Design Trends

Small, but Mighty: Making the Most of Limited Outdoor Space

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Over two-thirds of homeowners use their outdoor spaces multiple times per week, regardless of life stage.1 Working with a small lot? No problem. Function matters more than size. 

Here are three small townhome yards with big impact: 

1. Bring the Porch Lifestyle to the Forefront

Thrive Home Builders teamed up with Godden Sudik Architects to design their popular DoMore Rows in Baseline, CO. The design team challenged themselves to create a front porch lifestyle that is seldom found in townhomes, which often have only upper-floor outdoor living. Adding front yards and patios created a communal space that encourages socialization between neighbors. It’s the perfect spot for a morning coffee or evening cocktail while catching up with friends.

2. Carve Out a Courtyard

At the Villa Townhomes at Walsh in Aledo, TX, Highland Homes used an unconventional layout to tuck in private outdoor living. The townhomes are attached at the front of the home and detached along the garage. The result: The perfect space for a side courtyard. What would normally be a shared wall between townhomes is opened up into a covered area for entertainment and a side yard that extends along the alley-loaded garage. The bonus: The opportunity to add windows along the side of the home to bring natural light into the interior units!  

3. Split Your Efforts 

When land is scarce—which is almost always!—break up the outdoor living space into smaller nodes around the home. Toll Brothers and BSB Design created the Cody Place townhomes with up to four private outdoor spaces per floor plan. A small pool in the backyard delivered the Palm Springs experience. Combined with covered balconies off the bedroom or a covered roof terrace, residents had multiple outdoor retreats to choose from. And even when you have just one outdoor space, thoughtfully segmenting it through merchandising can make the sum of the parts greater than the whole.

In a tough housing market, standing out and cutting costs are key. How do you decide which features to keep and which to cut? It’s all about knowing your audience. Do your research and understand who your buyers are and what they want in their homes.

For even more insights, complete this form to learn about becoming a New Home Trends Institute member. 

1 New Home Trends Institute by John Burns Real Estate Consulting October 2021 survey of 1,184 homeowners with homes containing outdoor space.