Small Backyard Dining Area

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working like a madwoman in our backyard. We put up a little privacy fence/trellis of sorts about a month ago (you can see a little peek here), and it was the piece de resistance that finally sort of made our yard all fall together in the way I had been envisioning since the day we moved in. Funny how one little thing can do that. I’ll be sharing more about that space next week, but today, I thought I’d show you a simple Small Backyard Dining Area that I created in our oh-so-tiny side yard. I actually debated whether or not to share this space, because we found a better solution for us, so it no longer looks like this. BUT, before we found that other solution, this was a spot we actually used quite a bit and enjoyed, and it seems like backyards are getting smaller and smaller these days, so no harm in sharing a small space idea that worked for us, right?

Small Space Gravel Patio

It’s not the prettiest space. Far from it. (I’m looking at you big, ugly gas meter.) But it’s functional, and you work with what you’ve got, right? I long for a huge backyard with room for a pool, but we love our neighborhood and have walkability to a lot of cool stuff around us, so for us, the trade-off for sprawling spaces is location. Which means that we work with what we’ve got. If you’ve been around here for a bit, you may remember what this spot looked like last summer. My deep, dark, embarrassing secret, also known as the graveyard of yard tools and toys past. (Reading that post from last year is a surefire way to feel better about the state of your yard–promise!!)


We started by clearing out all of the junk and weeds, and then sprayed everything with weed and gas killer. You guys, that stuff is a DREAM!! I literally pulled three little weeds in this space this Spring. After it had been cleared out, sprayed down, and leveled, we laid down some black weed blocking cloth and then covered it with pea gravel (I’ll have a more in-depth post on this whole process next week).

Small Space Pea Gravel Patio

It stayed sort of just a clean, gravel sideyard for a while, and then I had an idea. Can we talk about the necessity of a grill, but also how much freaking room they take up on a patio? I was feeling like the grill was taking up way more than it’s fair share of space on our small patio, so I talked the husband into moving it over to this little side yard area. I had bought a couple of new pieces for the patio to make it more of a loungy area, which displaced this little table too, so over here it came. The bonus to this spot is that it really only sees the sun for a couple of hours in the morning, so it’s a nice, cool, shady spot in the evening when we’re grilling.

Small Backyard Ideas

We admittedly didn’t do a ton of eating out here, but it has been a great place to just sort of chill, have a drink, and chat while my husband works his magic at the grill (he’s an amazing cook).

How to Arrange a Small Backyard

Basically, the moral of this story is: don’t write off tiny spaces. If I had kept this space, I probably would have added a small, wood fence divider of sorts to hide the ugly gas meters maybe even some posts with some outdoor curtains and lights. You really can do a lot with small spaces and honestly, finding a solution to what you thought was wasted space is a fun little victory (or am I just weird?). I’m so excited to show you next week what we’ve done with our little backyard!!

Small Backyard Dining Area


  1. Christine says

    wow, wow, wow, what a transition . I am so impressed when people can make the MOST out of any space.

  2. says

    Thanks for sharing your story with us, Jenn. I totally agree with Christine – you have made an amazing transformation, and it reminds me that a lot of ‘restrictions’ we face are in our minds. You have carved a beautiful jewel from a rough stone!

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