When designing small outdoor spaces, there is a delicate balance to find between creating a welcoming atmosphere, and accidentally overwhelming the space with too many objects or an inconvenient layout. These six landscape design tips for cozy family gathering spaces in Mechanicsburg, PA, will give your loved ones a comfortable and quaint space to gather outside, whether you are on a balcony, a patio, or in a modest yard.
To keep smaller spaces from feeling claustrophobic, avoid dividing your area up into different sections with barriers or borders. An open-concept gathering space can still be functional for multiple diversions, such as eating and drinking, lawn games, or a small fire pit, and will create a relaxing atmosphere for all to enjoy.
Even in a small space, you may still have the ability to split it into different levels, while staying true to an open concept layout. Use stone masonry to build a platform for your table and chairs, or an elevated fire pit structure. A small raised garden bed in a corner or along a fence line will add dimension and beauty to your space.
Combine Function and Appeal
It is important for the objects used in small spaces to be both beautiful and functional. Use a bench with storage underneath for a cozy sitting area and a space to store lawn games or garden tools. Decorate a blank fence with tiered herb planters to use fresh herbs in your cooking, or lanterns to enjoy your space no matter the hour. These functional additions will also add vertical dimension to your space, in a tasteful way that won’t overwhelm the landscape.
Make sure that the furniture you choose for your space is just right for your area - not too big or too small! A table that can be expanded with a leaf may fit your space perfectly when it is small, and expands to allow your guests to gather comfortably at your next barbeque. Speaking of barbeques, consider buying a combo grill with a smoker or griddle attached. Use chairs at your patio set that can be moved to the fire pit when you’re ready to enjoy s’mores after dinner.
Large, plain-colored patio pavers can give a small space the illusion of being larger (hint hint, the same thing works in small bathrooms!) There are many shapes and colors to choose from that will help you match the decor of your landscape, with options for a simple pattern or a smooth stone finish. Place them end-to-end, or space them out with stones or gravel in between each one.
Add Bits of Beauty
A few small touches can add just the right amount of ambiance or energy to your landscape. Plant your favorite flowers or weeping greens in small to medium-sized planters, that can sit on the ground to dress up an unused corner, or hang from a fence or a beam. Avoid large planters that will crowd your usable space. Small fountain features can achieve the same effect as potted plants, with the added tranquility of water flowing in the background. Lanterns will not only add appeal to your yard, but also illuminate the area so that you don’t have to go inside when dusk hits. Whichever finishing touches you choose, position them into areas that cannot be used for anything else, where they can be noticed and admired without encroaching on the rest of your valuable space.