep you from that quintessential experience! Opt for a petite gas grill with folding arms and wheels for easy storage. If you're really hurting for space, you can also go for a portable tabletop charcoal grill for your balcony or porch.
8. Swing small
Your small backyard may not have room for a large swing set, but that doesn't mean your tot can't enjoy a jungle gym of his own! Try a freestanding swing or a classic Little Tikes toddler swing you can hang from a sturdy tree branch or mount under
9. Hang all the lights
One big benefit to a small space is you can make a strong impact with cafe lights by stringing them across your whole space. The more the merrier to create the feel of a charming, Brooklyn cocktail bar. Nothing to hang lights from? No problem — install handy string light posts to your table with a simple clamp.
10. Invest in folding furniture
Folding furniture is a great way to enjoy a meal outside without taking up precious real estate when it's time to play. Look for a set that tucks within itself for easy storage, or consider a balcony dining set for your back porch.
- Keep reading: 26 patio ideas --how to design a patio large or small
11. Add a rug to your driveway
If you don't have a patio, throw an outdoor rug down on the back of your driveway to designate an outdoor dining area. It offers a nice spot to eat without bugs, and you'll save precious grassy space for playing or gardening.
12. Create a bar on wheels
You don't need a fancy outdoor kitchen or bar to enjoy a boozy afternoon outdoors. Opt for a cooler on wheels (like this retro pink style) or make your own. Any type of vessel that can hold ice — a bird bath, planter, kiddie pool, or beach pale — can become an instant cooler.
13. Opt for a container garden
Garden beds take up a lot of room and require expensive installation (or very handy DIY skills). A container garden is a great way to enjoy fresh flowers and vegetables in the warmer months. Choose large pots, or go for a raised bed that can fit on your patio. The best part? No weeding!
14. Create a fairy garden
Even the smallest of yards is big to a fairy. Create your own charming fairy garden with gathered items like moss, stones, and pieces of wood. Or, purchase a handmade kit to add characters straight out of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
15. Put down a path
Add some hardscaping to your small backyard without the investment by putting down a removable roll-out pathway. The path will add style points but also has practical benefits — like reducing the amount of mud tracked into your house.