You can tell a lot about a man and the nature of his home just by catching a glimpse of his backyard space.
Is it sparse and poorly cared for, or well-curated and thoughtfully designed? Does it blend the natural world with his own domestic domain, and welcome guests and inhabitants alike no matter the time of year? Or does it appear as a barely acknowledged footnote, if not an outright inconvenience?
Small or expansive, a backyard is nothing short of paradise at your backdoor. From savvy English gardens to on-trend West Coast style spreads, there is truly no limit to the possibilities that await you. A backyard can be transformed into a Zen retreat, complete with rock gardens, manicured foliage, and even a koi pond, or a chic spa escape with meditative fountains and streamlined chaise lounges; the choice–and pleasure–is yours.
A superior backyard makes for superior living, period. It is a reminder that you needn’t invest large sums of money and time to fly to the far ends of the earth for a little R&R, but need only step outside. The best backyards combine all the simplicity of time-honored joys with the eye-appeal of modern design. No more mismatched lawn chairs and unsightly patches of neglected turf; it’s time to take your backyard to the next level. And with warmer seasons just a month away, now is your moment to seize these cool backyard ideas and unique possibilities.
Cool Backyard Ideas
Set under the protection of a pergola with soft lighting, this backyard settee arrangement is ideal for outdoor evening get-togethers. The elongated fire pit sets the mood while the elegant staircase and runway are grand enough for a haute couture fashion show.
Interesting and uniquely designed, great backyard ideas inspire stunning colors and innovative shapes. A built-in seating wall is constructed from brushed coral hued stone and accented by deep fuchsia cushions. The breathtaking view is restorative.
Create an interesting layout by adding bricks and a fire pit as a centerpiece to your backyard patio area. Bricks are a marvelous way to incorporate texture and visual stimulation to any outdoor space. Vertical evergreen plants adds additional organic textures and contrast.
This is the first place to go to after coming home from a long stressful day. Relaxing with a glass of wine by the fire or simply taking a swim in one of the two pools provides an ambient of ultra modern chic and requiescence. Aquamarine cushions complemented by striped accent pillows tops-off this backyard look.
Tubular seating constructed within a wading pool set against the beauty of exotic wood creates a spa like atmosphere. The ambiance is laid-back and amiable. The resort-like design has a timeless feel with bespoke natural elements.
There’s plenty of space with a myriad of entertainment possibilities in this large theme park designed backyard. It’s a family affair with a unique space for every age group.
A warm and cozy outdoor living space created with blocks of neutral stone slabs and an array of textures and patterns is ideal for entertaining or simply chilling out. The immense pergola provides adequate shade for sunny days while the fire pit provides warmth for cool nights.
This backyard setup is both tantalizing and soothing. It incorporates everything a courtyard vista should have with simplistic flair. There’s place for lounging, swimming, or simply chatting with family and friends. The pearl tinted stone adds an elegant dimension to the backdrop.
Large contemporary backyard concrete patio with over hanging roof and modular seating for added entertainment space is the epitome of cool outdoor design concepts. A stunning view takes this outstanding exterior blueprint to completion.
This beautifully Asian inspired outdoor design for intimate gatherings is breathtaking. Whether you want to swim or take a walk around the pool, the tranquil energy is all-encompassing. Strategically placed lighting makes the setting even more radiant and luxuriant.
A gable roofed arbor provides shelter, privacy, and plenty of shade in this beautifully constructed backyard setting. A dining area for quaint dinners and swimming pool for late night swims is the ideal environment to wind-down after a long day. Suspended ceiling fans help to keep the area pleasantly cool.
Hey, if you have the funds why not put a life sized chess set in your backyard? It has great entertainment value and if you can actually play, that’s even better.
Who says that a bohemian inspired look is not the place for a backyard setting? Apparently it works! Executed in the right manner, this outdoor down to earth style is just as comfortable as a set of cushiony patio chairs. Great for snacking with friends and family or meditating, studying, chatting on your smartphone.
The view from the top makes this pool look Olympian. The crystal clear azure water is alluring and ripe for a refreshing dive. A herbaceous layout, comfortable seating, and an illuminating fire pit polishes off the look.
Country inspired settings are just as stunning and stimulating as any of the other backyard trends today. The accent pillows really bring out the rustic ambiance that makes this setting so unique. Primed wood panels complemented by additional organic materials and subtle lighting is romantic and cordial.
Recreation is the basic concept of this backyard layout. A tennis area and a place for refreshing drinks after an intense workout makes the space both functional and placid. Symmetrical hardscaping balanced with lots of vegetation beautifully complements the overall ambiance.
Is there anything more calming than a fire pit placed smack in the center of a contemporary setting? Fire pits are hot right now and many backyard landscape designers find unique ways to make them standout like in the photo here. Adaptable to any outdoor design, regardless of the size of the area, this fiery backyard feature is both warm and cozy. And it’s practical as well.
Cool Backyard FAQs
What Can I Do With a Small Backyard?
With a bit of creative thinking, planning, and good sound advice, you can turn your small backyard into something you’d be proud to show-off. Whether your goal is to make the space appear larger – or perhaps you prefer a more intimate setting – or you simply want to rework what you already have. Anything is possible when you know what to do and how to do it.
Here are 6 simple small backyard ideas worth checking out:
- Add a fire – Make a small yard feel more welcoming by turning it into a hot-spot. Place thoughtfully arranged outdoor furniture, preferably a set, and grill to create a miniature piazza. Then again, add a fire pit for chilly days and nights or a fountain as a focal point.
- Add a pergola or arbor – Durable structures like pergolas and arbors are prettifying for small yards. Decorate your edifice with climbing plants or place it tactically to highlight a view.
- Vertical trees – Plant trees that grow vertically as they take up less space. Leaner vegetation like columnar evergreens are great. Use a tiered planter for flowers or a medley of dwarf shrubs like boxwood and Japanese garden juniper. Hanging plants work as well.
- Remove barriers – Small backyards appear larger minus barriers like fences. Unobstructed views give the impression of a broader landscape. Of course, only go without a fence if its feasible.
- Keep it tidy – Clutter is distracting and an eyesore. Keep garden tools and other outdoor equipment in the garage. This will make your space look larger and harmonious.
- Create continuity with glass – Large windows and sliding glass doors create a continuous flow between the two areas making your small yard appear more usable and grander.
What Can I Do With a Large Backyard?
If you have a large backyard, the upkeep alone is probably enough to keep you busy. However, there are advantages to having such a large outdoor space and with determination, your ideas can gracefully materialize.
Here are 6 large backyard makeover ideas to help you create your dream landscape:
- Accent rug – How about a large outdoor accent rug? Adding a dash of color to your outdoor landscape is a great way to boost your backyard’s appearance on a budget, without the hassle of painting or staining a deck.
- Pathway – DIY ideals like setting bricks, mulch, or large flagstones to create a pathway from your door to a gazebo or a designated area in your backyard is enchanting. Add a bit of panache to your pathway by placing colorful solar lights along the periphery.
- Outdoor kitchen – Consider installing an outdoor kitchen on the patio. Cooking outdoors is always pleasant and keeps the conversation and good times flowing. Plant overhanging vegetation to provide adequate shade during sunny days.
- Yurts – Yurts are much more than a tent. They can be used as a guest house, entertainment area, or pool house. If it’s doable, go for it!
- Treehouse – A treehouse is a fun backyard feature if you have children, or even if you don’t. It depends on the design. As an alternative, construct a brightly hued settee along the circumference of a tree as a chill-out spot. A trellis will have the same effect as an outdoor relaxation spot.
- Mural – Draw a distinctive mural on your backyard fence. This is great DIY idea if you’re on a tight budget but still want something awesome to make an impression.