Ideas + Advice


Small Backyard Ideas on a Budget

Style your small backyard, without going over budget, with these affordable decorating tips.

Go Vertical

When a small backyard space doesn't provide you with a whole lot of decorating freedom, look to the sky as your limit – literally. Tall outdoor pieces that branch out, such as outdoor umbrellas, will add height and keep the point of focus upward.

Get Cozy

Play to the cozy effect of a small backyard by grouping lounge furniture in small circles; the tighter the circle, the cozier the feel, making it easier for guests to relax and engage in conversation.

Throw in Style

Lightweight, colorful and super-cozy, throw pillows are one of the easiest ways to refresh your space – both indoors and outdoors.

Layer it Up

Instead of choosing one bulky piece of furniture or decor that will use up most of your backyard, opt for several, smaller pieces to serve the same function – and that can be easily arranged and rearranged where it makes the most sense for your space. You can even layer an outdoor rug under your furniture to help create a visual point of focus – and designate one area of your backyard from another.

Protect Your Furniture

You can take painstaking measures to make sure that you arrange your outdoor furniture so that it helps to open up your space and bring out your style – but none of that will matter if your furniture gets damaged at the first sign of rain. To help keep your outdoor furniture protected for as long as possible, look for pieces designed for outdoor use and made with durable materials such as weather-resistant wood and metal. Also consider durable furniture covers; in the long run, the more preventative measures you take now can save you the time, effort and money it takes to replace worn or damaged pieces down the road.

Contrast Colors

Keep a sleek, defined look that ‘pops’ with contrasting colors. Dark framework contrasted with light-colored cushions (as shown above) creates a clean aesthetic in a small backyard nook.

Get Creative in Corners

Even the smallest backyards tend to have more space than one might think. Often, awkward corners or hard-to-access pathways go overlooked. Instead of keeping them ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ call them out! Train the eye to look beyond the ‘usual’ limits of your backyard; place an attention-grabbing piece that draws the eye past the space immediately before it!

Get Multifunctional

Look for pieces that work double-duty for storage. A table with a hidden compartment like the one shown to the left makes it easy to stash tabletop accessories – and hide them away when you need to clear the tabletop in a jiffy.

Make ‘Awkward Spaces’ Work for You

Instead of avoiding awkward spaces, play to their unusual shapes. Here, a long rectangular table fits satisfyingly inside a long rectangular walkway – the perfect ‘puzzle piece’ in an otherwise awkward space.

Play Up the Greenery

In case you forgot: your outdoor space is outdoors! To play up the beauty of al fresco, accessorize with terracotta planters filled with fresh plants, and position your patio dining set so that it complements (instead of competes with) the natural scenery.


In small spaces, it’s the little things that make a big difference. Experiment with smaller accent pieces like the playful stools pictured above for an unexpected, lively twist to backyard decor.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.