10 Tips to Design a Small Garden with Outdoor Furniture

06 June 2024

10 Tips to Design a Small Garden with Outdoor Furniture

10 Tips to Design a Small Garden with Outdoor Furniture

Small gardens often feel cramped and underutilised. Your clients want a beautiful, functional space, but limited room poses significant challenges. How can you transform and design a small garden into a stylish, welcoming retreat without sacrificing comfort or aesthetics?

You’ve seen it before: clients frustrated by cluttered patios or barren gardens. They dream of a serene escape, a place to entertain guests or unwind after a long day, but they’re stuck with a few square meters of potential.

The wrong furniture choices can make these small spaces feel even more confined, leaving clients disappointed and your design prowess underappreciated. Fear not. With the right strategies, you can turn any small garden into a stunning outdoor oasis.

Here are 10 practical tips to help you design a small garden and choose the perfect outdoor furniture to elevate your outdoor design projects.


1. Prioritise Functionality

Source: Laskasas | Salim Outdoor Sofa

First, pinpoint how your client wants to use the garden. Is it for entertaining, relaxing, or dining? This clarity guides your furniture choices, ensuring every piece serves a purpose without overcrowding the space.


2. Opt for Multi-functional Furniture

Source: Evening Standard | Bench with storage

Space is limited, so furniture needs to work double duty. Look for benches with storage, tables that double as planters, or ottomans that can be used as seating and storage. Multi-functional pieces maximise utility and keep the garden tidy.



3. Choose Lightweight Materials

Source: Cloudinary and Home Designing | Aluminium and rattan outdoor sofas

Lightweight materials like aluminium or synthetic rattan make moving and rearranging furniture a breeze. These durable, weather-resistant options are perfect for outdoor settings and allow for flexible furniture layouts, adapting to various activities.


4. Incorporate Vertical Elements

Source: Gardenstead | Vertical garden

Utilise vertical space to keep the garden floor clear. Tall plants, trellises, and hanging planters add height and visual interest. Wall-mounted shelves or folding tables also free up ground space while providing practical storage solutions.


5. Select a Cohesive Colour Palette

Source: Laskasas | Salim outdoor collection

A unified colour scheme creates harmony and a sense of space. Neutral tones with strategic pops of colour can make the garden feel larger and more inviting. Coordinate furniture colours with natural elements to enhance the garden’s aesthetic appeal.


6. Embrace Foldable Furniture

Source: Corido | Foldable dining set

Foldable furniture is a game-changer for small gardens. Chairs and tables that can be easily stored away when not in use free up valuable space for other activities, making the garden versatile and dynamic.


7. Use Mirrors to Create Illusion

Source: Pinterest and Cut Plastic Sheeting | Vertical mirrors

Mirrors can make a small garden appear more spacious. Place them strategically to reflect light and greenery, creating an illusion of depth. Mirrored surfaces on furniture or decorative items can also enhance this effect.


8. Integrate Built-in Seating

Source: Future CDN | Built-in seating

Built-in seating, such as perimeter benches, saves space and provides ample seating without the bulk of traditional furniture. Custom-built options can include hidden storage, combining functionality with sleek design.


9. Layer Lighting

Source: Homify | Layer lighting

Proper lighting can transform a small garden, extending its usability and enhancing its charm. Combine fairy lights, lanterns, and LED strips to create a warm, inviting atmosphere that highlights key features and sets the mood.


10. Personalise with Accessories

Source: Hello Magazine | Accessories for added personality

Accessories like cushions, outdoor rugs, and throws add comfort and personality. Choose weather-resistant materials to ensure durability. Personal touches make the garden feel bespoke and aligned with your client’s unique style.


Design a small garden doesn’t have to be daunting. By focusing on functionality, selecting versatile and lightweight furniture, and making the most of vertical and built-in elements, you can create an outdoor space that delights your clients.

Use these tips to inspire your next project, transforming even the tiniest garden into a beautiful, functional haven that showcases your design expertise.


Diogo Filipe Mendes

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