Gardens for Homes Series: Decorative Garden For Small Spaces

Design Space

No matter how small the space allotted for a decorative garden in your home, it can be designed and customised in accordance to the size and shape of the given space. Fine examples of small spaces in your homes that can be decorated into a garden are the balcony, indoor courtyard or even any small indoor niche.

Just as the typical home gardens, small decorative gardens can also contain elements of classic home and garden decor such as water element, potted plants, rocks, wooden deck, and garden furniture and so on. These garden elements are small and simple in form, and easily assembled without requiring heavy construction. Planting should also be made in pots, using small-sized and shade-resistant plant species.

Balcony garden

A composition using artificial turf, potted plants, and some furniture arrangement turns a balcony into a garden setting outdoor living room. A pergola build above provides shade to the sitting area. Some potted plants placed on the wall add a vertical green to this outdoor living space.


For a balcony or indoor niche of the house, the floor area can be replaced with rocks, wood decking or artificial turf to add distinctiveness. Water elements such as fountains and fish ponds add interest or focal points to the garden space.  These can be made using materials such as pebbles, bricks, wood and use of pool liners or large pot or container to contain the water.

If space is not too constraint, garden furniture such as tea table or small benches can be placed in the small garden or balcony as an extension of living space.






under a staircase garden

A niche under a staircase can be turned into an attractive space by creating a small pool with water cascade from the wall and simple placement of potted plants and artificial turf flooring.


Plants for indoor garden spaces can be planted in planters or pots. If space is limited it can also be planted on a vertical planting method or a green wall.

Like planting on the ground soil, potted plants can also be arranged using varieties of plants into a garden composition.  However, the choice of plant species must take into account conditions such as sun-light condition, area moisture level and so on.





A narrow balcony with lush planting in planters along the edges with climbers trailing on the wall, create a closed green view from the indoor.

A narrow balcony with lush planting in planters along the edges with climbers trailing on the wall, create a closed green view from the indoor.

Design Tips

Designing decorative garden in small spaces need to give the impression of spaciousness, while imparting charm of the area.  It also requires more intricate design details as the visual impact is closer.

Some tips suitable for decoration and design of this garden are as follows:

  • Choose simple but elegant design that is organised and not too and not too cluttered;
  • Use vertical forms in planting or garden décor to give the illusion height and space;
  • Curved shaped design also gives the impression of space;
  • Using the decorative elements that are lightweight and does not require heavy construction; and
  • Combine plants with garden ornaments, according to suitability for space integration and looking neat.



By: Rozita Abdul Hamid 

Rozita is a Landscape Architect / Master Planner with over 20 years experience in the field at national and international levels. Some prominent projects that she has been involved are Landscape Master Plan of Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur Landscape Master Plan, Hard Rock Café Melaka and landscape projects in Burj Dubai and The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai.


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