Here’s how to: make a little garden look big...

Here’s how to: make a little garden look bigger (featuring penthouse balconies too!)

To kick off our Penthouse Living series, we asked North Londoner Chelsea of to spill the secrets on why a garden could be the key to a good home (her Pinterest is AMAZING, btw)

Gardens Sell. Yep, that’s right… by having a nice garden you can add a sizeable chunk towards the sale price of your property. But your garden doesn’t have to be sizeable to do this!

Small gardens are no unusual sight in London. In fact, if you have a garden you are quids in and the envy of all friends, and if you have a balcony you’re nearly up there with the big dogs! You can of course boast to friends about your evening soirées and hold BBQs in your 3×3 ‘garden’ and be considered to have so. much. space.

But outside of London, if you do not have a big garden, it can be more damaging to your property cost. So how can homeowners and those looking to get on that ladder choose the right place? It’s all about garden space.

Giving your garden limitless boundaries

This may sound unusual but stick with me… when it comes to plants in a small garden, more is better! Yes, that sounds crazy. Why when you have a small garden would you want to fill it up? But it actually distorts the viewer’s idea of where the boundaries to the garden actually are. For instance; if you cannot see a fence because of climbers or a beautiful blooming wisteria, you would be unaware of the gardens edges, giving you the impression of a larger space.

Basically, bare fences box you in.

Adding a 3rd dimension

Pinterest is full of ideas for small gardens, my own board Fairy Garden explores some of these in my quest to make our small north-facing London garden into a deliciously useable space… one of the ideas I love: mirrors. Adding mirrors to your garden helps reflect light and space back into a garden with small boundaries.

If you place these correctly and are creative in your approach, you will find your garden looks as if it continues on into another space. Adding a gate in front of it provides the impression that you can walk into the rest of the garden and helps reflect light. But remember; check what the garden is reflecting back at you from all angles, keep the mirror clean from rain smears and sit back and enjoy as you find viewers nearly bumping into themselves!

Providing nooks and secret areas

Creating a winding pathway through a small garden may feel like an idea from Alice in Wonderland, but will actually give your garden the impression of being larger. When everything isn’t visible on first appearance, it creates a larger space.

Take time to ensure that the pathway disappears around large shrubs at every turn, add features in different spots such as a small love bench or bird feeder – these are items to discover. Even a very small garden can feel bigger with this “maze” effect.

All the light

Lighting creates depth and height, which is perfect for a garden which struggles with length and width. Stringing glass (not plastic as these go green!) globe bulbs creates a new modern feel in a small English garden. If you struggle to get electric points outside, you can use LED battery powered lights or solar powered lights. Adding these in a crisscross fashion over your garden or following your pathway will make your garden useable and very attractive for summer evening parties.

Maida Vale Balcony

Beautiful balconies for London flats

If you’re boasting a balcony (even if it’s small), you may be wanting to make it feel bigger and more luxurious.

Battersea Balcony

1. Never cut it off with furniture, think of it as an extension of your indoor space
If your balcony is small, it is likely you will not use it often. However, you can use your balcony as a feature. Face sofas sideways towards the balcony extending the sense of length in the room and a walkway to the outdoor space. Never face your sofa with its back toward the window.

2. Using a variety of green shrubs with bright plants creates a powerful connection between indoors and outdoors, creating the impression of a larger space. If you have a very small balcony, these plants create a focus point for the outside space and draw your eye toward this extension of the room.

3. Bring your balcony indoors, or your indoors, outside! By using complimenting indoor plants on the inside of your balcony doors, you extend your balcony into your room with minimal effort. Additionally, use your focus colours from within the room outside – pots can be painted the same colour as the rooms walls, room accessories such as throws and pillows can be selected in the same tones as the flowers chosen.