Friday, June 8, 2012

Making the Most of a Small Backyard

We have a small backyard. I mean it is more than a patio but not much. An addition to this house decreased the yard a great deal but we have made the most of the space.

We knew from the beginning we wanted a large patio for entertaining. Literally half the yard became patio and a fire pit with built in seating. One entire side of the patio is the side of our garage so through potted vines and flowers and a fountain we have turned the big ugly wall into an attractive focal point.


We have three tables and a playhouse on the patio and still have room to move around and add chairs for seating.


My advice is to go big for your seating area. Grass is over rated and it is nice to have a lot of seating space for parties. The built in fire pit can easily seat ten and the ring itself offers additional seating when not in use.


You can still have a play area for the kids but choose the right sized equipment. You may want a swing set with all the bells and whistles but if it is too big then it will look and feel cramped. We chose the smallest wooden swing set available from Walmart and it has been great fun and left us with some yard to play on.

We have kept all trees along the perimeter to make mowing easier and to keep the play space open for the kids.

Living in Southern California this is really an extra room for us. I would say I spend at least two to three hours a day out here not counting the meals we eat out here on the weekends.
Our patio is set with literally a mish mash of tables and chairs my mother in law has passed on to us. Nothing fancy as we are hard on things around here with all the kids and animals. You often find a cat or dog curled up on the patio furniture napping in the sun.



Don't forget to join me Sunday for my first party. Sunny Simple Sundays. 

Linking to:
Show and Tell Friday
Simple Creations
Frugal Friday
Saturday Show Off
Diane Writes
Seasonal Sundays
Summer Fun Party

24 comments:

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Great use of space and you guys really enjoy it, that's what makes it special. Hugs, Marty

Lisa~A Cottage To Me said...

You have a great space. Looks like the perfect manageable size. I think all your furniture looks great too. Great place to spend time with family and friends!

It's All Connected said...

Love the herringbone brick pattern on your patio! ~ Maureen

Denise at PinkPostcard. said...

I would love to have such a nice big area outside! (seriously, I think your space is bigger than ours!!) Once we no longer have a giant trampoline taking up half the yard, I'd love a fire pit! :)

Kris said...

Elaine, it is funny because you say your yard is small, and yet, when I was there to your beautiful home, it felt very spacious to me. I didn't feel like it was small in the least. Your lay out is perfect for utilizing the space! And it is so comfortable and pretty. I loved your yards!!!!
Hugs,
Kris

Lois' Laughlines said...

Your yard looks BIG. You have made great use of the space. So comfy. Enjoy your summer outdoors.
blessings.

Diana said...

Love your patio and back yard. We also have a fire pit, and I think it's been more fun for the kids than any other thing we have had (swing set, hot tub, trampoline) -- in that it has continued to be fun for the kids into their teen years! Our 18 year old often has a bunch of friends come over for smores and "messing with the fire pit", as well as our 14 yr old, long after the swing set and trampoline were history.

Kathy A Delightsome Life said...

This brings back memories - I grew up in San Diego - our houses were so close - but Dad and Mom made the best use of the garden as they could - perhaps I'll share if I can find the pictures - loved visiting your backyard! I hope you have a great weekend,
Kathy

Shannon @ Cozy Home Scenes said...

Your yard looks big compared to some of the houses in my subdivision. You may know I've mentioned we live on a golf course. Our neighbors across the street barely have a yard. You take like 10 steps and there is the golf course. That would drive me batty since I like my privacy. yet our neighbors are (obviously) more outgoing and like to be near people.

Your backyard looks like a great place for your kids, and I bet you kept your teens close to home with that firepit. Looks like that is a spot they and their friends really enjoy.

Have a great weekend Elaine.

Beth said...

i'm always amazed at how much you really do have in your yard. it is awesome!! the word that comes to mind "quaint"... love it. love the family get togethers as well. enjoy that yard. we are expecting really humid temps this weekend. we had been having such nice days. wondering what will be next. (:

laurie said...

you have created such a lovely oasis, so tranquil yet so full of life, perfect blend.

Linda said...

Your yard doesn't look small at all...it looks like you are using all of your yard which is perfect!! It looks very pretty!! Have a great day!!

Cozy Little House said...

Well, somehow I missed hearing about your Sunny Simple Sundays. Will try to remember. I agree that grass is over rated. I hope to get rid of all of mine over time.
Brenda

Lemon Lane Cottage said...

I love your backyard. You feel welcome the moment you walk out there. I would love a fire pit in our yard, even one of the portables. Q looks ready for a swim! Oh yeah, the girls new house is to die for! They certainly are a spoiled bunch. :)

Olga said...

This is a great post! Same story here, our addition to the house made the yard so tiny. And I have a big ugly wall as well. I love the first picture with the fountain and vines. It's so inspirational to me. Thank you!

Cindy said...

You have made the most of your yard space, that is evident. I don't see a swimming pool, though. I love what you've done with the fire pit and the seating there. It looks like a very happy, welcoming area for family and friends. That is so important when raising kids.
Have a wonderful weekend, see you for your Sunday party.
Hugs, Cindy

NanaDiana said...

Well, your yard might not be large but you have done a great job with it. I love that it is so welcoming...just gorgeous, Elaine! xo Diana

ImSoVintage said...

Just shows, that making your space work for you is what is most important. Looks like you have plenty of room to enjoy the things you love with your family and friends.
Hugs,
Laura

Kerin said...

What a lovely space you have created.
Job well done!!
What kind of vine do you have growing up your garage?
Is it Virginia creeper?

Thanks for sharing the pictures and your tips with us.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Smiles :)
Kerin

Firecracker Kid said...

I adore your backyard! Looks like a safe and fun place to be :)
Hugs~Carol

Debbiedoo's said...

You yard is fabulous Elaine!~ I have always admired your green thumb and lush gardens. Looks like a perfect space to me to chill and hang with family and friends.

The Rosegarden in Malevik said...

I think you have a great backyard :)
and do not miss......

S
A
T
U
R
D
A
Y

S
H
O
W

O
F
F

it is FUN :)
WELCOME
Håkan (The Roseman)

The Rosegarden in Malevik said...

I think you have a great backyard :)
and do not miss......

S
A
T
U
R
D
A
Y

S
H
O
W

O
F
F

it is FUN :)
WELCOME
Håkan (The Roseman)

Diane Writes said...

Hi Elaine! Thank you for linking up to my Beautiful Sunday series. It really made me happy as only few of my friends regularly link up.

You have a lovely home Elaine. In our case, we don't even own a decent backyard. All we have is our house and the parking space. The most that we have here are potted plants to add some freshness and greenery. I love that built in fire pit. It really makes a great venue for barbecue parties. The cozy tables and chairs and that mini playground for the kids. Your kids won't have to go out to enjoy them.

Have a great Sunday!

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