Who doesn’t want a beautiful backyard? They are fabulous to look at all year round and come summer, they are the ideal place to entertain family and friends or while away a lovely afternoon. Of course, just as with interior decor, the exact elements of the perfect backyard vary from person to person.
Some people want a big expanse of green lawn while others desire bountiful manicured gardens or a minimalist natural landscape. Plus, some homes have limitations such as location or topography. Whatever your definition of a beautiful backyard is, there are plenty of options for creating the ideal outdoor space. Check these out:
A magnificent building designed in 1915 by architect Carlo Angelo Ceresa has been transformed from an office building into a mixed-use structure including luxury apartments. The concept by Jaegar Kahlen Partner Architecture is actually a pioneering residential idea which creates apartments that are like urban villas featuring large private gardens. Far above the hustle and bustle of Rome, this yard is a rooftop garden that rivals any suburban setting. A modern pergola adds definition to the wooden patio area and the lush area of grass is bounded by easy care plantings. This just goes to show how a beautiful backyard can exist in an inner-city location.
When the beach is nearby, a home should really have a beautiful backyard that encourages the family to spend as much time outdoors as possible. The yard at Sunrise House certainly does because it has all of the most inviting elements: A covered, shady patio area, a swimming pool with plenty of lounging space and a wide swath of lawn surrounding it all. The entire area, designed by MCK Architecture + Interiors exudes a feeling of casual relaxation. The covered area is essentially a cabana that opens up to the garden and pool, unified by the decking that also carries through to the main hall and interior of the house. The whole package is easy-care and full of fuss-free features.
Sometimes properties near the beach are in a suburban neighborhood that might not have a strong beach vibe, but it’s still possible to create a beautiful backyard that is relaxing, as this house does. It is located on land that used to be a rice plantation in Costa Rica. NiHu Arquitectos created a backyard space that includes a durable concrete patio for entertaining, a casual section of decking for lounging and a pool with attached seating for splashing your toes in the pool. A contemporary pergola adds a nice style element that echoes the horizontal lines on the side of the home and the yard leans toward the natural end of the spectrum for easier care and environmental friendliness.
Modern Minimalism Outdoors
This modern minimalist home in San Marino, Italy, created by archiNOW, fittingly has an exterior to match the streamlined purposeful overall design. The eye-catching stone arrangement around the small pool echoes the angles of the house but adds a real playful element to the yard. There is plenty of lawn to enjoy and as the pavers extend away from the pool, they are surrounded with natural stone, which required minimal upkeep as do the natural plantings. This is a beautiful backyard that is in sync with the house and offers lots of relaxing elements.
Sunken Garden Area
When Przemek Lisiecki renovated this 1960’s home in Warsaw, Poland, he made the most of the limitations by turning this lower ground floor area into a beautiful backyard that features a sunken garden space. A square deck is flanked by a garden bed as well as a grassy area. On the other side, a built-in seat made of the same decking adds yet another element. The area is also defined by a wall clad in the same wood decking for privacy and aesthetics. Beyond the deck area is a large expanse of lawn, perfect for letting the children play. It’s a gorgeous backyard, day or night.
Focused on the Pool
Not every backyard is actually a green yard and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. This modern and elegant villa on the Côte d’Azur capitalizes on its hillside location and views by focusing on the pool and patio. The infinity edge pool is surrounded by Mediterranean gardens that are in harmony with the location. The outdoor poolside patio is essentially an expansion of the interior thanks to the large glass doors and a neutral color palette that carries through to the outdoor furniture. When a home has stunning surroundings, a beautiful backyard will enhance their enjoyment, not compete with them.
Exquisite Natural Dining Area
Sometimes less is more, especially when the focus of a beautiful backyard is a fabulous view. This home’s yard in Bodrum, Turkey overlooks the ocean and has a natural, un-manicured vibe, so a fancy dining area would feel out of place. Instead, Ofist created a casual, pergola-shaded dining area steps from the house. Flanked by fruit trees, the gravel and paver dining space features casual furniture made for lingering. Between that and the house, the natural concept is carried through with sunken pavers irregularly set in the grass.
All About Fun
People who love to entertain at home need an outdoor space that supports that as this beautiful backyard at Villa C’Anouch in Spain does. The glass walls of the house open up onto a spacious patio that spills out onto the lawn in front of the swimming pool. To add even more space for casual outdoor entertaining, the backyard includes a large, curved seating area that is topped with a stretched triangular cover for shade from the hot sun. Any landscaping at the edges of the property is fitting for the region and requires little maintenance — perfect for fun-loving homeowners.
Perfect for Parties
When Metropolis Design created this outdoor pavilion when renovating a house in Cape Town, South Africa, they had serious entertainment in mind. This beautiful backyard sticks to natural plantings and uses concrete for the main structure of the pavilion. With a fire pit, outdoor kitchen and lots of seating, this space is ideal for parties of all sizes, especially when you consider that behind the wall there is also a swimming pool. The pavilion has everything needed for entertaining and the use of concrete means that it is durable and there is little upkeep necessary.
Made for Outdoor Living
While this home in Sao Paolo, Brazil has all the outdoor amenities you might want, it also features views and a beautiful backyard made for gardening and enjoyment. Designed by Fernanda Marques Arquitetos Associados, the house has a pool and stylish patio with room for dining and lounging that is surrounded by an expansive green yard. Instead of just grass, the yard is punctuated by native grasses and trees that will mature into a grove. At the center of the backyard a raised, circular garden bed is built into the slope. This makes the garden easier to tend, with its raised level and accessibility from both sides. This home is truly focused on outdoor living in a number of aspects, both from leisure to more active pursuits.
Located in Pacific Palisades, California, this home, designed by O+ L BUILDING PROJECTS has all the quintessential elements that create a cool California vibe. The beautiful backyard rakes its inspiration from the modular lines of the house, relying on angles for its main elements. A rectangular pool is flanked by an offset lounging area on one side and a small hot tub at the other. Several outdoor spaces for sitting or dining follow a similar geometric flow, as does the firepit area, which sits on a raised concrete platform. A perfectly manicured swath of lawn makes up the rest of the yard. The California location is ideal for a backyard like this because the climate means you can use much of the calendar year.
Designed for Leisure
Another beautiful backyard in California is this one, located behind a home in Beverly Hills. Designed by MGS Architecture, it has expansive areas for swimming, relaxing and entertaining. In fact, this home was really made for entertaining, both outdoors as well as indoors. The facade opens up onto the patio, with its multiple levels and water features, including the large swimming pool adjacent to the lawn, which is huge for the area. One space flows into another, creating a backyard that flows from one area into another.
Minimum Space, Maximum Fun
Known as the Wave House in Venice, California, this modern marvel makes the most of its limited backyard space. Designed and built by Mario Romano, the house has a narrow backyard that runs the length of the house, which wraps around the pool at one end. Large glass doors slide open to bring the outdoors in and the space under the extended section serves as a covered outdoor living space. Green lawn surrounds the pool and a single bed of plantings along the fence adds a garden element. This house packs a lot of outdoor enjoyment into a backyard of modest size.
Pool & Spa Retreat
The Hamptons may be the place to see and be seen, but they are also a getaway region, so homes want to capitalize on the outdoor space they have. This home in Amagansett features a pool and spa area set in the middle of its lush green yard. The private space was designed by ICRAVE and has everything the family would want for a week — or just a weekend — of relaxation. A no-fuss pool and landscaping minimize maintenance and the sauna and showers are located in the adjacent pool house. An outdoor fireplace set back by the building also offers enjoyment on cool evenings.
Not Fighting Nature
Not every backyard has green space, but that doesn’t have to be a negative, as this Phoenix, Arizona home demonstrates. Designed by Knob Modern Design, the house was renovated from a duplex into a single family home and has a large space in the back. Concrete patio sections run down the center of the backyard from the deck, ending in a pergola-covered space that includes a bar area ideal for entertaining. The centerpiece of the yard is a long firepit and plenty of benches for seating. It’s a grand example of how you can transform a space into a beautiful backyard without fighting the natural landscape and dry climate.
Small Space, Big Living
Living in an urban area generally means that outdoor space is at a premium, but this San Francisco home shows how a little landscaping can go a long way in creating a beautiful backyard. Designed by YAMAMAR Design Architects, the yard has different levels and a pathway made from decking that crosses the space diagonally instead of running parallel to the wall. this makes the space seem larger and offers up opportunities for different shapes areas for plantings and for seating and a fire pit. The larger expanse of windows on the house fold open completely, which expands the room for entertaining in good weather.
Another San Francisco home solves the problem of a small outdoor space with multiple levels of outdoor living and the result is a beautiful backyard that doesn’t seem confining in any way. Straight out of the bedroom section of the house, the patio area offers up a seating area that feels separate, and directly beyond that, a dining space that is on a raised wooden deck. From the dining platform, it’s possible to go up to the path that leads to stairs and a second-floor balcony off of the main living area. This way, guests can go down to the dining space without having to pass through the lower level bedrooms. It’s a cozy backyard space with just enough space for entertaining as well as private daily relaxation.
Rejecting the Expected
This rural California home has a huge, beautiful backyard that shuns the expected and relies on natural elements to create a unique outdoor living space. Designed by Jake Moss, the yard’s central feature is a large deck with a sunken firepit with seating to take advantage of the cooler climate in this area in the northern part of the state. Instead of green grass, the backyard is sectioned off by pathways and each one lined with gravel and planted with native material that is low maintenance. Add some pergolas and strings of lights and it’s a magical space in the nighttime. This is a great example of how you can create a spectacular backyard without a pool or acres of grass that needs to be mowed.
Snazzy Small Space
In another example of the wonderful things that can be done with a small outdoor space, this family enjoys a backyard that boasts space for lounging and dining, along with an outdoor kitchen. Germinate Garden Design used a variety of elements that inspired homeowners, such as the green wall and the bright pinks from their vacation in Ibiza. The focal point of the yard is a mosaic design by artist Celia Persephone Gregory that turns the large blank wall into a lovely design element. Unique round flooring elements define the dining space and the cooking space and the circle element is also used to define the raised decking that supports the two lounges.
Meant for Swimming and Socializing
When the land surrounding a home is wide and super expansive, defining the outdoor living space can be as challenging as dealing with a limited amount of space. This home in Porto Feliz, Brazil looks out over a massive property, so designers Candida Tabet Arquitetura created an outdoor living space that sticks close to the perimeter. A covered patio and indoor area that opens up fully to the outdoors is flanked by a lap pool that runs nearly the length of the house. At the far end, a deck area is made for swimmers to lounge in the sun. Beyond that little landscaping is needed when the views sweep across the countryside.
Shipping Container Swimming Pool
For a smaller space or just for a unique element, shipping container swimming pools are now an option. Modpool of Canada is using these upcycled containers to create fun and lower-cost swimming pools for homes. Shipping container swimming pools can be an amazing and fun element in a beautiful backyard, especially if space is limited. They can sit above ground as they are, or be landscaped into a yard as this one is. Some even feature a glass inset on the side.
Go With A Grid
NV Arquitetura designed this house that has strong lines, so they carried the same concept through to this beautiful backyard in Brazil. The covered patio opens up onto a yard that features stone sections set into the grass, which is tipped with a modern steel beam pergola. The grid from the overhead element is shadowed on the sectioned patio, which visually adds more linear elements. The outdoor space is private and a long, landscaped bed softens the large wall that runs between the home and the property next door.
Sometimes the design of the backyard needs to balance the profile of the house as is the case with this Chevy Chase, Maryland home. Designed by Robert Gurney Architect, the tall windows and vertical cladding alongside them are, in a way, repeated in the length of unusual pavers along the fence. The plantings are an integral part of the landscape and the patio sections bookend the expanse of green grass. The layout makes the most of the backyard space and is low-maintenance.
Contemporary Outdoor Living
The contemporary profile of this house in Araçatuba, Brazil calls for a modern, clean-lined backyard design to match. So, Sarau Arquitetura created this beautiful backyard that relies on materials for variations and keeps plantings to a minimum. The 25-meter long pool wraps around the sun deck, which sits just off the covered patio. The outdoor area, which can feel as if it is part of the house thanks to large glass doors that slide open, also includes an outdoor kitchen and dining area. This home’s backyard combines privacy and enough open space to satisfy the family’s desires.
Modern But Natural
This Río Claro, Brazil home may be modern but it has a very natural feeling, which carries through to the design of the beautiful backyard. A traditional rectangular swimming pool made from hijau stone is integrated into the lawn without additional pool decking. Designed by Celso Laetano Arquitetura, the adjacent patio has a few chairs for lounging and a dining area. It feels like a green oasis that’s to the grass and a green wall at the back of the yard, which is useful when privacy requires a fence or wall.
Meant for Modern Entertaining
F:Poles Arquitetura designed this home for clients who love to entertain, so naturally, the beautiful backyard reflects that as well. Large glass walls open up to the long, wide stone patio that encircles the back of the house. Full-length steps lead down to the swimming pool which overlooks lush Brazilian gardens. The enclosed space is private, being surrounded on three sides by the house. It’s ideal for parties because guests can spill out of the house onto the terraces and enjoy the view.
Small City Terrace
City dwellers who are lucky enough to have a terrace most definitely want to make the most of the space because it comes at a premium in most urban areas. This New York City terrace was done by Brook Landscape, which turned it into a comfortable, green oasis in the hard angles of the city. Creative plantings and a privacy screen fronted with plants make the space private and a delight to use either solo or with friends. A space like this can also make it possible to have a larger gathering in good weather since the room for guests is greatly expanded.
At One With the Landscape
With a home that so naturally fits into the landscape, it’s important to have a backyard that does too. Set in Durban, South Africa, this modern house seems to be in sync with the topography and has designed the backyard to seem like a very natural setting. In fact, the only element that appears to be added is the long lap pool. The remainder of the yard is lawn, surrounded by natural plants and trees. The rest of the outdoor living space is a set of covered patios that are connected with the house. It’s a minimalist approach to designing a beautiful backyard.
Large pavers separated by grass form the patio of this lovely backyard garden in the Sydney suburb of Redfern. The updated house has a small garden that is tucked away, almost unseen by the rest of the world. Comfortable chairs, garden lanterns and a sense of seclusion make the terrace feel special, particularly in the evening as the lights make the space glow. Little else is needed to embellish a lovely space like this, save for family and friends enjoying the outdoors, steps away from the living room.
An ivy-covered home is the perfect inspiration for a stunning backyard that includes a lawn and a stone patio. The Melbourne house has plenty of ivy on the front as well as the back, and the frame above the patio is the ideal way to take advantage. The vines can crawl down the spines and criss-cross, eventually forming a natural roof above the table. Lots of trees and shrubs on the other side of the patio ensure privacy. The weathered wooden table and assorted farmhouse chairs are the perfect style of casual for the leafy backdrop. Beyond the patio, an expanse of green lawn provides a place for playing and strolling.