How To Achieve A Modern Look In A Small Garden

Creating a sense of space, making the most out of what you have, and modernising your garden are all challenges that every small garden owner faces. It’s also why we have seen smaller gardens appear so much in recent years.

With more people living in urban centres, small townhouses and apartments are now the norm rather than the exception.

So if you have a confined backyard, terrace, or even just a tiny balcony, it may seem impossible to create the illusion of an oasis of relaxation in your outdoor space—let alone one that feels spacious and light-filled.

But it really doesn’t need to be that way!

The key is understanding your limitations to work with them rather than against them. Here is- How To Achieve A Modern Look In A Small Garden in 20 effective ways!

Deciding on a Small Garden Theme

A really great place to start when styling your small garden is to choose a theme. This will help you to set the tone, bring coherence to your design, and keep the focus on your desired aesthetics.

You could focus on a specific style of plants and foliage, incorporate a favourite colour palette, and/or choose a retro or vintage style.

Whatever you decide will unify your design and help you create the illusion of a cohesive garden.

Create Layers

A vertical garden is an excellent option for any small garden because it can add height, increase your garden’s visual impact, and make the most out of your outdoor space.  

Many of today’s vertically designed gardens are clean and modern. Still, they can also suit a more retro or vintage style. Having taller plants toward the back of the garden and smaller ones in the front works well to create layers, as will having plants that come in different heights.

You can also add layers by incorporating wood, bricks, stone, metal, and even sand.


Make The Most Of Your Space

Rather than trying to create more space, make the most of what you have. It’s easier than you think, and everything from your garden furniture to the materials used in your garden can help you do this.

EMU STAR 4 Seater Square Garden Dining Set

For example, an outdoor dining set low to the ground provides a cozy and intimate feel, while high stools can create a modern vibe.

Incorporating materials such as resin, metal, and faux stones will also help to create a feeling of open space in a small garden, as will the use of bold colours.

Recycle and Reuse

Reusing and repurposing items not only helps you to save money, but it can also help you to think outside the box. Rather than throwing away old furniture and materials cluttering your garden, why not turn them into something new?

For example, old pallets can create a rustic bench, old wine barrels can be repurposed as planters, and old doors can become garden tables or a new seating area.

To create a more modern look, you can reuse materials such as fabrics, cushions, and old pots.

Think Clean Lines and Colours

Many small gardens tend to look cluttered, but this doesn’t have to be the case.

If you have a lot of plants, select only a few of them, keeping them at the front of the garden while leaving the rest at the back.

You can also create the illusion of a fresh look by keeping the colours within your palette clean and modern.

A palette of white, greenery, blues, turquoise, black, and silver will give your garden furniture a light, airy, modern feel.

Add Colour And Light To A Small Garden

FERMOB Balad Garden Lamp

We’ve already discussed adding colour to your garden, but what else can you do to add light?

Light is essential in any garden because it helps to provide visual appeal and makes the garden appear cleaner and brighter.

If you have a small garden but a lot of sunlight, try using tall plants and vines to create a canopy that will let the sunlight through.

To create a more modern feel, you can add light through artificial lightings, such as fairy lights.

Use Modern Garden Furniture

The garden furniture you place in your garden is the first thing people will notice, so it makes sense to invest in high-quality pieces.

Modern outdoor furniture comes in various styles, such as Nardi garden furniture. Different materials and colours can make a garden feel more spacious and open-plan.

If you have a garden that has a retro or vintage vibe, don’t let that put you off investing in modern furniture. It’s all about finding the right seating area pieces that fit your design and style.

Use Reflective Materials

Reflective materials such as metal and resin are helpful for small gardens because they help to bounce light around. This can help to lift the mood and make the garden feel lighter.

You can also use reflective materials to bring the garden indoors.

A few ideas include:

  • Using a mirrored wall to reflect light.
  • Adding a mirrored surface to furniture.
  • Using mirrored decor on an outdoor table, such as mirrored candle holders on Nardi dining tables.

Create A Sense Of Space With Vertical Elements

Vertical elements are a great way to make your small garden feel more spacious.

Plants, vines, shrubs, and trees work well as vertical elements, but you can also add other materials.

For example, you can use wooden planters and cinder blocks to create a wall.

You can also use reflective materials such as metal to reflect the light and help to make your garden feel bigger.

You can also grow vines upwards on a trellis or wall, and shrubs and plants such as ivy and clematis also work well.

Use Functional Furniture

The first step toward creating a modern look in a small space is finding furniture that is both functional and light enough to be moved around easily.

That doesn’t mean you must settle for boring, uninspired seating area pieces.

You have to choose items that are within your budget, can be easily moved around to suit different occasions, and have clean lines that won’t take up too much space.

Keep things like small coffee and dining tables, and opt for chairs and benches without arms. They will take up less space and provide a more flexible solution that can easily move around.

Use Interesting Pots and Planters

PLUST Halful Planters
Another super easy way to add interest to your smaller garden is to use different pots and planters. While you can’t just fill them with any old plant you like, you can choose compact flowering plants and herbs that will fit easily in pots that take up less space.

Containers can either be used on their own or with small stands to create extra shelving space and provide an easy way to display magazines or books. When choosing your pots and planters, look for clean, modern lines so they will fit with the rest of the furniture and décor you are using.

Use a combination of small and large pots to create interest and visual flow throughout your outdoor space. You can use large pots on the ground or stands to create extra shelving or additional seating.

If you want to add greenery to your space, try using compact plants that won’t take up too much room.

Plant Climbing Greenery

When you are working with a smaller space, vertical elements, such as plants that climb, can be a great way to add colour, break up the small space and create a sense of privacy at the same time.

 Climbing plants, such as bougainvillea and jasmine, are easy to train and can cover fences, pergolas, and even your home.

 Try to keep the colours and tones of your climbing plants consistent with the rest of your garden décor and furniture.

Consider Artificial Grass for Ease

Artificial grass is an excellent option for anyone who wants a modern look. Still, it doesn’t have the space to accommodate a large lawn.

Artificial grass is an excellent option if you are restricted by a small space or simply can’t or don’t want to maintain a large grass lawn.

You can even create areas of different types of grass and different textures and colours to create interest.

Grow Your Own Herbs and Small Vegetables

One thing that can easily be overlooked in small garden ideas is the opportunity to grow your own herbs and vegetables.

It may seem like an impossible task in such a small space, but there are plenty of plants that can be grown easily in pots and containers.

You don’t have to grow only herbs and vegetables either. There are plenty of small fruit trees that are easy to grow in containers.

And if you don’t have any gardening skills, there are plenty of ready-to-grow kits available, making it easy for all to create their own edible gardens.

Consider Water Features

If you have a relatively larger space, consider a water feature. A small fountain, such as a cascading wall fountain, can create a relaxing sound that will make your space more extensive and serene.

When deciding what type of water feature to purchase, make sure you have enough room for it to be positioned in the right way to make it look attractive and not just be an eyesore.

Try to find a water feature with a low maintenance level so it’s not a chore to keep it running. LED lights can be added to some water features and create an even more serene look that is great for creating ambiance in the evening.

Allow Maximum Light in From the Top

Another way to create a larger feel in your small garden is to allow maximum light from the top.

Avoid having trees or other tall plants that will block natural light where possible. And if you have trees you can’t avoid, consider installing artificial lights to add extra illumination where needed.

You can add lights to your garden, such as along a pergola or wall lighting.

Providing as much light as possible also means adding more colourful plants, so your garden can be filled with a wider variety of flowers and plants.

Consider Wicker Privacy Fences

Privacy is vital in most gardens, but it can be difficult for small garden ideas where everything is close together. One way to create privacy is to use wicker fencing.

Wicker fencing is a great way to create a clean look without blocking out light completely. If you have a smaller space, you can create a false wall that acts as a privacy screen.

Wicker fencing can also break up a space and create segments, such as a small seating area in the corner of your garden.

This will provide you with privacy and add interest to your space.

Use Decking as Segmentation

Another way to break up a smaller space is to use decking as segmentation. You can use this to create different areas in your garden or even to create an outdoor kitchen.

Consider using decking to separate specific areas from others if you have a larger space. This will make your garden seem larger by providing different places to sit and relax.  

You can create a dining area, a seating area, and even a hot tub area if you have space. Decking is a great way to bring the indoors out, so it’s an excellent solution for smaller spaces where the only outdoor space is a small balcony.

Use Seasonal Plants and Flowers

Finally, when looking at How to achieve a modern look in a small garden and make the most of the space and the season by choosing plants and flowers that will last only for a short time.

This will help to keep your garden looking fresh and exciting, but won’t take up too much room or require too much care when they are in.


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