There are many tricks to make a small yard seem larger. Place bold, bright colors in the front to catch attention. The landscape beyond will appear to recede making the yard appear larger.
This small back yard has lots of shrubs which blocks out the view beyond. This gives a feeling of coziness. The small scale becomes a small retreat.
Use the power of perspective. Long straight lines make a space seem bigger than it is. To create the illusion slant the far end of the lines toward one another. In this picture the split-rail fence inhanced by the rows of shrubs makes the yard seem larger than it is.
Break up open areas of a small space so it feels larger. In the picture on the left the bed of roses, annuals, and perennials divides the small back yard. This creates the illusion of a larger yard.
Create an interest. The patio made of paving stones makes a distraction. The combination of paving stones draws your eye so that you hardly notice the small landscape..
Make a destination. The attraction in the picture on the left is the pergola covered with wisteria. Putting the pergola in the back corner of the yard gives your eye a destination. With the help of the stepping stones the yard feels more spacious.