If your backyard has limitations, don’t fret.  Instead, use the space to your advantage.  Begin by rethinking the square footage and use clever ideas to facilitate the best use of the property you DO have.

But how can a small outdoor space be designed with ‘big-heart’?

Deck with Built In Seating as Rails, by Archadeck

Deck with Built In Seating as Rails, by Archadeck

It’s easy with just a few tricks to bring simplicity and splendor.  Let’s explore how….

1.  Evaluate and reevaluate.  Revamp if necessary.

Exactly how do you currently use the outdoor space, if at all?  More importantly, how do you WANT to use it?

Do you love to entertain with a great-big-splash or do you prefer a quiet get-together with only a few guests?  Do you love sports and dream of watching the ‘big game’ outside or do you prefer to curl-up on a hammock with a good book?   Do you have children, pets or aging family members with safety needs?  And what about outdoor cooking… or gardening?

Deck with Outdoor Dining and Grilling, by Archadeck

Deck with Outdoor Dining and Grilling, by Archadeck

Asking and answering questions like these will help you decide the purpose and the plan for your deck, screen porch or other structure.

2.  Keep it to-scale and proportional.

There’s nothing worse than spending your hard-earned-dollars on a home improvement project that ends-up looking like a backyard misfit.  Choose a design that ‘belongs’.  Not too big, not too small, but ‘just right’ and proportional to your home and lot.

Platform Deck with Pergola by Archadeck

Platform Deck with Pergola by Archadeck

3.  Think in shapes and levels.

Oftentimes an outdoor space can seem restricted because of a lack of level landscaping.  In this case, a multilevel deck design is ideal and can be used to overcome the small dips or steep slopes of a lot.  With curves or geometric shapes, a multilevel deck can twist and wind through most any obstacle in a less-than-flat terrain… a terrific way to make use of otherwise unusable space.

Multilevel Deck Design by Archadeck

Multilevel Deck Design by Archadeck

4.  Create intimacy and privacy.

If your space is small, cozy works!  So make it cozy!

An overhead pergola and/or a privacy wall provides a sense of enclosure.  Either feature is an oh-so-simple design element and cost-effective too.

So, definitely consider a shade structure up-top and a serving of privacy on-the-side.

Low Maintenance Deck, Railing and Pergola for Elevated Deck, St. Charles Mo, by Archadeck

Small Elevated Deck with Pergola in St. Charles Mo, by Archadeck

If you’d prefer to fully enclose a small space, a screened-in deck, screen porch, or screened patio enclosure are possibilities.  Outdoor rooms such as these will be private; however, no matter the size, construction costs will rise with the addition of walls, a ceiling and a roof.  For many folks the payoff is definitely worthwhile.

Screened in Pool Deck by Archadeck

Poolside Screened-in Deck by Archadeck

5.  Built-in seating, storage and planters.

Put unused space to work and be savvy about storage and seating.  Built-in benches with storage, especially on a small deck, are an effective way to gain space without overtaking the structure with extra furniture or containers.

Deck with Level Change and Built in Benches with Planters by Archadeck

Deck with Level Change and Built in Benches with Planters by Archadeck

6.  Polish it off with accessories and amenities.

Incorporate delightful features with color (plants, pillows, cushions) and detail (lighting, post caps and balusters).  A design strategy with an eye for architectural detail adds comfort, convenience and character, in big doses, to small spaces.

Deck with Lighting and Built-in Amenities by Archadeck

Deck with Lighting and Built-in Amenities by Archadeck

Key Takeaways

The Archadeck motto:  No deck is ‘too small’… or too large.

A stunning outdoor space, no matter the size, is an extension of your personality, your lifestyle, your home and your yard.  With a little ingenuity and deck building know-how a small deck or porch plan can accommodate dining, grilling, lounging and even a hot tub… without feeling cramped or overly confined.  It can, and will be, impressive!

Deck with Spa and Privacy by Archadeck

Lower Level Deck with Spa and Privacy by Archadeck

What next?

To explore other design ideas for your outdoor space just visit our website, west-county.archadeck.com.  You’ll find photo galleries, an online inquiry form, a video and free download for Archadeck’s design guide.  Our social media links to Pinterest, Google+ and Houzz pages are easily clickable from the homepage too.

If you live in the St. Louis Missouri area and are ready to speak with a contractor, please consider Archadeck.  Our offices are in St. Louis West County and we’re locally owned and operated.  We live here.  We work here!

Archadeck of West County and St. Charles County serves the Greater St. Louis territory including all areas of St. Louis County, St. Charles, St. Charles County and parts of Illinois too.

We’d love to answer your questions and meet with you, anytime – 636.227.0800.

Patio Deck by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Patio Deck by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Sources:  Better Homes and Gardens, Houzz, Real Cedar, Archadeck Outdoor Living, Archadeck of Central Iowa, Archadeck in Kansas City, Beautiful Backyard Blog, Sunset, This Old House, HGTV, Landscaping Network, Archadeck Design Guide

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