Small Garden Design Ideas: Our Top Tips for Designing a Beautiful Small Garden

lady and dog in a very small garden with lots of pot plants

Feeling let down by your small garden? Not to worry. Although it may feel impossible, there are ways to open up your small garden space and transform it into the lavish, relaxation-focused area you need.

Granted, larger spaces do come with higher flexibility in where you place garden furniture, plant flowers, and install seating. That said, smaller spaces can be just as functional if executed correctly.

Whether you’re wondering how to make a small garden look nice, or how to utilise as much space as you can, let’s transform your compact garden with these small garden tips.

How to Design a Small Garden

Take Measurements

Although small gardens are easier to estimate when it comes to planning, there’s nothing better than cold hard facts. The very first step to designing a smaller garden is breaking out that measuring tape and getting some measurements.

Be sure to not only measure your garden’s perimeter, but also consider the space you have above. This matters most in balconies where vertical space can be hindered by those above you but is also worth knowing in case you wish to protect your privacy through any adjoining walls or fences.

State Your Goals

Before we jump into the feature ideas, it helps to make a few observations around your goals. Think about what you want to accomplish with your space. Do you need a functional garden to support your everyday life? Or do you just need somewhere to kickback and relax? Whatever your objectives are, it’s worth bearing these in mind before starting, as this will give you something to work towards.

Choose Flexible Furniture

versa sofa with lounge chairs stored underneath

Versatility is key when working with small spaces.

For this reason, we always recommend buying furniture that is flexible to your demands. Easily folded chairs and tables are perfect for tucking away at the end of the day, giving you the chance to enjoy the rest of the space at your disposal.

Take the Versa Sofa Set (pictured). When needed, you have an additional two chairs at your disposal for when extra guests come over. Then, at a moment’s notice, those two chairs vanish into the back of the two-seater sofa, freeing up space without requiring any storage facilities.

Create Designated Zones

Another key part of small garden design revolves around making the space you have work for your needs. Instead of seeing your garden’s restrictions as limitations, you should consider them as opportunities to create a unique design that harmonises its characteristics. Working within these limits can help you unlock the full potential of your garden and create something truly bespoke.

One great way of doing this is to create distinct zones within your garden to keep certain areas restricted to different activities. Maybe you could plant a few potted flowers in one particular corner, while having your seating area stay on the opposite side of the garden? Even further, you could use these featured to create divided sections within your garden, creating natural paths and walkways to make your space feel much larger.

Play with Lighting

With strategic placement in mind, outdoor lighting can do wonders in making your small garden appear larger. Thanks to the shadows cast off by walls and nearby furniture, outdoor lighting can help develop a sense of depth, creating the illusion of space.

This can be achieved by placing outdoor lights near your walls, tall plants and storage furniture to enable you to highlight elements that are furthest away from the observer, thus creating depth.

Use Vertical Space

If your smaller garden is restricted horizontally (as is usually the case), why not think towards the sky?

Using trailing plants alongside walls and fences, hanging plant baskets on pipes and drains, and keeping your equipment safe by screwing it into walls makes for a much more practical garden. By utilising otherwise wasted space on nearby walls, you can quickly start to emulate some of the functionality of medium-large alternatives.

Embrace Minimalism

Cassis balcony lounge set on a balcony over looking the sea

For balconies, we understand that you may have specific goals or ideas in mind about furniture, plants and flowers. However, it’s crucial to consider how much space you have to avoid overcrowding. This can be done by selecting just the right outdoor elements to create a cozy, inviting space that’s both functional and good looking, all thanks to the modern design trend of minimalism.

Cutting back on your possessions, re-organising your space and only owning the essentials will soon grant you with much more space to relax while also freeing up your brain space. As the saying goes: a clear space means a clear mind. One quick way to embrace the minimalist lifestyle is to think of your outdoor dining needs. Do you need a large table and four chairs if only two of you sit outside regularly? If so, consider swapping to a bistro set like the Cassis duo set (pictured)

Using Stylish Storage

Aluminium sideboard with double doors in the garden

Pictured: Aluminium Sideboard with Double Doors

One of the most challenging parts of having a small garden is finding places to store your tools and miscellaneous items.

Fortunately, garden storage is at the point where it can be used interchangeably with furniture in some cases, and you can even find furniture with storage compartments built-in. Our Aluminium Sideboard with Double Doors, for example, offers a modern, industrial look that’s great for keeping your tools inside, and your cooking equipment on top while the barbecue is in full swing.

This makes finding suitable areas for your once-needed items so much easier, while also improving their ease-of-access in a pinch.

Plant Big

It’s understandable that, with a smaller garden, you may want to plant flowers that are equally as small so as to not miss out on variety. Unfortunately, however, having an array of small plants can actually pay more attention to your garden’s smaller size.
Not to worry, though. This can be tackled by going in the opposite direction and instead making your plants larger. This gives off an illusion that there’s more space available than initially meets the eye, helping your garden appear larger.

Start Enjoying Your Small Garden with KETTLER

Although smaller gardens can be a challenge; they’re not impossible. Afterall, what makes a garden great isn’t how big it is or how much stuff it contains – it’s how you use the space and how it makes you feel. Start feeling better about your garden with some much-needed furniture upgrades from KETTLER. Built with the highest quality materials, our garden furniture ranges can help you maximise your garden’s potential while lasting a lifetime.