As a Bergen County homeowner, you don’t have to have a large backyard to have a beautiful outdoor space. There are many ways to turn a small, compact backyard into a stunning outdoor area with stylish features and inviting atmosphere. Take a look at some small backyard landscaping ideas that can give you the backyard of your dreams.
Landscape and Garden Design
Lush, green landscaping instantly creates a comfortable, natural setting for outdoor activities. Whether it’s a play area for the kids and pets or a backdrop for entertaining family and friends, a beautifully designed backyard landscape will enhance your home and property. New trees, shrubs and plants will add depth and scale to your small yard. They can provide extra privacy around your yard’s perimeter or create colorful borders around patio areas. Using a variety of foliage and flowers will create interesting texture and color in your yard and provide visual focal points for gathering areas.
Choose a corner of the yard and create a beautiful garden with fruit trees or colorful azaleas and dogwood trees that blossom each spring. The height of trees in the corners of your yard will help define your property boundaries while drawing your eye back into the center of the yard. Underneath the trees, you can plant smaller foliage and flowers that bloom at different times throughout the year, so you’ll have beautiful blooms in your backyard and garden year-round. A corner garden area is also the perfect place to add small backyard landscaping ideas like an in-ground pond with goldfish and water lilies, a fountain with trickling water or a cozy garden bench for your guest to relax.
Patio and Entertainment Areas
If you plan to entertain in your backyard, you need a comfortable patio area that will expand your indoor space for dining and friendly gatherings. A patio allows you to add cozy seating areas, a dining table and chairs and an outdoor grill or kitchen. You can build a beautiful patio from pavers in natural stones like granite, marble and limestone or concrete, brick and tile. These hard outdoor surfaces provide a patio that’s strong, durable and virtually maintenance-free for easy cleaning. You’ll find beautiful materials in a multitude of sizes, styles and colors, so it’s easy to select one that complements your home and landscape.
Dividing your patio into different areas gives you more flexibility for small backyard landscaping ideas and entertaining. Locate your grill, dining table and chairs close to the house for privacy and a more intimate dining atmosphere. Adding a trellis or cover over this part of your patio will provide added protection from sun, rain and wind for dining.
Move your seating area to a different part of the patio to give your guests a relaxing place to sit and talk before and after dinner. Whether you select lounge seating, individual chairs and tables or cozy benches, make sure you provide comfortable seating and places to rest food and drinks. Select outdoor furniture styles and upholstery fabrics and colors that complement the architectural materials and features of your house.
An outdoor kitchen is the perfect home feature for entertaining, even if you have a small backyard. It quickly expands your options for entertaining and dining outdoors with friends and family year-round. Whether you want to make a gourmet dinner for guests or simple, quick burgers for the kids, an outdoor kitchen makes cooking and dining in your backyard easier and much more enjoyable.
The materials and appliances you choose for your outdoor kitchen will certainly impact your costs, but you can design a great outdoor kitchen to fit any budget. You can choose from a variety of cooking equipment like grills and ovens (gas, electric and wood-burning), rotisseries, wood-fired pizza ovens, smokers, deep fryers, griddles and side burners.
Refrigeration options include compact refrigerators with ice makers, ice bins, sinks, beverage and wine coolers, beer dispensers and mini bars. If that’s not enough, you can also include a variety of accessories like food and drawer warmers, storage compartments and cabinets, blenders, mixers, cutting boards, trash drawers, plate drawers, cooking utensils and lighting.
An outdoor fireplace creates great small backyard landscaping ideas and possibilities for any Bergen County home. Even with a small backyard, you can design an outdoor fireplace that’s perfectly proportioned to the size of your yard. Outdoor fireplaces can be built as small as 3 feet wide x 2 feet deep x 4 feet tall, with or without an extended hearth for seating. Most are designed in a rectangular shape, but they can also be square, round or oval to accentuate features on your house or in your yard.
By building an outdoor fireplace near your patio seating area, you will quickly create a relaxing backyard atmosphere and a cozy, comfortable setting for family and guests to gather. Since an outdoor fireplace naturally adds warmth and light, it will extend your outdoor entertaining possibilities throughout the year.
During the summer months, it will provide a cozy atmosphere and extra light. During the cooler fall and winter months, it will add welcome warmth and light, so you can stay outside more comfortably on crisp, cool evenings. An outdoor fireplace will create an inviting focal point in your small backyard and allow you to spend more time outdoors with family and friends year-round.
Pools & Water Features
Swimming pools, hot tubs and spas open a new world of small backyard landscaping ideas and entertainment options. They provide endless hours of enjoyment for family activities and relaxation, as well as for entertaining friends and neighbors. If you have kids or a large family, you can expect a lot of pool use from family gatherings, pool parties, special events and summer activities when the kids are out of school. Swimming pools, hot tubs and spas create a multi-functional backyard that’s especially advantageous for small yards where entertaining can be more difficult.
A swimming pool can be designed and built in many different shapes and sizes, so you’ll need to design a pool that’s proportioned to your yard. Most homes have recreational pools that are typically shallow at one end and deep enough for safe diving (9 to 11 feet deep) at the other end. If you have limited space, lap pools are a good option because they’re typically narrower and longer than recreational pools. Exercise pools, also called swim spas, work well for small yards as well. They’re usually small (10 to 14 feet long) and contain jets that produce a resistance current for swimming.
In addition to pools, hot tubs and spas, other great small backyard landscaping ideas include special water features that add soothing sounds and relaxing atmosphere to your backyard setting. There are a variety of water features like waterfalls, fountains, sprays and water jets that can be incorporated into your pool or built in separate areas around your yard.
There’s no other outdoor feature that creates soft, inviting backyard ambiance like landscape lighting. It enhances the beauty of your home at night and gives depth and dimension to your landscape. Landscape lighting highlights architectural materials and features on your house and enhances special features and details in your yard.
Outdoor landscape fixtures like spots and uplights can be used to accent garden areas and trees or shrubs. Spots and motion detectors add security and safety to your house and yard. Pathway lights provide safety for walkways, pathways and areas around the pool or patio. Wall mounted and ceiling fixtures or pendants provide essential lighting for patio, dining and seating areas.
Landscape lighting is available in a variety of fixtures in low-voltage, LED and solar powered lighting. You’ll find beautiful outdoor finishes in brass, bronze, pewter, nickel and copper to complement any style of architecture and small backyard landscaping ideas.
As you can see, even if your Bergen County home doesn’t have that large backyard you’ve dreamed of, there are still a multitude of small backyard landscaping ideas available to you.