To create a feeling of expansiveness in a small yard, carve out distinct garden areas and outdoor rooms. Consider my own property, which is shown in these slides: An ornamental border along the street adds curb appeal, an entry garden welcomes visitors, there's a private patio for dining, and a woodsy backyard for lounge-chair relaxing—all on a 60-by-100-foot lot. Not only do the "rooms" make the yard more functional, they keep from revealing the whole place at once, so there's a sense of discovery as you move through them.
Colorful perennials layered on both sides of the fence greet visitors, while a bracketed lamppost and garden gate lead them to the front walk. A flowering 'Kousa' dogwood tree is scaled to the house and provides a front-yard focal point.