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How to Make the Most of Small Outdoor Living Spaces

Even if your outdoor space is low on square footage, you can still create an inviting oasis. Here are some smart ideas using paver stones, low walls and other decorative accents to create the illusion of space and turn a smaller area into a beautiful, functional retreat.

Soften the inside-outside line – The transition between the indoors and your home’s exterior is the perfect opportunity to increase the size and functional scope of an outdoor living space. Lay a paver patio flush against your main home and install glass sliding doors for visual continuity between the spaces. Then, ensure an uninterrupted flow from the door to the patio by keeping the area clear of large planters and bulky furniture to allow free movement.

Define outdoor “rooms” –  Create inviting corners or separate areas by distinguishing them with paver borders, different paver colours or pattern changes. Install a small stone step leading to an elevated eating area. A low half wall can be used to break up your “rooms” and can also double as overflow seating to maximize space. Select a smooth, rounded coping for seat walls, such a Ledgestone or Brussels Fullnose coping, and accent it with a few plush pillows to encourage your guests to take a seat.

Think up, not out – High fences, cedars and the exterior wall of your home can close in an outdoor space. A good visual trick is to incorporate vertical elements that draw the eye upwards. Play up a petite area with floor-to-ceiling columns, high-back loungers, tall-growing or climbing plants or suspended chairs.

Create a focal point – You may think your outdoor area doesn’t afford the room, but a focal point such as a stone fireplace or a water fountain can actually detract from spatial constraints – not to mention create an inviting ambiance. Situate seating around your fireplace or water feature to encourage intimate gatherings that last long after the sun goes down.

Go neutral – Lighter, monochromatic shades give the illusion of expanding small areas. Choose a base of neutral pavers such as the Umbriano Summer Wheat pavers for the look of natural granite in a color that reflects the summer sun.

Your outdoor space may be on the smaller side, but that shouldn’t limit its potential. Using smart paver applications and design elements, your compact area can become an inviting haven that will have you looking for excuses just to get out there.