Efficient Tiny Backyard

A backyard is an important place for a family as it allows children to play, gathering friends, as a private retreat for family entertainment, relax and dine outside. A typical backyard space consists of a patio area, fireplace, outdoor furniture, outdoor kitchen, footpaths, decking, pergola, and a lush greenery. A backyard is more than a garden, it offers all kinds of potentials to expand the usable space of the home and increase the value of the home property. The exterior of a home can be upgraded to enhance the appearance of a property while increasing its functional and attractive entertaining space. As an investment, it provides recreational benefits to homeowners.

Contemporary backyards are getting smaller compared to the past outdoor living environments. However, due to the high population density and land scarcity in urban areas, a large backyard is critical for a family, and as a result, city dwellers tend to focus on enlarging their homes rather than making large outdoor spaces for relaxation. Nowadays people tend to spend more time indoors focusing on more comfortable homes and indoor living spaces. Therefore, contemporary backyard spaces are designed to meet the specific needs of small homeowners. Tiny backyards are also very important as they can add a great value to the home as they can be efficient and less troublesome compared to larger backyards that require continuous care and maintenance at a high cost.

The size of the backyard does not apply to a cozy, relaxing feeling in the space. A small patio with comfy furniture, a fire pit, a grill, and greenery can transform a small backyard space into a luxury oasis by increasing its functional values. The monotony of a tiny backyard can break with the use of multi-level terraces and can introduce them for different purposes such as butterfly gardens, edible gardens with fruits, vegetables, or culinary plants. Lush foliage and flowers can add beauty to the environment and create a visually appealing, soothing backyard space to take the full benefit of the time spend outdoors.

The tranquility of a tiny backyard can be enhanced with a gentle water-flowing feature and it can evoke a sense of peace and well-being of homeowners. To provide a safe play area for children, a swing or a trampoline, or a simple sandbox can be easily installed in a small backyard, and it saves time which spend to go to the playground. A fireplace can extend the outdoor living hours in the backyard while providing a cozy gathering space to enjoy the sunset and the night ambiance. Exterior lighting in the patio and landscape area can add an attractive, refreshing mood for night functions in a safe environment. A fence is important for keeping privacy and defining property boundaries. Therefore, a vegetative hedge or climbing vines can be used as an alternative material for the visual or noise barrier to enhance the aesthetic value and biodiversity of the backyard.

An outdoor space may not be memorable and attractive in terms of its square footage, but a simple and meaningful design can be emerged by the quality of the design spaces and features. Those qualities may vary according to the preferences and priorities of the designer and the client. But the design spaces must be innovatively harmonized with its context, sunlight, breeze, nature colors, and views of the surrounding environment. Then, regardless of the plot size, it is possible to have an efficient backyard space that has a strong connection with its context.

By Malithi Ranatunga

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