How to Maximize your Outdoor Area

Kenneth Wilson

Some people think that a great-looking yard needs a lot of space. It should have an area for a garden, an outdoor shade structure, a fire pit, and a deck. As long as the yard has all the works, then it’s perfect.

Since the outdoor area is an extension of our home, we want to make it look lovely as well. It’s great if you have all the space for multiple landscaping features and structures, but what if you don’t?

It’s not a problem since there are ways you can maximize your small yard. If you get the right furniture, properly utilize your space, and plan how it will fit together, then your small outdoor area will look great as well. 

You can also apply the following tips on a big yard to lessen the clutter and take advantage of the extra space. Let’s see what you can do with your outdoor area.

Hang It If You Can

Why jam everything below when you have so much space above?

If you don’t have space for a garden, plants, or trees - potted or not - then create a hanging garden. By utilizing your vertical space, you will also get a beautiful patio decoration as well. Doesn’t this outdoor area look enchanting will the hanging plants?

Hang it on the wall, create a line for pot hangers, or install shelves for your vertical garden and other decorations. You can also have an accent wall to add more life to your backyard and a mesh wall or wood trellis for climbing plants and vegetables.

Portable Equipment and Furniture

If you can’t have a waterfall or fire pit built for your backyard, get a smaller and portable version of it. With movable equipment and decoration, you can store these when it’s not being used or when you need your outdoor space for something else such as a quick workout or a party.

There are now dozens of portable fire pits, barbecue grills, waterfalls, and other furniture or decoration you can get from a store or buy online. If you can’t have a pergola with a television for outdoor movie nights, invest in a roll-up screen, a DVD player, and a projector. Now you have your own portable outdoor theatre!

You can also create your own movie screen. Here's a video tutorial.

Storage Is Important

Since you have portable furniture and equipment, you will need a storage place for them. But don’t just install bulky cabinets or garden sheds, especially if you have limited space. 

There are several ways you can store your things without taking up space. You can try this wooden pallet rack for your gardening tools which will  also take up your vertical space. It’s not expensive and you can easily recreate this furniture.

Another place you can keep your equipment and other decorations such as pillows and throws is in hidden storage or storage places within the furniture. That’s why you should...

Buy Multi-Purpose Furniture

Did you know you can get a sofa, bench, ottoman, and side table that also has a storage place? That’s why other than design, you should also choose your furniture based on its function. Aside from having a place to store your stuff, this will also keep your things safe from the harsh sun or when it’s raining.

Other than storage, you can also get furniture with a different purpose such as a table or a fire pit that doubles as a cooler. There are even fire pit tables available so you can eat and dine outdoors without a dining table.

It can also be as simple as using a coffee table as a chair, a stool as a side table, or huge pillows that serve like bean bags. Getting double- or multi-purpose furniture will not only save you space but money as well.

Get an Outdoor Murphy Bar

If you love to entertain but don’t have space for an outdoor bar, you can install a murphy bar. 

A murphy bar is a cabinet with a cover that can be used as a table. It can store wine glasses, liquor, and other tools you need for a small get together. Not only is it space-saving, but it also adds some charm to your patio. With some chairs for your guests, you’re now ready for a great evening!

Stackable and Expandable Furniture

A great way to maximize your outdoor space is to use stackable and expandable furniture since it is flexible and adapts to your needs. For example, you can get an extending table so it works with just you and your family or when you have your friends over as well.

Another option is to use stackable chairs and tables. This doesn’t mean you have to settle for plastic chairs or tables. Some of these chairs can be made out of metal and wicker. There are also sets that come with a cover if ever you will be leaving these chairs unused and outdoors for a long time.

You can also opt for nesting tables, which are usually smaller than foldable or expandable tables. These ones are great since, unlike stackable tables, you don’t have to store the other tables if you prefer using just one. When you need to use everything, you can easily take out the rest.

Furniture Arrangement

Aside from choosing or installing the right furniture, arranging them is also an important step on how you can maximize your outdoor area. Here are some do’s and don’ts when arranging your furniture.


  • Use a low center table and surround it with chairs or sofas to have space and easy conversations.
  • Define your spaces without walls by using tall furniture or high-backed chairs. Use the highest piece of furniture to divide the seating area and play area.
  • For circular seating, get two small tables or a table with a gap in between so guests sitting in the middle will have an easier time getting out.


  • Avoid cramping your space and having clutter because this will make your outdoor area look even smaller.
  • Don’t forget to buy outdoor accessories, but don’t over decorate as well.

Kenneth Wilson
November 8, 2019
Yard & Garden

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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