I always advise to consider your outdoor area an extension of your indoor decor. You can bring some of the same motifs and colors that you feature indoors and really make it cozy. Read on for some tips on how to do so!
Plants and flowers are a great starting point. Furniture is another great way to make your outdoor space cozy. A lot of the patio furniture on the market today looks similar to indoor furniture. Even better, it’s made of cast aluminum which means it last longer.
Wall gardens are also a very popular way to add life to your space while also providing a pleasant fragrance to smaller areas.
Don’t try to cram every idea you’ve seen into a small garden, begin by installing necessary hardscape elements such as walks, walls, driveways, and patios. They define areas and set the tone for the garden.
Contrary to what you may think, dinky decks and cramped patios make tight spaces seem even smaller. So don’t be afraid to maximize the space with stonework or decking..
Many neighborhoods have sidewalks that cross the homeowners’ yards, leaving a rectangle of lawn between the sidewalk and the street. With a narrow lot, get the most from the space by including that rectangle in the landscape.
For example, start a groundcover like phlox or juniper on the side of the sidewalk that’s nearest the house, and plant more of the groundcover in the space between the sidewalk and the street. If you are using a short retention wall or decorative border around the landscaping, extend the retaining wall all the way to the sidewalk, and then continue the wall all the way to the street.
Use attractive materials such as brick, flagstones or pavers for the paths. Use hardscape elements like stone walls to add visual interest to the yard, but avoid using more than two materials of different textures when designing hardscapes. In addition to planning for pathways, keep stairways nice and roomy.
Vertical elements like trees and tall shrubs help to tie the house to the landscape and anchor a tall house to the ground. Plant trees or shrubs near the house, leaving plenty of room for airflow and drainage. Also, plant trees near the sidewalk or the fence, using straight instead of curved lines, to create a vertical canopy.
Think of the narrow lot landscape as a set of rooms, each with its own purpose. Areas designed for a specific purpose are more likely to be used. In most cases, locating seating areas away from the house to make the lot look longer. Surround the seating area with planter boxes to separate it from the rest of the yard.
Leave another part of the lawn for the kids, and obscure the view slightly with some dwarf trees or tall perennials. The yard will look larger if no one can see easily into every room.
With narrow lots, the side yard between the house proper and the neighbor’s house (or fence) becomes a landing pad for trash cans, garden tools and bags of potting soil. Instead, transform the side yard into a purposeful pathway. Use stone, bricks, pavers or even just gravel to create a path between the front and back yards. Along the path, plant climbing vines, hedges or beds of hostas. Add uplighting for a more dramatic look, and tuck in a small fountain or birdbath.
Want to maximize your outdoor space, but looking for help? Contact one of our Winterberry Designers to get started!
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