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6 ideas to big up your small outdoor space

Image of the small balcony of @tanjasovulj

6 ideas to big up your small outdoor space

Who said a small outdoor space can’t be beautiful? It’s time to celebrate bijou balconies, tiny terraces and pint-sized patios by learning to make the most of them. So, if you’re short on square footage outside, read on!

1. Add shelves

Install floating shelves and hooks to keep your outdoor space clutter-free. Alternatively, maximise the height of your space with a shelving unit. Upcycle one from indoors with a lick of paint – just make sure you use an exterior paint. A great example is this balcony (below) belonging to Karola Smyk (@smyk_w_kuchni_blog). What Karola lacks in space, she more than makes up for in style. She’s even managed to squeeze in a shelving unit, which allows her to pack more plants and candles into her tiny chill-out space.

2. Save space

If you want to make the most of your space, choose outdoor furniture that folds or stacks. Alternatively, if you prefer something a little more permanent, look for pieces with compact proportions. Tanja Sovulj (@tanjasovulj) chose a fold-down snack table for her balcony (below). And it offers the perfect perch for a morning coffee with a view. Design note: Tanja has secured her table to the wall but if this isn’t possible, look for a design that simply hooks onto your balcony balustrade.

3. Consider corner seating

Maximise every square inch of a small garden with corner seating. You could go one step further and shop for a design with practical storage space under the seat. When space is at a premium, multi-tasking furniture is well worth investing in. For a masterclass in creating the perfect lounging spot, look no further than Hannah’s garden (@homemade_hannah), below.

4. Look up

A green wall is a brilliant way to pack a punch in a small outside space. The simplest way to achieve this is to plant quick-growing climbers into the ground or containers at the base of a wall. Some are self-climbing while others need the support of a trellis or wire, so do your homework before you commit to a look. As an alternative, wall-mounted planter boxes or a pocket planting bag will do the trick without blowing your budget. If you have more cash to splash, a living-wall system with a built-in irrigation system that’s professionally installed is an option – either inside or out.

For inspiration, take a look at this super-cute courtyard (below), designed by London-based architectural interior design studio Gordon-Duff & Linton for the Leo Bancroft Salon in Weybridge.

5. Go potty

Flower beds aren’t the only way to add personality to a small outside space. You can create dimension and texture with a carefully curated assortment of planters of different materials and sizes. If you want your container garden to look good all year round, make sure you include some evergreen plants.

To say that Bernd of @munichjungle (below) has a passion for plants is an understatement! Every inch of his apartment – including the balcony – hosts a pot or planter, creating a jungle retreat.

6. Hang a mirror

Want to make your small garden feel more spacious? Hang a mirror to increase the sense of space, as well as bounce light into shady spots. Just be careful where you place your mirror; it’s important that it reflects something worth looking at – you don’t want to see two sets of bins! And remember, a regular mirror won’t fare as well in the wind and rain as a weatherproof outdoor mirror. Design note: avoid placing your mirror in direct sunlight for long periods of time. You’ll create glare and the glass could eventually crack.

Pretty up a plain garden fence in the style of Hayley Stuart (@iamhayleystuart) and hang a statement mirror (below). Reminiscent of a church window, the mirror adds a dramatic note to Hayley’s outdoor living space.

Featured image: This enviable outdoor room with dining and living space was created by Dee Campling.

Want more? If you love nothing better than to bring the outside in, then don’t miss celebrated luxury florist Nikki Tibbles’s top tips for creating the perfect bouquet.