How to Use Redwood for Maximum Impact in Minimal Space

While redwood trees may tower hundreds of feet in the air, redwood lumber brings the natural beauty and many benefits as a building product to even the smallest yard. Its ease of use among carpenters makes it a material of choice for projects of any size. Redwood is the perfect partner for outdoor living rooms that are grandly appointed or starkly simple. It's also widely available at local lumberyards. To make the most of your small scale space, add redwood to your plans.

Redwood lumber is naturally strong and durable, shrinks and swells less than other woods, and is less likely to warp or split. This natural strength, combined with its environmental benefits, makes redwood an ideal choice for outdoor living improvements. Redwood is also naturally rot and insect resistant—two more reasons why it’s perfect for outdoor projects. This natural product takes any finish—whether its paint, stain, or a clear sealant that lets the beauty of its wood grain shine through—and holds on tight. Even though it's naturally lightweight, redwood’s strength means it's a very easy material for DIYers of all skill levels to work with.

Many homeowners think redwood is a material best suited for decks, but there’s so much more that redwood can deliver—and on a much smaller scale. Here are a few ways other than a deck you can use redwood in your yard.


Create memorable transitions from one part of a yard to the next with redwood arbors. These structures can reinforce the main lines and aesthetic of a house to connect outdoor and indoor spaces. They can also make a statement from the sidewalk, signaling a formal entry to your yard.


A wood planter box with flowers and a watering can.

As a nontoxic wood species, redwood is ideal for garden boxes and planters to hold flowering plants, herbs, and even vegetable gardens. You can set the scale that’s best for your green thumb, whether it's a small box on your patio for herbs or a larger size for vegetables in your yard.


Any form of seating—tables, benches, chairs—all deliver the promise of a comfortable place to gather when built with redwood. The portability of redwood furniture pieces leaves flexibility for your small yard. Consider plans like benches that pull double duty as storage for outdoor accessories with a seat that lifts up, or benches paired with planters that define a colorful conversation area.


A wood trellis with green vines.

Take your space vertical with redwood trellises to provide privacy, a space for climbing plants to grow, or even to help cover unsightly utility connections.


As an open-air structure, pergolas bring visual interest out into a yard without filling in sight lines or isolating the space. Using redwood as the lumber of choice means the pergola can last a generation. There’s no limit to what the pergola can anchor for you—an outdoor kitchen, conversation space, lounge…let your lifestyle set the rules.


No project is too small for redwood! Whether a set of drink coasters or pillars for candles, there’s a wealth of ways to incorporate natural redwood into your design plans for an outdoor space.

Finding the right building materials for projects like these is especially important. When it comes to versatility of design and durability of construction, no other product out there matches the quality and durability of redwood.

Jessica Hewitt is Director of Marketing at Humboldt Redwood Company, which is working to cultivate a lasting legacy of environmentally responsible forestry and sourcing.