Garden experts have revealed if you want to create the illusion of a spacious garden, it's best to avoid pale shades and instead opt for dark neutrals.
When it comes to planning small garden ideas, the biggest question homeowners want the answer to this year is 'What color fence paint makes the garden look bigger?' New research* found that the color choice of our garden fence ideas was one of the biggest homes and gardens concerns, after 'how to paint kitchen cabinets' and 'how to choose wallpaper for a living room'.
We’ve spoke to garden design experts for their advice on choosing a fence color to make a small garden look bigger and their suggestions might surprise you.
The best fence color for a small garden
Instead of setting up a strong contrast between plants and background garden designers recommend creating the illusion of space by bringing everything together in a complementary green and brown color palette.
'We recommend using Secret Meadow, a deep olive-ish green,' says Erika Woelfel, Vice-President of Color & Creative Services at Behr Paint Company. 'Outdoors, Secret Meadow paint makes a stunning yet welcoming statement on a wooden garden gate, adding a sense of intrigue for guests about to enter your garden or backyard hideaway.'
'This organic green pairs perfectly with soft sandy colors or light stucco, playing off the colors of nearby foliage.'
Rachel Perls, an architectural color consultant and artist, recommends going a step further with a green-hued brown shade called Dragon’s Breath by Benjamin Moore. 'It’s the perfect natural mix of green, brown, and gray,' she says. 'It just sinks in the background, leaving the garden to attract all the attention. The paint color is deep, so it recedes. It’s muted, so it doesn’t compete with the plants.'
A fence serves a practical purpose to create better privacy, green is a great fence decorating idea for complementing foliage. However, if you want your wooden fence to blend seamlessly into the background Mark Osborne, director at Orangeries UK recommends always going for black.
'Nothing beats a black stain on exterior timbers,' says Mark Osborne. 'A black fence removes the fence from our attention and makes a nicer landscaping design by drawing attention to the garden and to plants instead.'
'Black wood stain is fast and easy to apply and doesn't leave brush marks behind like paint. Black stained timber behind green plants and gardens looks really good.'
*Research by Next homeware store
Sign up to the Homes & Gardens newsletter
Decor Ideas. Project Inspiration. Expert Advice. Delivered to your inbox.
Jayne Dowle is an award-winning freelance gardening, homes and property writer who writes about everything from swimming ponds to skyscraper apartments, for publications including Sunday Times Home, Times Bricks & Mortar, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and The Spectator. Awarded the Garden Journalist of the Year accolade at the Property Press Awards in 2021, she has a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford and a lifelong love of homes, interiors and gardens. Her first memories include planting potatoes with her grandfather and drawing houses. Her own garden - her fourth - at home in a 1920s house in Yorkshire, is south-facing and on the side of a valley. It’s a constant challenge.
Hilary Duff matches fragrances with her design choices – and her technique can amplify our interior style
The actress sat down with H&G to explain how scent complements varied design styles, and we can't wait to recreate it
By Sophie Edwards Published
These designers source and restore vintage furniture every single day – here are their top tips for shopping and reviving
Joe McGuier and Megan Prime – architects and co-founders of Brooklyn-based JAM and JAM Shop – share their best advice for finding, refurbishing and styling antique home goods
By Abby Wilson Published