Deck Solutions for Small Spaces
If your proposed deck seems as though it will look cramped in your small yard, don’t dismay. There are a number of steps you can take to make small decks seem larger and more comfortable. The key to small-space design is simplicity.
- Create the appearance of one large area from two smaller spaces. If, for example, your deck is bordered by the lawn, let the deck spill out into the open space and it will seem larger.
- Dig garden beds on one or more sides of a detached deck so it doesn’t seem to float like an island in the lawn.
- Draw attention to the deck, not the property line. Instead of letting the lawn end undramatically at the property line, sculpt the perimeter of the lawn with planting beds. That will turn attention inward where you want it—on the deck.
- Use plants with interesting textures to focus attention on the surrounding landscape rather than on the limits of your property.
- Whenever possible, borrow neighboring views. For example, if you’re lucky enough to live next to an attractive pond or rolling lawn, leave that view open to make the most of what the surrounding scenery has to offer.
- Keep decking patterns scaled to the size of your deck. A lot of small patterns and contrasting textures will leave you feeling dizzy and hemmed in. Besides, they’re expensive.
- Instead of walling off the deck entirely, place screening strategically to enhance privacy and block only those sights that are distracting.
- Put up wind chimes or install a fountain. Their soothing sounds will subdue noises that remind you how close you are to the neighbors or the street.
- Install built-in seating—it takes up less space than freestanding furniture. This same goes for round tables—they’ll leave you more room than rectangular ones.
Decking With paving
Is your existing deck too small but you can’t afford to enlarge it? Expand it with a patio. Paving offers a more affordable solution, especially if you do the work yourself.
Details—those special decorative touches—must work extra hard in small spaces because there’s no room for clutter. Finishing touches—artwork, found objects, or architectural salvage—give small spaces personality. And your small deck might just be perfect for an object that would get lost in a larger setting.
Too much of a good thing, however, can ruin an otherwise artful design. To avoid overwhelming the space, step back and view your deck in its entirety. Look for noticeable bare spots. Do they function better as empty areas that draw attention to your decorating scheme, or would a potted plant, artwork, or other accent improve the setting? Leave room for each detail or collection to “breathe.”
If you line a wall shelf with shells, don’t put a lot of small items on the table below it. And if you have more things to display than you have space, store the surplus for a while and use it to rotate your decorative stock every two to three months.
The stepping-stones that curve around the house make this space look larger by seeming to connect it to a hidden area. Small plants in the background and large ones in the foreground enhance the effect, as do the placement of coarse textures in front, fine textures to the rear. In this way, an empty side-yard space becomes a cozy garden getaway.