The modern backyard is often viewed as an extension of the indoor living areas and, as such, it’s designed to be very welcoming. There are lots of beautiful features that can fit into such a space, some quite big and complex and others smaller and easier to overlook. We’ll identify some of these in the beautiful examples that follow hoping to provide some inspiration for your own modern backyard.
One of the main features that a modern backyard can include is a stylish and comfortable sitting area. Such a space would often be centered around a focal point, in this case a circular fire pit. This is a design by studio Wade Design Architects and, as you can see, this area is very well defined.
The aesthetic used here by Gregory Mellor has an eclectic character and a timeless appeal. This is not a large backyard but the magnificent landscape that surrounds it gives it such an open and borderless feel. The large planters help to mark the transition between this very casual outdoor pavilion and the swimming pool.
One of the marks of a modern home is smooth and seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor areas. That’s often done through full-height windows and sliding glass doors. It’s a strategy that was also used by studio Tobias Partners when asked to completely reimagine a house from Sydney which was originally built in 1905. One of the changes they made was opening up the ground floor and connecting it to the newly landscaped garden and backyard area.
This modern backyard was designed by CLO Studios for a beautiful beach house in Queensland, Australia. Notice the extensive use of wood and other nature-oriented materials in combination with lots of lush and rich vegetation. It creates such a soothing and relaxing ambiance. It’s also interesting how each of the smaller areas is framed by the difference in floor levels.
A small backyard can feel very inviting if it includes an area like this, a little nook with a few comfortable seats placed around a table or a fire pit and framed by a few planters and by the house itself. It’s a strategy that was used by Jillian Dinkel when working on the restoration of an old house from Sydney.
On the other hand, a large backyard comes its own set of challenges. Such a space would often be divided into several smaller sections like a swimming pool area for instance, a lounge deck, an outdoor dining area and so on. Some sections are transitional areas and these can be decorated with things like planters, garden beds, water features or accent furniture. It’s a bit like what you can see here, in this modern backyard of the Stokes house which you can book via luxico.
Pergolas are timeless and it’s no surprise seeing so many different styles and designs out there. A simple and classic aesthetic would often suit most backyards and that goes for all the other features like the fire pit or the furniture as well. Studio Blue Stone Construction gives here an idea of how this can be applied when designing a modern backyard.
Sometimes it’s nice to think about the backyard as a space with a story. The layout, design and all the little details like the lighting and decorations would thus help to bring this story to life and would guide a person through a unique journey. As far as the specific elements that you can include in such a design, you can find inspiration in projects like the one done by studio TLC Gardens Design Build.
A custom bench with a back that has built-in planters is something specific that a lot of modern backyards have in their designs. Such an element can suit both big and small spaces and can take lots of different forms. In this inviting backyard designed by studio Inside Out the bench has a simple aesthetic and is made out of wood.
You can surely find plenty of inspiration in this modern backyard designed by studio Surrounds. It makes use of timeless materials such as stone and the different areas are connected in a seamless and organic manner. Also, this fire pit seating area and the lounge space are placed away from the house, creating a clear distinction between the interior and the exterior spaces.
Another option is give the backyard a very clean and simple design. This would suit a contemporary house with a similar aesthetic. A good example is this design done by Pacific Coast Builders. It focuses on vibrant color contrasts and a lack of unnecessary or misplaced details and decorations.
Not all modern backyards take minimalism to the extreme. This one for example was designed by studio Perennial Landscaping and favors curves and organic lines. The design has been adapted to the sloping terrain, featuring a raised deck area with a multipurpose sitting area and a fire pit and a series of flowing garden beds a lawn following the terrain along the house.
If at all possible, it’s nice to be able to incorporate a few trees in a backyard’s design, regardless of style. For instance this is a native Australian gum tree with a wooden deck built around it. It’s a gorgeous feature for this small but very charming backyard designed by studio Kreis Grennan Architecture.
A modern backyard design can also be strongly inspired by nature in which case it would favor things like lots of greenery, natural stone and so on. Rather than getting rid of the grass in order to create raised decks, patios and pavilions, preserving the original topography can sometimes be the better strategy.
Just because a lot of modern backyards include swimming pools doesn’t mean they’re all the same. A lot of elements can differ from case to case, like the shape and placement of the pool for example. In the case of this contemporary house designed by Damilanostudio architects an L-shaped swimming pool acts as a transitional feature between the house itself and the outdoor areas.
The strategy used by studio King’s Landscaping here was to take certain elements that were already present and to seamlessly make them a part of the design. They managed to create a really backyard area with lots of native trees scattered around it and various open spaces built around them.
This backyard by studio COS Design is quite unusual. Taken separately, the major elements included here are not particularly special. there’s a rectangular swimming pool, a fire pit with custom benches built around it, a poolside wooden deck with lounge chairs on it, a bbq area, an outdoor seating area and green areas in between these spaces. It’s the way in which these elements interact with one another and with the landscape that turn this into a unique project.
It may be small, but this backyard is such a charming and beautiful space. It was designed by studio Think Outside Gardens and it’s like a little green oasis. It has a cedar bench that wraps around the left side, a tiled floor and lots of lush plants and vegetation creating a beautiful backdrop and enveloping this area from all sides.
Studio Rolling Stone Landscapes gave this modern backyard a cool focal point in the form of a fire pit. The weathered steel frame and circular shape are well-suited for a modern aesthetic and they help this fire pit stand out.
Quite often a modern house would have a sunken outdoor sitting area or a backyard that descends in order to allow an unobstructed view of the surrounding landscape. However, the opposite can also work. Check out this beautiful little outdoor nook which can be reached by climbing a set of stairs.