There can never be enough backyard ideas for your private outdoor living space. There is more than enough to choose from, with even newer ideas on the way.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your backyard is, there is always something that you could do with the space that would make it more enjoyable.
If you’re looking for ways to elevate your backyard space, you’ll want to start here. We’ll show you the latest backyard landscaping ideas that will inspire your backyard makeover.
The answer can be found in the topography of the site, the size of the area, the climate as well as the needs and expectations related to the backyard.
Coming up with a plan is easier with the right inspiration.
Backyard Landscaping Ideas For 2022
Here are the hottest ideas for outdoor landscape design. There is nothing stopping you from transforming your outdoor living area into a pristine setting.
Modern Landscape Design
Design isn’t a choice, it’s a philosophy rooted in style and taste. For example, if you’d like to apply a modern style to your backyard then you would include manicured lawn areas, clean and simple lines, and small vegetation.
Check out the interior from designer Dylan Farrell who applied a mix of styles, while the exterior spaces were kept mostly modern.
Modern Farmhouse Backyard
If we’re talking about farmhouse backyard ideas, then go organic. Rather than using super clean and straight edges and lines to delineate the whole area you can focus more on some natural shapes and also introduce materials such as stone.
Although simple, the backyard of this house designed by Wade Design Architects has plenty of character.
Quaint Outdoor Space
A backyard includes a sitting area that could serve a variety of purposes. Here, studio Adam Robinson Design created a corner nook with an L-shaped bench and built-in planters that create a fresh backdrop. There’s also lots of vegetation camouflaging the other sides of this small backyard.
Covered Seating Areas
A patio makeover could also transform a backyard. What home couldn’t use an exterior seating space? This could be an ideal spot for an outdoor picnic or dining area with a table, benches, and warm lighting fixtures hanging from above.
Adding a bar or an outdoor kitchen would also be amazing and would give the backyard more purpose. Perhaps this holiday home redesigned by L’Atelier Delphine Carrère can inspire you.
Backyard Fire Pit Layout
You don’t need a large backyard to create an outdoor living room. space discourages you from wanting to make your backyard as beautiful as possible. This design by Nicole Hollis is an example of how a small backyard has massive potential.
The backyard space looks and feels like an oasis. There’s plenty of vegetation that masks the boundaries of the backyard and a lovely fire pit seating area in the middle.
You can also treat the backyard as a natural extension of your indoor living area and, as such, create lavish seating areas. Include comfortable furniture like a sofa and upholstered armchairs, a coffee table, accent lighting, and some decorations as well. Potted plants would fit right in. Check out this design by Jane Hallworth for more inspiration.
This small backyard is framed by brick walls, adding a personal touch of comfort and security. Potted plants and vines placed along the walls provide a green setting. The steps and stone pathway create added layers of character and style. This London townhouse was designed by studio AND.
Levels make everything more interesting. Here you can see how multiple sections of this backyard have been layered and this gives one more character and helps it stand out. There’s a variety of elements at play here like hanging chairs, a couple of sitting areas with tables and chairs, and a small backyard pool as well. This stylish design is part of a project done by CLO Studios.
You may be thinking there’s no room in a small backyard for tall trees. That depends on what plans you have for this space. If you’d like it to be a fresh little oasis full of plants and greenery then trees would only help with that.
They provide shade and they add charm and beauty to the space around them in a way nothing else can. Perhaps this courtyard design by Wyer & Co. can convince you.
Concrete And Grass
If it wasn’t for the green, this could almost be considered a brutalist backyard. Typically not symmetrical and doesn’t have super clean and straight edges. That’s why often a more organic design approach can prove to be ideal, even when we’re talking about a modern or a contemporary backyard.
Clever layout designs allow you to include different features. This backyard by COS Design can give you some good ideas.
Of course, you should take advantage of a beautiful view if there is one. A backyard that opens onto a lake can look magnificent. This holiday home designed by Kylee Shintaffer is a great example. It’s beautiful how the trees along the edge of the lake frame the view.
Do you know what else you could put in your backyard? A treehouse. It’s not a cliche unless you make it look so and it can a cool feature not just for kids but for the space in general.
Perhaps you could build a little platform around a big tree and turn this into a sort of pavilion or a spot from which to admire the surrounding landscape. Let this bungalow designed by Luigi Rosselli Architects inspire you.
Concrete Fire Pit
Another sharp feature that can transform your backyard landscape is an outdoor fireplace. It’s the perfect focal point for a comfortable seating area and it can be adapted to any style. Check out this modern backyard setup by studio Dumais if you’re a fan of simplicity and elegance.
Shabby Chic Backyard
A design like this makes one feel like they’re in the middle of nature surrounded only by freshness and beauty. The fire pit seating area is the central focal point of this entire space.
Backyard Stone Patio
Why choose between beauty and function when you can have both? This backyard landscape by studio Outdoor Establishments is an example. It has this cozy seating area connected to the house’s patio which ensures a smooth transition toward the garden.
The raised platform creates a clear delimitation and the modern pathway design maintains a clean and simple look throughout the whole area.
Another way of adding more functionality to the backyard is by including an outdoor kitchen in the design. In the case of this house designed by Rebecca Naughtin Architect this space is lined up with the indoor kitchen and the two share a similar style.
Tight Landscaping Design
Having a small backyard means you have to be clever with your own layout and design. As you can see with this space, there are three seating areas. You can save space with built-in outdoor furniture and you can create multiple levels to give the impression of a larger and more diversified space.
There are plenty of ideas to borrow from this design by Nathalie Thibodeau Architecte.
Outdoor Pool Landscape
If you decide to have a swimming pool in your own backyard, the water feature would be the central focal point of the entire outdoor area. It doesn’t need to be placed at the center although that can work well with most spaces.
If you have kids, you’ll want your pool to remain in view so you can keep an eye on things. Check out this design by studio BIAGIONI/PECORARI Arquitectos for more ideas.
Extra seating adds comfort, which should be a priority for your home. A small backyard can be entirely transformed into an outdoor entertainment area with comfortable seating, accent tables, and lighting if you have the space, then set aside a portion of it for something like this is ideal.
Studio SHED Architecture & Design created an inviting space with wood flooring materials equipped to handle heavy traffic.
Fresh Air Oasis
Although not a big outdoor space, there’s a lot going on. There’s a pool in one of the corners framed by a wooden deck and tall stone walls. The steps, hammock, and a nice diversity of plants and greenery fill the entire space. This was part of a project from studio Taller Mexicano de Arquitectura.
Simple Outdoor Dining
Overcomplicating things is never a good idea when designing outdoor spaces. Sometimes the simplest ideas are also the best ones, like turning a section into an outdoor dining area and not making a big deal out of it.
This house designed by studio Alta Architecture is simple and straightforward in that regard.
Surrounded by shrubs and shade, your living space should leave room for fresh air. After all, it’s your own backyard. Make your property a hidden fortress rather than a boring space. Include planters of all shapes and sizes for decoration. For example, sculptures, rocks, and boulders.
A big tree can serve as a focal point and you can place different types of furniture to create a more organic and inviting aesthetic. You can borrow ideas from this design from The Grid Architects.
There’s nothing wrong with a flat outdoor space as long as it looks nice. A low-profile topography can allow for a better view of the surroundings and the landscape in the distance.
Such a terrain would also suit a contemporary house. This design by Besonias Almeida Arquitectos is a good example.
It’s not just the backyard that matters but also the transition from inside the house into this area. A good way to make it feel natural is through full-height windows and sliding glass doors.
You don’t have to be outside to appreciate your outdoor landscape. There’s nothing wrong with admiring your exterior areas from the inside. Maybe you’re allergic to grass or oxygen, and if so then install giant windows so you could enjoy your outdoor foliage from the comfort of inside your home.
If you have a small space, to begin with perhaps designing the extension on two or more levels can help to keep its footprint small. Studio Rider Stirland Architects worked on such a project.
Covered Outdoor Patio
A big patio or deck might help to make the transition between indoor and outdoor areas smoother and more seamless. Add a pergola or roof for shade and protection for the ultimate paradise.
Pergolas are great outdoor features that can be adapted to suit every style. They’re also quite versatile and can be incorporated into different designs and setups. Here for example the pergola is placed across from the swimming pool. This is part of a project done by NiHu Arquitectos.
Flagstone walkways have a charm of their own and can be easy to set up if you ever decide to turn this into a DIY project. You can be creative and come up with a shape or look that suits your backyard.
This backyard landscaping project was designed by Studio Arthur Casas and is an example and inspiration source.
If you want to you can also try some out-of-the-box ideas when it comes to the design or purpose of your backyard. For instance, you can have an outdoor TV and create a movie theater with a few comfortable seats and an accent table or two. You don’t need a big space for this. Studio Megowan Architectural uses that strategy here.
By adding a small extension with sliding glass walls and keeping the rest of the area simple and open SHH Architects managed to transform this house from London. There was not a lot of space to work with but they made the most of what was available and the results are great.
The look of weathered steel in an outdoor space or garden is sharp. It’s a really good fit for a variety of different styles but it goes well with modern and contemporary decors in particular. You can see the Corten steel planters looking amazing in this backyard designed by studio KUBE architecture.
Outdoor Storage Space
It’s clever how this layout includes storage space for firewood. Designed by Hufft Projects, they figured out a simple way to make use of every square inch of this outdoor setting. Some of it fits underneath the bench and spills out to the side and rather than looking messy, it adds charm and character to this area.
Pool Landscape Design
As the saying goes, “more pool equals less lawn.” Backyard landscaping ideas are not relegated to grass and plants. The design has been considered and adapted and includes a slender frame and full-height sliding glass walls.
Even when it’s closed off this area still feels like a part of the backyard. The design is from studio ACA.
Relaxing Outdoor Spaces
Blue and turquoise serve as accent colors to give this outdoor living room space a trendy vibe. The chairs and accent pillows coordinate well with the swimming pool and give this area a tropical and vibrant look. This is a design created by studio Reinach Mendonça Arquitetos Associados
Open Seating Area
The open terraced design suits this outdoor living room environment. The covered deck leads down to a paver patio and the glass railings allow an unobstructed view of the whole area below to be admired from out here. This project was completed by Manuel Cervantes Estudio in Mexico.
Check out this cool-looking outdoor fireplace with a chimney and everything. It fits in the back of this small seating area, and it helps to maintain a symmetrical and stylish design throughout.
There’s a fireplace with the same style inside. Check out Meyer Davis Studio Inc for more cool projects like this one.
This outdoor living space features a soft wooden deck but that doesn’t take away its charm. Large hanging planters break the monotony along with a few trees growing through the deck.
They offer shade and make this space welcoming during the day. This was done by studio Chris Dyson Architects.
The view is magnificent for this a open design that makes the most of it. There is nothing here to obstruct the view and the sunken living space keeps a low profile.
This backyard landscaping project was designed by ShubinDonaldson Architects and is located in Los Angeles, California.
Lawn care is such a waste of money, labor, and space, not to mention a waste of water. Why not put your land to good use and start a garden? You could sell produce to your neighbors.
A small area can be set up like this where the planter beds take up most of the area, but there’s still a little area in the middle for a bench and a table. Check out Environmental Landscape Associates for other clever design ideas.
Utilize your landscape for an organic touch. Rather than installing a paver patio, for example, you can have a small table and some chairs placed directly onto the green grass and instead of retaining walls, you can make use of a bunch of stones to make the area look more natural.
On the same note, this beautiful backyard designed by studio ARNOLD Masonry and Landscape has a very authentic and organic look. Small trees and string lights surround the main seating area.
The space makes use of natural materials like stone and wood and it has a fire pit as a focal point with a view of a wooded area.
A water feature has the potential to transform a backyard landscape. A small artificial waterfall is something that can be added. Also, don’t forget to include backyard lights to make this place look magical. Check out studio The Landscape Connection for more landscaping ideas.
Rather than straight lines and flat surfaces throughout, try to add a bit of variation and visual interest with a custom layout. This brick patio by KD Landscape has a big cut out that acts as a large garden bed, separating it into two main sections.
Instead of vegetables, grow flowers and sell them to your neighbors. Create an outdoor space that serves as a second revenue stream. You should always be prepared for when the bottom falls out. Once you have your flower business up and running, you’ll more freedom to do the things you’ve always wanted to do.
You can dedicate a section of your backyard to vegetables and herbs. Growing a few things yourself is rewarding and it’s nice to have fresh food for your special dishes. If you’re not a fan, then try planting flowers as a secondary option. Either way, you may find inspiration in this design by studio Surrounds.
Balance And Order
This is a spacious backyard, big enough for a nice patio at the front and a topiary garden area with a pathway leading to a gazebo at the back. This was designed and built by studio Oliver Design Associates.
Outdoor Living Room
With backyard landscaping, add color to your outdoor space to give it energy and give it a more vibrant and fresh look. There are many ways this can be done. Furniture is one option and greenery is another. Combine these two to create a beautiful design like this one by Studio H Landscape Architecture.
Among backyard landscaping ideas in colder climates, a fire pit offers outdoor warmth year round. The best focal points for a living space regardless of size. Even a small fire pit can completely change the look and feel of the space around it.
This outdoor seating area designed by studio B. Jane Gardens is perhaps the best example.
Some people like to work outside, so create a space that will keep you busy. Plus, it would also give your kids something to do on the weekends. What can be more charming than sitting in a comfortable chair underneath a big tree? You don’t need much to create such a dreamy space in your own backyard.
As long as there’s a tree out here everything else is easy to set up. This little nook created by studio Landscape East & West is one of our favorite designs.
Looking for inspiration for a contemporary backyard design? This one by Chateau Construction Company has a little bit of everything. It has a nice green area, a big wooden deck with comfortable furniture, lighting, and even a pergola and there’s plenty of variation in its design.
You’d be happier if you had an outdoor space where you could enjoy your morning coffee in peace. There’s one more gorgeous feature that you should consider adding if you have the space: a small pond. This example from Modern Rustic Homes utilizes ornamental grasses, lily pads, and flowers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
What Is The Cheapest Way To Landscape A Backyard?
If you’re on a tight budget, or you don’t care about your backyard, pea gravel is the cheapest landscape option. It’s used on pathways, patios, and other high traffic areas. The appeal of pea gravel is that it’s a smooth stone, so it doesn’t hurt your feet when you walk on it.
How Do I Landscape My Backyard For Privacy?
For optimum backyard privacy, plant tall shrubs along the border of your property. After you plant the tall shrubs, for an extra layer of privacy, plant smaller bushes. Within four months, your neighbors won’t be able to see a thing.
How Can I Make My Backyard Landscape Without Grass?
If you don’t want grass, then don’t grow it. You can cover your backyard with rocks. Another option would be to cover your backyard landscape with concrete and turn it into a basketball court.
How Do You Landscape A Muddy Backyard?
The first thing is to turn off the water source. One would think common sense might prevail in this situation, but we’ll spell it out for you anyway. When you add water to dry dirt and soil it will create mud. The more water and dirt you mix the more mud you will create. So, by turning off your water source, you’ll deplete your mud supply.
How Do You Landscape A Backyard Sloping?
Two ways you can landscape a backyard slope would be to use flat stones to create a footpath or build a natural rock garden. Vegetable gardens are also ideal for sloped backyards, plus you can design wood steps in between your vegetable rows.
Backyard Ideas Conclusion
Your backyard is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. However, it can also be a great place to entertain guests and showcase your personality. Whether you are looking to update your own backyard or create a new one from scratch, there are factors to consider, like foot traffic and which color palette to use.
If you want to add interest to your outdoor space, then landscaping features would add visual interest and curb appeal. This could include anything from a garden path to a more elaborate stone patio or fire pit.
Another important aspect of hard landscaping is to make sure that you fertilize and water your ornamental grasses. This will ensure your environment remains healthy and green, and it will also help to prevent moss or algae from taking over. If you have plants, you’ll need to fertilize them to keep them looking their best. Choose any backyard landscaping idea you want, after all, it’s your backyard.