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Custom backyard design with string lights, outdoor dining area and multiple planters filled with annuals and small trees.

3 Landscape Design Ideas for Small Backyards

Homes with smaller backyards can benefit greatly from landscaping and design choices that maximize available space while creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing outdoor area. At Creative Environments, we have helped homeowners craft their dream exterior spaces for decades, and if you are looking to maximize the space in your backyard, our expertise can make all the difference. Read on for some tips to make even the smallest outdoor area feel spacious and put-together.

Maximize Vertical Space

For smaller exterior areas, utilizing vertical space can allow homeowners the freedom to include water or green elements that can add height and dimension. In our Sereno Canyon Mayne model, colored planter pots help break up the stone backdrop of a seating area, creating an attention-grabbing but also space-saving effect. In the pool area of our Adero Canyon model, a shaded lounging area overlooking the backyard also serves as a unique water feature cascading into the pool below.

Strategic Lighting

Good outdoor lighting does more than just illuminate a space or set a mood – it can go a long way towards boosting the visual and functional appeal of smaller backyards. Overhead string lighting is a great way to maximize space in smaller backyards without breaking up the design or flow and can make even the smallest spaces feel warm and inviting. At our Whisper Ranch Westin and Camelot Home Bronco models, overhead string lighting paired with green and floral elements helps make entertaining spaces feel enticing and lived-in.

Outdoor Shelving and Storage

For backyards where space is more of a premium, shelving and storage options can boost the visual appeal while keeping the space clutter-free. At our Crossings at Meridian model, an outdoor entertaining space is flanked by a gardening area with raised planter beds and plentiful shelving. Beyond just a place to hang rakes, gloves or other gardening staples when not in use, horizontal shelves are used here to house colorful pots, giving homeowners a space-saving way to show off their green thumb.

Our Flora at Morrison Ranch model features floral allotments with overhanging plant pots, allowing homeowners to maximize their planting spaces and have creative ways to display green elements.


As the #1 Phoenix Landscaping and Build Company, we have decades of experience giving Arizona homeowners exceptional spaces they can enjoy for years to come. Our design process ensures we can bring the ideas for your space to life. For tips on designing a backyard oasis everyone can enjoy, please contact us today.

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