How to make your garden look bigger


With summer already at our front door, it’s only natural that you’ll want to spend more time outside enjoying your garden while having guests around to make the most of this sunny time of year.

But what should you do if your garden feels a bit too small to decorate with large set pieces and big plants? What if it doesn’t feel spacious enough to welcome more than a few friends or family at once? How do you create depth in a small garden without it being obvious?

Well, the good news is that it’s perfectly possible to turn even a small garden into a big space filled with character, one that you and your guests will be eager to relax in on those cool summer evenings.

So, with that in mind, here are our top tips on how to make a small garden look bigger!

1. Less is often more

When it comes to decorating a smaller garden space, the number one rule you should always aim to follow is that less is often more.

A large water feature, for example, is going to overwhelm a small space by the sheer dominance of its size, whereas a more moderate feature will only make a small garden look bigger by allowing space for everything around it to breathe.

And if you are looking to decorate your space with a feature or two, you should try to avoid having any more than 1-3, depending on the size space you have to work with and the size of your chosen features – any more than this and you run the risk of your garden becoming a cluttered and noisy mess.

2. Make use of perspective

Besides the less is more rule, when it comes to how to make a small garden look bigger, one other key thing you need to take advantage of is perspective. With the right visual tricks, it’s very easy to make your garden appear longer or taller than it actually is, elevating the overall feel of the space.

For example, by using gradually shrinking circular tiles in a path away from your home, you can create a sense of depth with the illusion of a vanishing path. A set of slightly oversized square tiles can also be used in a similar manner if placed away from the house with a suitably sized feature on or around them.

Besides these tricks, you might also want to consider laying a winding path connecting your different garden zones, helping to create the illusion of length. Get creative and clever with this layout to see how it might look with different turns, though don’t overcomplicate things and make it messy.

3. Choose vivid colours

It goes without saying that brighter colours can do wonders for lighting up a dull space, especially in a garden that only receives a limited amount of sunshine over the course of the day.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to choose plants, paints, and shades that are either naturally light or bright, welcoming in plenty of fresh colour. You should also think about incorporating different textures into your choice of garden materials, which will again add further variation to how your garden feels.

4. Create social spaces

Naturally, an important aspect of any small garden design is how you choose to use the space you’re given. If you’re lucky, you might be able to have two or more social areas, but even if you only have room for one social space, you can still make the most of it.

For example, by installing a set of sliding or bi-folding doors to a room backing onto your garden’s patio or deck, you can instantly expand your social space by opening the doors fully and merging the two areas into one singular space.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to make a small garden look bigger without changing your home, then you might want to construct a tiled or decked social space at your garden’s far end, one accessed by said winding path or through raised beds. You could even elevate this distant space above your lawn, adding a further sense of height.

Impressive Victorian terrace house extension featuring black sliding doors

5. Add in a hidden space

Besides a dedicated social area, another great option for those looking at how to make a small garden look bigger is to incorporate a hidden space into your garden. This space can be anything you want, so long as it’s private and secluded.

If possible, this space should also be cut off from view directly from your home, and only be accessible from one route, adding an air of mystery to it and enhancing the zoning effect of your garden.

6. Make smart use of planting

As we’ve already mentioned, using bright colours is essential for making smaller spaces appear larger, and that means choosing bright plants that complement the aesthetic of your chosen style.

However, on top of this, you should also be mindful of where you choose to plant these. For example, lining your wall with climbers will add a greater feeling of height, as will using tiered around your borders – ones that keep small plants at the bottom and taller plants on top so nothing is obscured from view.

And as a rule of thumb regarding plants, you want to avoid planting anything that will outgrow the height of your garden too much, such as a large tree, and yous should avoid bushes where possible as they take up a lot of room for their size.

7. Keep your garden de-cluttered

Last, but not least, it’s a good idea to keep any clutter in your garden to a minimum. For example, if you have lots of potted plants, you should keep them in a singular clump rather than spread around the garden where they might disrupt the flow. The same goes for your garden furniture as well.

And speaking of furniture, you might want to consider investing in storage space that can double up as a seating area. This is particularly useful if you don’t have room for a shed, and it also acts as a spot to store any simple outside furniture in the winter.


These are just our top tips for making your garden look bigger this summer, and there are plenty more out there for you to try. Of course, if you are looking to open up your whole home to the outdoors this year, then why not get in touch with Express to inquire about our bi-folding and sliding doors?

We have over a decade of experience making bespoke windows and entrances for our customers, so get in touch with us today to see how can help you. And don’t forget that you can visit our showrooms in person to see our full selection of products, as well as browse the rest of our blog for more home and garden articles like this one.

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