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There’s no reason a house with a small yard can’t make a big statement. As the first thing potential buyers will see, it’s important to spruce up your curb appeal to create an inviting and visually pleasing exterior to help potential buyers envision themselves living in your home. According to NAR’s 2023 Remodeling Impact Report, 92% of Realtors® recommend curb appeal improvements before listing a home.
You’ll need to cover the basics: trim shrubs and trees, pull out weeds, and clean up the yard. But small home curb appeal also means thinking big. Working with a tight space means you’ll need to focus buyers’ eyes upward and outward, show off your home’s best qualities, and persuade them that your little patch of green isn’t as small as it might seem.
“Drawing your eye up gives the appearance that you’ve got more space,” says Amy Vastardis, a top real estate agent of 25 years in the greater Orlando, Florida area. “I have a very small yard, and I’ve got banana trees. The big leaves just give the appearance of the yard being more lush, which tricks the mind. It makes it feel like you have more space.”
Read on for 10 great ways to boost your small home curb appeal.
1. Think vertical
Spaces look larger when you draw people’s attention skyward, so incorporate design elements that encourage visitors to look up and around.
Think statement lighting; tall planters and plants, such as bamboo or topiaries; and high-topped accent furniture.
If your front entryway looks tiny or tired, you can add height and make more of a design statement with a piece of crown molding and paint to match.
2. Create a focal point
Small front yards can make use of larger, ornamental plants, giving the illusion of more space. A grouping of bromeliads is big and colorful enough to create a focal point, as if the plants are a showpiece.
Speaking of succulents, their sculptural shapes and easy care make them ideal for container gardens. Arranging one in a fountain or a birdbath pours dramatic color and texture into a small space.
A focal point could also be a piece of outdoor art, such as this Indigo Sun Wall Decor that could be hung by the front door, or on a backyard fence among a small sitting arrangement. “It’s drawing the eye away from looking at the size of the yard to looking at something pretty,” Vastardis shares.
3. Layer your landscaping
Raised planter boxes or planters with multiple tiers create the illusion of an ample garden, adding a layering effect to the yard rather than having all the landscaping at ground level.
If you’re feeling handy, Home Depot provides a video tutorial for building a three-tier planter box for a small space that gives flowers and herbs plenty of room to bloom. The raised design also allows for good drainage.
4. Add bursts of color
Colorful seasonal flowers or ones that coordinate with the rest of your house invite buyers to see the yard in vignettes, rather than just one small space, Vastardis suggests.
The award-winning design blog Home Stratosphere has several suggestions that could work in a small yard or a small porch, such as:
- Twin topiaries highlighted with white blossoms
- A pair of potted, leafy ornamentals
- Purple petunia in planter boxes
- Pink bougainvillea with string vines and petunia blossoms
- Red blossoms coordinated with potted white petunias
5. Play with size
Similar to the banana trees that Vastardis has in her yard, one large piece can help a small space feel larger, provided your yard doesn’t appear overstuffed. You can add architectural dimension to a utilitarian garage door, for instance, by perching a pergola with shapely brackets above it.
6. Punch up the floor
A small porch becomes a room of its own if you pay extra attention to what’s underfoot. Adding a fresh coat of paint to your porch floors or playing with patterned tiles can give your outdoor space some extra flair. But you don’t have to go crazy. Muted color palettes can just as well enhance an otherwise boring facade.
7. Trim out your flower beds
Creating borders along your flower beds gives the landscaping a professional finish. Similar to a cozy seating area on a patio, a defined landscaping bed also visually divides your property into “rooms” with different purposes, giving the appearance of a larger space because the yard serves several functions, Vastardis adds.
Choose from a variety of lawn edging material or use concrete pavers to create border edging. Simply cut the grass along the landscaping bed and lay the pavers flat on top or hammer them into the dirt vertically along the long edge with a rubber mallet.
8. Define your walkway
Whether you use square stomp stones or abstract stepping stones atop a thin bed of gravel or mulch, a clear walkway again pulls the eye away from a yard’s overall size and provides a design feature that guides guests right to your front door. Even a modest walkway can stand out as a focal point when decorated with small flowers and solar lighting.
9. Don’t forget the sides
Potential buyers won’t just view the front and back of your house. Why not emphasize all the space your tiny yard has and boost your curb appeal by adding a pathway or pergola along the side of your home? The sides of a home are often narrow, so utilizing them to connect your front and back yard can be a very effective use of the space.
10. Accent with light
Light makes any space feel larger, warmer, and more inviting. If you have a small porch, double sconces can enhance the entry.
A flush-mounted ceiling light is ideal for entries with low ceilings, or you can hang a pendant light if you have enough height to do so.
You also can make use of natural light by brightening a small porch with mirrors, as it could create an illusion of space and reflect the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Maximize charm to enhance small home curb appeal
The size of a yard doesn’t dictate its appeal; it’s the attention to detail and smart use of space that leaves a lasting impression. By focusing on tailored landscaping, a welcoming entryway, and elements that highlight a small yard’s unique character, homeowners can create an inviting atmosphere that stands out.
The best part of heightening small home curb appeal is that even one change can make a grand statement. So whether it’s through vibrant garden beds, strategic lighting, or a fresh coat of paint, enhancing curb appeal for a home with a small yard showcases the big possibilities that lie within its modest dimensions.
Header Image Source: (Artazum/ Shutterstock)