Planning the design of a small garden may seem like a challenge but it can actually be quite a straightforward and enjoyable experience. With limited space comes a good balance between restriction and choice, which prevents the process becoming overwhelming. As long as you take into account a few basic principles, you can have a small garden to be envious of.
First of all, decide on the main function of the space. Is it your dream to relax and read a book in peace or do you want to entertain and dine in your outdoor space? If so, the furniture may be the dominant feature. You may even enjoy gardening and want the plants to be the main attraction.
Once you’ve made these decisions, which come down to personal preference, focus on keeping the space as simple and cohesive as possible. Too many styles or materials will create a sense of chaos in a small garden so keep it simple and unified.
If you plan on spending most of your time socialising or relaxing, furniture will be a major feature. You could try buying the furniture first and planning the rest of the garden to harmonise with it or vice versa. Either way, try to buy furniture in materials that complement the rest of the space. For instance, if you want a natural look go for wood or rattan. For a more contemporary look, try glass or metal and stick with this for the rest of the hard landscaping.
Make sure the dining area is close to the kitchen and isn’t cluttered so that guests can easily move around. If you’re planning to relax in your garden, go for comfort with cushioned seats, rather than a dining table and chairs. Furniture can even be built into existing features to make the most of the available space.
Privacy and shelter are also vital in a small garden and if contrasted with even a limited area of open space, can create an added dimension. Shade and shelter are particularly important if entertaining and dining outdoors is your priority. Pergolas, trees or canopies provide added interest as well as being functional.
Don’t be afraid to use a striking feature to provide a focal point in your small garden, such as a piece of sculpture or an architectural plant. Water features or mirrors also add a sense of space with reflective light. If placed near the seating area, a water feature could even double as drinks chillier!
A clever use of lighting can create an illusion of space for evening entertaining or can enhance the intimate atmosphere of a small garden. Either way, it is a vital component for evening dining.
As long as you have a clear vision which is simple, functional and cohesive, you can be the proud owner of a beautiful haven that requires minimal maintenance and expense as an added bonus.