Having a small lot is not an excuse for not designing your outdoor space

Kirk's Narrow Australian Terrace

The outdoor season is finally here. I can safely claim that most of the people living in the north side of North America is cleaning up, putting flowers and shopping for outdoor furniture this week end.

Most city dwellers have smaller gardens. Even the new house developments in the suburbs have small backyards. But do not sell it short because a small backyard can look amazing.

I first grabbed this concept when I moved to my current house. My next-door neighbors are studio renters. But they got a 250 square feet terrace. Many have set a full room outside before the concept of outdoor living rooms became popular. They did it out of necessity, the terrace almost double their living space.

Last year, I watched with envy The City Gardener hosted by Matt James. This is one of the best British gardening TV series from a design perspective. I was stunned by how much you can accomplish in small, often awkward shaped backyards.

Matt James knows how to create havens in the most unlikely of spots. Matt shares his savoir faire with the audience. Throughout the three seasons that the show was running, Matt’s fresh approach to gardening was always inspiring.

courtyard of Kirk Lenard

Then I ran into a 10 feet wide house in Australia. Many of you will say that it is impossible to entertain a dozen people in such a tiny space. Kirk’s Narrow Australian Terrace shown on The Apartment Therapy NYC is such cleverly designed that he proved us wrong.

By putting his dining room beside the fully-retracting doors that leads to the courtyard, Kirk can comfortably host a sit down dinner event for 10 persons. I am sure he can squeeze twelve if he needs too. Very impressive!

For more inspirations, design to inspire wrote a story about MyLandscapes by Amir Schlezinger. Based in London, MyLandscapes is a company that specializes in rooftop patio spaces. Be prepared to be carried away with delightful pictures. This is outdoor urban living at its best.

MyLandscapes by Amir Schlezinger

I am sure that your lot is wider than Kirk’s house in Australia. I invite you to take a measuring tape, to think outside the box and to try out countless layouts. Ask your friends for advices and their opinions. Go visit the garden centers in your region.

If you concentrate your efforts on better planning and designing your space, I am sure you can create something incredible in your small backyard. There are no more excuses for not having a great outdoor space.

Link: reruns of The City Gardener on HGTV.ca
Link: MyLandscapes on design to inspire blog
Via: Small Cool Extra: Kirk’s Narrow Australian Terrace published on The Apartment Therapy NYC

  • At Home with kim vallee
    June 30, 2007 at 13:36

    Being in the spotlights two days in a row

  • At Home with kim vallee
    July 12, 2007 at 11:33

    Matt James rescues American neglected backyards in Urban Outsiders

  • Libby | patio doors
    April 24, 2009 at 15:39

    Another great way to add space to a small area is to add a patio door which opens up to the outdoor space. It gives the illusion of a bigger area while bringing in light and greenery from the patio. It’s also nice to have a breeze flow through your home in the summer months.