December 17th, 2018 Outdoor Living

Small Backyard Ideas & Landscaping Designs

By Toll Brothers 3 minute read

Last updated on July 15th, 2020

Outdoor living areas are growing in popularity, but you don’t need a large backyard to create an inviting space. A small yard can be equally as enjoyable, plus it is easier to mow and maintain, less expensive to fence, and more intimate. Focus on the space you do have and apply some of the below landscaping ideas for small backyards.


1. Keep the Design Simple

It is always best to keep your backyard organized and free of clutter. Not only does it make your space feel bigger, it helps the eye from feeling overwhelmed. Make a habit of putting all lawn equipment away and purchase an outdoor storage bin for kids’ toys and other small items.


2. Maintain your Backyard

Remember, everything in a small backyard is easier to see and therefore it is important to keep the lawn well-manicured with regular cuttings. You’ll want to keep weeds under control and properly care for your plants to keep them looking their best.


3. Focal Feature Ideas for Your Backyard

A focal feature helps distract from the size of your space by drawing attention to an interesting area of your yard. Colorful plants can be used to create your focal point, or you can opt for a more functional feature. Some favorites include:

Fire pit

As the weather becomes a little cooler, a fire pit keeps the outdoor fun going and provides a great area for conversation. There are many options when it comes to selecting the perfect fire pit for your yard, from DIY versions to ready-made wood burning, propane, gel fuel, and natural gas pits. Custom fire pits with built-in seating are another option that brings function and style to your backyard.


In addition to adding beauty to your backyard, a pond provides a place of sanctuary where you can go to relax and recharge. It is also a fun project to build yourself. This Old House shares some great tips for planning and building a pond that will bring you years of joy.

Water fountain

A water fountain adds movement, sound, and texture to your backyard, creating a more enjoyable natural environment. It also improves air quality by acting as a humidifier. If you enjoy bird watching, you’ll love the fact that water fountains attract a wide variety of bird species.

Vertical Garden

Vertical planting is a great way to increase the scale of your space, while making your backyard more private. All you need to get started is a blank wall or a bare fence. From there, you can hang planters at different levels to cover all or a portion of the area. Keep in mind that plants in containers require more water and a little more maintenance than typical plantings, but with proper care and some basic vertical garden tips, you can have a lush wall of greenery in no time.

Add a lap pool

If you have a narrow lot, a lap pool is an ideal solution. Not only does it maximize the square footage of your space, it provides a great way to stay in shape. It can be built in the sun or shade and can be turned horizontally or vertically to fit tight spaces. Lighting your lap pool at night highlights its beauty and magically turns your small backyard into an oasis.

Even though your yard may be limited in space, there are unlimited ways to make it cozy, inviting, and unique. In addition to the above tips, a tour around Pinterest is sure to get your creative juices flowing and inspire additional small backyards ideas.

Toll Brothers

written by

Toll Brothers, an award-winning FORTUNE 500 company founded in 1967, is the nation's leading builder of luxury homes. Embracing an unwavering commitment to quality and customer service, Toll Brothers currently builds in 24 states nationwide, and is a publicly owned company with its common stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: TOL). For six years in a row, Toll Brothers has been ranked the #1 Home Builder Worldwide on the FORTUNE Magazine "World's Most Admired Companies®" list.* Toll Brothers also has been honored as national Builder of the Year by BUILDER magazine, and was twice named national Builder of the Year by Professional Builder magazine.

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