Pretty much everyone agrees that having a backyard is amazing but why exactly is that? We have at least ten ways to answer that question. Let’s put it like this: think of all the cool ways in which you could design your backyard and all the great features you could add to it. If you like to entertain a lot, you can have a bbq area set up out there or maybe create a fire pit sitting area. If you want to create something zen and relaxing, a pond might be nice, with some large stones all around it. There’s a ton a cool ideas when it comes to backyard landscaping so we’re only going to focus on 10 of them, those that we find most interesting and most inspiring.
A sunken courtyard is one of the best ideas if you want to create a cozy and intimate area outdoors. This one right here was designed by Wittman Estes Architecture+Landscape and looks absolutely charming. There’s a wooden deck which opens out from the living area and continues down to this sunken courtyard built with hardwood and weathered steel.
Here’s something that you don’t see everyday: a giant chess set. It’s built into the backyard using square-shaped stepping stones arranged in a checkerboard pattern with grass in between them. There’s also a covered little patio next to it with comfortable chairs and a small table so people can watch the game and have a place to relax.
Another nice idea is to create diversity in the backyard by using different textures, materials and colors. For example, large stones and boulders can add character to a space and can be displayed among greenery or around a small pond. You can find inspiration in this sense in the residence designed by CTA Group in Montana.
A flat backyard can be very charming too. In fact, it’s a great fit for a minimalist, contemporary house or for homes with nice views that you don’t want obstructed. A green lawn would look amazing and you can create a stylish pathway using perfectly cut stepping stones, just like this house designed by JVArchitekt in collaboration with KAMKAB!NET has.
Even a tiny backyard can be amazing and there’s a lot you can do with even if there’s little space to work with. Take this California house designed by Edmonds + Lee Architects for example. It’s a four-storey home squeezes between two neighboring properties but it still manages to look great, to be practical and even to have this beautiful terraced backyard with wooden deck and a sitting area.
Edging stones are a wonderful resource that you can use to really transform your backyard landscape. They can be used to create flower beds, to add a nice edge around the driveway that prevents the gravel from spilling to the sides or to create a harmonious link between the house and its surroundings in the case of rocky terrains. A nice example is this project by MU Architecture.
Another amazing resource is Corten steel. You can use it to make planters for your backyard or garden. They have a really nice and rugged look without being too artificial. They age with time and get a patina and they’re perfect for a variety of different types of landscapes. Corten steel planters are incredibly versatile and really easy and cheap to make as well.
As mentioned before, a pond or any other water feature would have a really nice impact on the backyard landscape. You can also get very creative and add all sorts of features. For example, you can create a small artificial waterfall. There’s this really nice project completed by HILBERINKBOSCH that we think could inspire you in this sense.
Of course, let’s not forget about the swimming pool, the most common type of water feature for the backyard. Given how common they are, it’s pretty difficult to make a swimming pool stand out. A clear acrylic frame would surely do it. Check out this cool house designed by SAOTA in case you’re in need of inspiration.
Splitting up the backyard into various sections with different functions is a nice way of creating an organized look. It works even if the backyard is small. Landscape design firm Terremoto managed to squeeze in here different sections for dining, socializing and relaxing and even left some room for plants. There’s a wooden pathway connecting all the areas.