Big ideas for small outdoor spaces

While we all dream about having a large backyard, the reality is most of us have a slightly smaller outdoor area than we planned. This doesn’t stop us from entertaining, relaxing or even bathing in the sun…it’s all about taking what you’ve got and making the most of it.

With that in mind, here are some tips and tricks from the experts on how to maximise your small outdoor spaces.

The only way is up

Exterior designer Asher from Ascher Smith Exterior Styling & Landscaping suggests vertical gardens or 'Greenwalls' in small spaces.

“They are a great way to add greenery without compromising on space in tiny courtyards. Opt for ‘spill-over plants’ that will grow over the edge of planters and tumble down the walls or a climber like Creeping Fig or Boston Ivy that will grow on the wall,” explains Ascher.



Image: Studio South



Use the vertical garden as a place to grow your herbs, both beneficial and colourful

Keep it Simple

Yes, even your outdoor space can feel ‘cluttered,’ and, like small interiors, the same rules apply. Simplicity is key when it comes to small gardens so take the ‘less is more approach,’ in your design plan.

Sandra Batley from Flourish Gardens suggests keeping the colour palette to a minimum, and stick to one strong design theme.

“Try to avoid a mish-mash of ideas. Strong, simple shapes are great for garden beds.  This allows for more decorative, dynamic elements that you can add to the garden, such as a sculpture and water features,” explains Sandra.


This small courtyard features the EF5000 Outdoor Gas Fireplace with built-in seating and tree-lined fence which creates a simple, uncluttered space. Image via Next Level Construct.


Ascher Smith’s approach for styling is to start with a blank canvas, then add functional pieces like furniture before adding decorative elements, which can clutter a space when over-used. Fireplace: EF5000 Gas Fireplace.



Two in One

Multi-functional furniture is a must for small outdoor spaces. If you’re limited for storage, try making a bench seat that doubles as a storage unit and keeps your space tidy.


Creating a deck with a sandpit underneath is genius! By closing the lid of the sandpit, it keeps the sand dry and looks neat.



Sky High

The ultimate space saver - the rooftop garden – is perfect for inner-city living.  Use glass balustrade to keep your view and choose an outdoor gas fire like the Escea EF5000  for entertaining into the small hours. This innovative outdoor fire doesn’t need a chimney, so you can put it anywhere without compromising your city view.



Lighten Up

When it comes to paint, Ascher Smith suggests light colours for flooring and walls to open the area up to feel brighter and bigger. “Dulux 'China White' is a great white paint for outdoors with no glare,” says Ascher. Outdoor lighting is also a great way to highlight aspects of the garden and add drama.


EW5000-Creative Arch-Mark Mcleay.jpg

The fireplace has been made a feature in this alfresco dining space with the addition of feature lighting to highlight the area. Fireplace: EF5000 Gas Fireplace. Design by Creative Arch. Image by Mark Scowen.



String lighting or festoons are a simple and affordable way to add light and personality to a small outdoor space.

Learn more about the Outdoor Fireplace Range at Stoke here.


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