You live in the city. You're lucky to have a backyard at all, right? So why do you feel so depressed when you look outside and see the tiny piece of grassland huddling under the shadow of the surrounding buildings that looks like a discount poster printing of a real yard? How do you fix it? How can you bring bliss to your backyard?
Whatever your particular situation is, if you're unhappy with it it's probably because you're not making the most of what you have. Either you're dwelling too much on what you don't have and have left your yard empty and without purpose, or you've overcompensated for its lack of space by cramming in everything you would fit in a rural backyard and can no longer see the grass. If you want to be proud of your yard, here are some simple tips for making the most of what you've got, from a small lawn in Toronto to one on real estate in London.
Give Your Yard a Purpose
Rural backyards are big enough that they can be a children's play area AND a garden AND an outdoor grill, but city yards don't. To maximize their space, their purpose needs to be factored into your home designs. One way to make the most of your space is to give your yard a single purpose rather than trying to do too much and having it look crowded. If you want to use your yard to entertain, put in a grill and some patio chairs and some outdoor string lights. Don't make your guests sit on your kid's swing set to eat their burgers.
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When deciding what to use your yard for, think of what else in the neighborhood or in the house can meet some of your needs. For instance, if you like to garden, is their a local co-op patch you can help out with? Can you hang your wet sheets and cloth diaper covers inside? Also, just because you have children doesn't mean the yard need be their domain. If there's a playground in your neighborhood take your kids there to play and use the yard for something else.
Don't Overcrowd the Space
A good rule for decorating your backyard is that you should be able to move around comfortably without turning sideways or stepping high to avoid plants or pieces of furniture. You don't want ladies sweaters catching on your plants when you're having a get together. Freedom of movement will make your yard seem large, while obstacles to movement will make it seem cramped. You can achieve freedom of movement by moving as much of the furniture as possible to the outer perimeter of the yard to create space in the center, or you can place one large item, like a patio or a pool, in the center and leave space on the sides.
One thing to remember when decorating is that fences are vertical can be used in the decorating scheme. Covering your fences in small electric lights or climbing plants beautifies your yard without using any ground space. Building up not out isn't just the philosophy of condo contractors, it can be used anywhere where space is at a premium.
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