How to make your home’s outdoor spaces seem bigger

by Greg on November 6, 2018

Make outdoor spaces look bigger

So you bought a house. You did what you could. Most people wish they had a bit more space. But economics plays a role. You get what you can afford, what you can manage, and what is responsible to own during a time when we’re all trying to reduce our carbon footprint.

But part of the joy of buying a place of your own is the dream of enjoying the outdoors. Finally a garden where you can do what you like! Or at the very least, a balcony where you make the rules. Unfortunately, however, when you buy a place to live, the outdoor space is often the area where you are force to make compromises. Smaller garden, bigger kitchen… right?

Well, welcome to the world of owning property. If you’re new to this, and to interior design, you’re going to need to start getting used to the idea of making things seem roomier than they are. Sometimes it means knocking through a wall, or adding bigger windows. In your garden and on your balcony, it can be a bit less dramatic, but just as effective.

You can’t extend your garden (without tricking your neighbors). You can’t extend your balcony (without gambling with the laws of physics). Bit you can expand your mind, man!

So how to do so without hallucinogenic drugs? We’re talking about visual perspective tricks. Tricking your own eye into thinking that spaces are bigger than they are, and objects are further away than they happen to be.

It doesn’t matter if your conscious mind knows your garden is tiny. When you’re sunbathing or gardening, your subconscious mind is what makes you feel cramped or as though your space is roomy. So let’s look at some techniques for making these tricks happen.

Place your plants strategically

Your brain is constantly triangulating distances based on what it understands about the physical universe around you. Trick your brain by doing stuff that plays mayhem with its calculations. For example, put large plants and garden furniture in the foreground, or near where you hang out, and smaller items in the background. Because small things look like they’re far away, smaller things will seem like they are even further away.

The only exception is the corners. If you put tall plants in the corners of your garden, it will accentuate the extremities of your space, making it look taller and wider. For added effect, cover your walls and fences with climbing plants, to give the illusion that there are no artificial boundaries at all!

Use the light

Brightness creates space. In your garden and on your balcony, you can create the illusion of more space by adding mirrors and painting walls in bright, reflective colors. See-through furniture can also work, while using plant-colored furniture minimizes the appearance of an artificially small natural space.

String lights and smart use of lighting can also illuminate dark corners of the garden in the evening so that you don’t feel crowded by the dark.

Inspired? This new visual guide to making your home’s outdoor spaces seem bigger lays it all out in a series of techniques you can try this weekend. Then you can spend the rest of the year enjoying your home!

How to make outdoor spaces look bigger - infographic


John Cole

John writes on behalf of NeoMam Studios. A digital nomad specializing in leadership, digital media, and personal growth topics, his passions include world cinema and biscuits. A native Englishman, he is always on the move, but can most commonly be spotted in the UK, Norway, and the Balkans.

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