Hi everyone, first post and first homebuyer. I have a very small backyard (see photos). I am not sure whether to deck the entire backyard to make it larger (small deck already there) or to put pavers over the grass and path to fence. I need it to look as big as possible and on a budget. Also not sure whether to keep the 3 planter boxes. The photos are deceiving and it is smaller than it looks. I want to go for a tropical/zen feeling. I can't plant any trees as I don't want roots in any pipework, so maybe decorative pots for my elephant ears, small fire pit (maybe), small fountain (maybe), solar lighting and some seating. Would also like to have some sort of Bali hut or gazebo over the existing deck area as that is my back door which comes off a bedroom. Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Any suggestions would be appreciated?
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @brunettesrule. It's fantastic to have you join us, and many thanks for sharing your project with us.
It sounds like you have plenty of wonderful ideas there. Before we unpack them all, I just wanted to clarify what you meant by "I need it to look as big as possible". Why is that? Are you planning on selling and wish the area to appear larger than it is, or do you personally just want the area to feel larger? Adding many different features to an already compact space will not make it feel any larger, especially if you start adding in gazebos. I'd suggest selecting a few elements and working with those. Once they are established, then you can carefully choose others.
I presume you use that clothesline. If so, how do you think a Bali hut or gazebo would affect your ability to dry clothes? Even if they are open-roofed, they'd likely shade the clothes to a certain extent.
Nothing says Zen to me more than the simplicity of some white pebbles, and I'd suggest considering removing that grass and replacing it with them. While you're working down low, I'd paint the planters and the deck some other dark colour instead of mission brown. Personally, I'd choose something like black, which will enhance your Zen look. A water feature backed by a Merbau panel would look lovely as a centrepiece. We've also got a great range of bamboo panels to select from and some terrific Zen plant trainers.
This Bali rattan furniture would really complete the look and be very much on theme.
I'd suggest that it would be best if you started by drawing yourself up a diagram. Place some of the key items around and decide on a layout. Once you start planning, you'll be better able to see what design choices to make.
My colleague @EricL might also like to join the conversation if he has any ideas.
Wow your software is awesome. Can't wait till I post the kitchen lol. I am in the processing of buying the property, so not moved in yet. Just a million ideas going through my head. I also need to put a BBQ somewhere. Yes, I want the backyard to feel larger so I thought decking the entire backyard would do that as it would be continuous. The white pebbles look amazing. Love the water feature. I don't like the path, could we pebble over it. I don't use a clothesline and will probably remove it or get more screening the same and just hide it. I definitely want a small awning/gazebo/shade cloth over the decking for shade. Is is possible to paint the path black to match the deck? Thank you for the ideas.
Your idea of painting the path and existing deck the same colour is viable. It will give the area uniformity which is what you're after in such a small space. I suggest shade cloth rather than building a gazebo. Building another structure inside the already cramped space will make it even smaller. Removing the planter boxes will give you more space. However, you lose the opportunity of putting in decorative or flowering plants. Have a look around and play with some design ideas on pen and paper. This will let you focus on what you want to do.
Here is a link for ideas and inspiration: Top 10 most popular garden makeovers
If you need more advice or information, please let us know.
Here's some quick virtual decking to give you an idea of what it might look like. I encourage you to measure the space first to get a general idea of how big it will actually be.
If you need further assistance, please let us know.
@brunettesrule I am having a similar situation, small garden (not as small, but restricted by a giant easement). If you like the Zen feel, a Japanese courtyard style might be a good idea- using white gravel with small sculptural plants, some larger rocks and some taller bamboo or maples near the fence? You could even have a little water feature and some undulating either raking or stepping stones? You could keep the deck as-is or stain/paint.
Something like the ones in here could be fun: https://www.kyotojournal.org/gardens/tsubo-niwa-japanese-courtyard-gardens/
I'm a little envious cause I would love a Japanese courtyard but it wouldn't suit my house/yard! I'm going cottage garden instead
@seannami Thanks for your input. I just want a relaxed tropical/zen feeling in the backyard. As much as I love the white pebbles, it is space that I cannot use, I might put some white pebbles around my glazed pots. Definitely doing a water feature. All plants will be in pots. It is an extremely small area and I need to fit in a bbq, plants, seating area and water feature.