There’s an easy way to begin spending more time outside today, and the answer is right in your backyard. All you need to do is make that outdoor space as comfortable as your living room. You can have the best of both worlds and turn your backyard into a true extension of your home. From breathtaking pools to lush shrubbery to gorgeous patios, here are some awesome backyard designs that will be the envy of your neighbors!
1. A Stunning Back Porch
Adding a porch to the back of the house is a brilliant and practical way to start your outdoor living journey. With more open and airy seating, a back porch can serve as an extension of your living room. You can add a wicker sectional sofa to your porch space. Or a porch lounge egg chair complete with a stand and swing, perfect for relaxing with a riveting book. It’s also a great place to entertain guests and provide extra seating for parties. Adding strategically placed porch lanterns with soft, warm lighting will create a magical ambiance at night. There’s a lot more you can do to make your porch into an outdoor living room – it’s truly a great first step to working on other awesome backyard designs.
2. An In-Ground Pool
How relaxing and soothing is swimming in summer? Stepping outside to be greeted by shimmering blue waters is such a delightful experience. Even if your backyard isn’t the largest, a pool the family can enjoy doesn’t have to be the standard 12′ by 24′. A small 10′ by 15′ pool can be the perfect centerpiece to frame your backyard oasis surrounded by a lush garden and relaxing wicker, rattan, or cane furniture.
Just be sure to call an experienced local contractor, so you don’t flout regulations. For example, pool regulations in some areas stipulate that your pool needs to be 10 feet away from the house and 8 feet away from property lines. Ensure that you also get your pool serviced at least weekly, as this can help with water quality, scaling, swimming pool leak detection, and other maintenance issues. The right pool contractor can help you build a pool that’s hard to beat.
3. An Above-Ground Pool
Even those on tight budgets don’t have to give up the dream of having summer fun by the pool. According to homeguide.com, the average cost of an above-ground pool is $2,800, including installation. The cost can rise to a maximum of $11,200 depending on the size, brand, and additional features such as a deck. That’s a far cry from the $35,000 average cost of an in-ground pool. Above-ground models require much less pool installation time, shallower excavation, and reduced labor costs. While it may not be as esthetically pleasing as an In-ground pool (though a deck can significantly alleviate that issue), you still get to have just as much fun. When speaking to your awesome backyard designs contractor, get a detailed estimate of all the costs involved, for example, pool water delivery, filters, pool covers, electrical installation, pool fence, fountains, and more.
4. A Cottage Garden
Care for a stroll in the garden? English cottage gardens are full of charm and romance. To cultivate one, you’ll have to do away with a big chunk of your lawn. Instead, you’ll replace the grass with a wild assortment of densely populated flowering plants, edible fruits, and vegetables. The story goes that in the 1400s, the English used even the most miniature gardens to farm food for their families and also planted flowers in them for decoration.
Many cottage gardens feature flowers such as hollyhocks, foxgloves, delphiniums, nasturtiums, nicotiana, and cosmos. For drier climates, flowering plants like yarrow, buckwheat, lavender, sage, and fleabane will do well. Allow the flowers to spill over onto the pathways for a wild unkempt look, and add some trees and shrubs to give the garden height variation, structure, and visual interest. In essence, a cottage garden should appear imperfect, but the truth is quite some effort will go into creating that beautiful kind of controlled chaos. To complete the awesome backyard designs, place a bench in the garden, and you’ll be seated in nature’s lap.
5. An Arbor
If you’ve got a garden, an arbor is one addition that won’t look out of place. They will look striking when adorned with climbing plants, plus they break your garden into sections when placed on the path. This has the enticing effect of offering a partial view of the garden ahead, making the viewer want to know more about what’s ahead. It will make your garden even more magnificent.
An arbor can still work for your awesome backyard designs if you don’t have a garden. You can use one to frame a cozy sitting area by placing a bench underneath the arbor so anyone who sits there will be encased in vines and flowers. Pick plants that will be able to grow their way up through structures. These include rambling roses, clematis, honeysuckle, and jasmine – all of which are perennial plants. Perennials survive for a long time, typically blooming in the spring and summer. This means you don’t have to worry about replanting t
em and only have to maintain them.
6. A Paver Patio
Patio pavers are outdoor workhorses. They are just so versatile and integral to many awesome backyard designs. Pavers come in various sizes, materials, and textures, and you can work with your contractor to create unique patio paver installations. When creating a design for your patio, you need to consider a couple of things – budget, landscape, climate, the architectural style of your home, and how you or your family will utilize the space.
You can have a simple grid pattern or have pavers spread neatly through your lawn. Pavers can be used to create a corner spot where the family can sit around a backyard fire pit. Or you use the corner spot for a barbecue station. A paver patio increases what you can do with your outdoors – be it entertaining, cooking, or a quiet place to enjoy your morning coffee. For added utility, decorate it with outdoor furniture, string lights, and greenery. Concrete, brick, and natural stone are the primary paver materials available on the market. If you’re stuck on options, you can consult a landscape architect to help you create awesome backyard designs with pavers.
7. Backyard Fire Pits
A backyard fire pit can transform your backyard into a welcoming and cozy hearth everyone can huddle around. Early humans gathered around fires for warmth, light, and safety, which is likely why we still enjoy the practice even today. You can introduce a fire pit to your backyard in many ways, from a fire ring with a built-in bench to an old washing drum placed on top of pavers. So long as you’re burning wood in a container, you’ve got yourself a fire pit.
To build a fire pit, you can use basic materials such as concrete, bricks, pavers, and retaining wall blocks. For smaller backyard fire pits, you can use gel canisters, or low combustion pressed wood logs to get a fire gong. Or, if your fire pit can accommodate them, you can use charcoal or wood logs. Once it’s built, you, your friends, and your family can bath in the warmth of a crackling fire roasting hot dogs, sipping wine, and making s’mores.
8. A Backyard Fence
You’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to fencing, and your choice should account for a couple of things. For example, how much privacy do you want? Opting for horizontal cedar slats can preserve your privacy without being too stifling. On the other hand, a climber’s wall fence is suited to climbing plants and has latticework that helps it do so. Other considerations include aesthetics, pets, and security. Have a look at all the options to decide which suits you best.
You can even plant some tall bamboo which will grow quickly and block the view into your yard. Other than wood material, you can use metal, composite, PVC, vinyl, and stone for your fence. Use the vertical space created by your fence and grow some plants on it. Or perhaps you could give your fence a cabin in the woods vibe using uneven wooden boards. One other neat idea is to use smooth horizontal boards complete with shelves for some potted plants and outdoor lights. Even art can look good on your fence; just make sure it’s weather-resistant.
9. A Quiet Corner Pergola
Your backyard doesn’t have to be designed to be a buzz of activity. Sometimes solitude is bliss. Eke out a place just for you – a quiet retreat away from it all. It can be tucked away in the most secluded part of your backyard. Picture a pergola in a thriving garden with cushioned seating, a small rustic table, and a grass floor. Add vines that creep up the pergola, and you’ve got yourself a cozy nook worthy of a storybook. If you’re worried about accumulating leaves, grass, cuttings, sticks, and other yard waste, hiring a yard waste removal service will help you dispose of it all.
10. A Kid’s Play Area
A family with kids may wish to orient their backyard towards catering to their children’s play needs. Better they play their raucous games in designated areas than in places you don’t want them to, like your lovely flower garden. In such a case, you may invest in something that will keep them playing for hours, such as a swing set. Some elaborate models are packed to the brim with features such as monkey bars, a raised clubhouse, a rock wall, and a slide. Or maybe a large trampoline in the middle of the backyard might be adequate.
11. A Tennis Court
For some families’ awesome backyard designs, a tennis court, basketball court, or badminton setup may be the trick that transforms an underutilized backyard. If your family leads an active lifestyle, playing sports in the backyard is not only a great way to maintain fitness, it’s also a way to create stronger family bonds. Sports bring people closer together, and having a tennis court in the back will also add value to your property. The landscape design around the court doesn’t have to be plain; it can be framed with some pavers and lively greenery.
12. A Tool Shed
If you are a prolific gardener, a tool enthusiast, or own a pool, you likely own a lot of gear. When you come from a round of pool or landscape pest maintenance, you need somewhere to put all your stuff. Chucking gear on your backyard will ruin your awesome backyard designs. Certainly not a good look. Thankfully, you can buy some premade sheds but be careful to choose one that matches your overall aesthetic.
13. Build a Small Koi Pond
A pond will look amazing with gorgeous flat rocks around the pool’s edge and some ferns interspersed with them. Grow in your pond some mosaic pond plants, blue irises, sweet flag, water lilies, creeping jenny, or horsetail, and you’ve got a natural beauty. With some colorful koi fish, you’ll have amazing backyard designs that are a feast for the eyes.
14. A Lush Lawn
Even with a lush garden and expert tree care, the grass underneath your feet may be letting down your awesome backyard designs. Thick and well-tended grass will always look amazing, there’s a reason it’s an American staple. A lush lawn will definitely be a worthy investment for your backyard.
When renovating your backyard, you don’t have to go big all at once. Start small and gradually build a space you’ll be proud to spend time in!