Need ideas for small outdoor spaces? Take a look at this courtyard reveal by @joshandjenna!


Don’t be fooled by the small size of a courtyard – take a leaf out of Josh and Jenna's book to transform a small outdoor space into a comfortable retreat that you won’t want to leave! With a Melbourne-based interior design practice, Bicker Design, and having founded Design School which offers classes in Geelong, there’s no question that the couple live and breathe home design.

We’ve been given a sneak peak into the courtyard they’ve build for their amazing new home on a tiny 240sqm block behind a worker’s cottage in North Melbourne.


Pictured: Josh and Jenna chose Amart’s ELWOOD Set: a compact design with space for the whole family.


When it comes to courtyard ideas, light is everything! This courtyard proves that outdoor spaces can be repurposed as a central living area or a decorative outdoor alfresco dining area with strategic use of light colours, shades and materials.

Bench seats are on-trend this summer for small living spaces as they blend compact living with spacious dining. For larger gatherings, have a few LYLA and SKYLAR chairs on hand, as they can be brought out for seating and stacked and stowed away easily straight after.



8 BIG design ideas for small courtyards


Take a leaf out of Josh and Jenna’s ‘courtyard ideas’ book to make sure your small courtyard is the best on the block:

  1. Plants make the space! No matter how small your area, there’s always room for a bit of foliage. Bring the area to life with tall, narrow plants such as the Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) or the Giant Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia nicholi). Add depth by layering the heights and by using pots that are finished with a mix of modern and rustic glazes.
  2. Lay down varying floor finishes to create interest. Josh and Jenna use mixed timber decking over different levels and simple white concrete to create zones in their outdoor space. Define spaces with miniature mondo grass, adding a pop of green and softness to the solid surfaces.
  3. Create romantic moods and visual beauty that captures your gaze along the boundary using scented vines such as our favourite Chinese Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) and hanging pots.
  4. Maintain a simple colour palette to inspire a relaxing, uncluttered atmosphere. You can create harmonious uniformity with two or three colours or shades – just run the theme through your cushions, table centerpieces, artwork and flower beds.
  5. Build on the design that you already have inside - paint the walls a colour that stitches the space together to create a cohesive palette.
  6. Don’t forget the storage! Notice Josh and Jenna’s barbecue area? They designed it with purpose-built sections for firewood. Consider benches that double as storage areas, walls that convert to cupboards and even tables or chairs with built in storage underneath.
  7. If your outdoor living space is exposed to the elements, head into your local Amart Furniture for low maintenance, high quality outdoor furniture. Neutral TANGALOOMA surfaces and rust resistant construction ensure years of enjoyment, while a SHADE MASTER MK2 in taupe will allow you to set up and pack down quickly and easily to enjoy the outdoors; rain, hail or shine.
  8. If you want a relaxing place to sit but don’t have the space for a chaise or lounge, this LACY rattan furniture setting or these REPLICA ADIRONDACK and matching side table are the ideal small courtyard entertaining suites. Whatever your theme, one of these are sure to suit!

When it comes to outdoor living areas, size really doesn’t matter. As long as you have a great eye for design, you can make any space feel spacious and homey - all it takes is a few expert courtyard ideas to bring a space to life.