Ipe Deck by Archadeck on Pinterest

Ipe Deck by Archadeck on Pinterest

Two of our most-often viewed articles this year include “Smaller Decks with Sizeable Style” and “Deck Ideas for a Small Backyard”.

With 1,500+ views on the subject, we thought a little more elaboration might prove helpful.  (OK – Bad pun!)

So here goes.

Unlike sprawling acreage found in rural areas, urban and suburban neighborhoods have one thing in common — dense neighborhoods and backyards with limited land.

But don’t be fooled.  Very big style can be incorporated into the confines of a restricted outdoor area by using sound ‘design and build’ strategies.

In the end, an experienced contractor can convert a supposedly ‘small’ outdoor space to a versatile structure for all types of activities and gatherings.

And here’s how.

Outdoor Living Room by Archadeck

Outdoor Living Room by Archadeck

Specify activity zones with tiers, floor pattern, and furnishing:

Decks designed with gentle tiers (photo top) will give you the square footage you need while leaving an impression of different ‘outdoor rooms’ such as a dining or living room.

If you prefer a single-plane deck, a floor board design or an outdoor rug will effectively indicate ‘form and function’ too.

Distinct furnishings (outdoor sofa, coffee table, chairs) and accessories (i.e. bar, grill or a weather-resistant television) will also signal the intended activity.

Just don’t overload it.  Clutter is not your friend in a small space.

Smaller Deck with Partial Pergola Cover by Archadeck

Smaller Deck with Partial Pergola Cover by Archadeck

Horizontal and vertical covers:

Protection from strong rays and nosy neighbors can be easily accomplished within a smaller deck design.

An overhead pergola acts as a shield against harsh, direct sun while letting you enjoy the light. And shade structures provide a fantastic focal-point with activity cues too.

Large umbrellas, retractable canopies, solar panels, vines or hanging flower baskets can provide alternatives for coverage, atop, as well.

As a rule of thumb, completely fencing-in a small backyard makes it look smaller; however, an unobtrusive vertical privacy wall, a ‘living’ privacy screen of plants or a grouping of tall deck-garden containers are stylish substitutes for traditional fencing.

Illusions of spaciousness:

Deck Furniture for Dining by Brookstone

Deck Furniture for Dining by Brookstone, Found on our Pinterest Page

A cohesive color scheme, broad deck steps, efficient outdoor furniture, stylish-storage, mounted mirrors, hanging plants and small scale accessories will make a small space appear larger.

If your deck is low-grade and without rails, cascading steps (top photos) will make the deck appear wider and the backyard, larger.

If your deck has railing, rails with a slim profile or glass balusters add the openness you’ll need.  Use planter-boxes designed for deck rails to make-the-most of available floor surface too.

Mini Fire-Feature by Brookstone

Mini Fire-Feature by Brookstone, Pinterest

Finishing touches:

Finely-tuned details truly make a deck ‘pop-with-personality’.

Stair riser-lights, decorative post caps, unique balusters and skirting are must-have touches for a ‘polished’ look.

And just because a small space might not accommodate an outdoor fireplace, fire pit or water feature, mini-versions will work simply and perfectly.

Key takeaways:

Multiple functions don’t necessarily call for a larger deck, screened porch or other outdoor space.  Just think of a Swiss Army Knife!

  • With smart design strategies and building ingenuity, even a small backyard space can be versatile and functional.
  • It’s not necessary to spend a fortune to enjoy outdoor dining and entertaining.
  • Even small spaces — decks, porches, patios — can be feature-rich while staying proportional to the house and grounds.

Ultimately, if ‘form and function’ are harmoniously integrated into the design, you’ll have a beautiful and useful outdoor space to enjoy – no matter the size.

Archadeck St. Louis on Pinterest.com

Archadeck St. Louis on Pinterest.com

Next Stop Pinterest!

To find inspiration for outdoor living, at a glance, come on over (and follow!) our new Pinterest page.

We love the visual aspect of the Pinterest platform for sharing creative tips, DIY ideas and free-advice for everything ‘outdoor living’.

If you live in the St. Louis, Missouri area and would like to contact us or set-up a free consultation, you can reach us via our website and email‘how can we help’ form; or just pick up the phone and give us a call anytime, 636.227.0800.

Outside of St. Louis, visit archadeck.com for other locations, nationwide.

Sources and Citations:

Archadeck Outdoor Living on Pinterest, Beautiful Backyard Blog, HGTV, Home Designer, This Old House, Tal Boldo – Yahoo contributor, Bob Villa, Archadeck in Costal Connecticut, Brookstone