Backyard designs ideas: 46 Backyard Ideas That Will Keep You Outside All Summer Long | Architectural Digest

ShrubHub Landscaping | Large Backyard Designs

By Fatma Omar

The exterior part of your house is just as important to spruce up as the interior, having a functional backyard space is what inclines us to spend more time outdoors rather than cooped up inside. This is what makes backyard landscaping a crucial part of the overall design of your house.

For those of us with a large backyard, finding ideas to decorate it and use up all our outdoor space can be quite a hassle, especially if we don’t know where to begin! Choosing the best backyard landscaping ideas can be difficult for those of us who are easily overwhelmed with too much choice, but no need to panic!

We know that finding the right design ideas can be challenging especially when you have a lot of space in your large yard to fill up. This guide will provide you with the top tips and tricks to help you use every inch of your large backyard and turn it into a fully functional outdoor space for you and your family to enjoy.

Not only is a spruced-up yard useful for soaking up those sun rays, enjoying the fresh air, and relaxing in your beautiful garden, but it is also a great way to increase the curb appeal of your house and increase its resale value, making it a very wise future investment to make!

Our ShrubHub experts are here to help you with your backyard landscaping and will provide you with plenty of landscaping ideas to help you makeover the backyard of your dreams!

Pro Tip #1 – Build A Large Patio

Having a large backyard gives us the luxury of being able to install a large patio. Without a patio, it’s more difficult for us to install an outdoor seating area to enjoy our garden which is why your yard is never complete without one!

A patio is also a great future investment to make, they increase the curb appeal of your house and make them much more attractive to potential buyers, and down the line, they increase the resale value of your entire property!

Patios can also separate different areas in your backyard by creating zones especially if your backyard is leveled. You can also use a fence to separate the seating area from the rest of your backyard.

Choosing a patio foundation can be challenging especially when trying to figure out which design aesthetic you would like to for, which is why we have simplified it for you and offered you the best design ideas for your patio!

Choose The Correct Foundation For Your Patio

The foundation of your patio acts as a solid base for the design of your patio and sets the tone for the entire design theme. A good patio foundation needs to be weather-resistant, long-lasting, low maintenance, and of course easy to clean!

But how can you pick the best patio foundation for you?

Simple, to start off you need to think about the style aesthetic of your yard and which design theme you would like to lean into. For example, you can have a Mediterranean-inspired backyard, this style is usually complimented with natural stone or gravel flooring. If you have a sloped backyard you can use stone steps to lead you to different parts of your yard.

For a contemporary-style yard, you might want to stick to concrete slabs or marbling. You can even get creative and mix and match different flooring styles together such as separating concrete slabs with artificial grass or gravel.

You can opt for a wooden deck that overlooks the rest of your large yard. A wooden deck may be slightly more costly to build and can require regular maintenance, however top real estate experts always advise homeowners to build a solid deck in their backyard as it can increase the curb appeal of your house and skyrocket the resale value of your home, more so than a regular patio.

Choosing these durable materials for your flooring will ensure a low-maintenance and hassle-free patio foundation that you can build upon!

Choose Your Patio Furniture Wisely

Once you’ve set up your patio foundation and picked the flooring that matches the style you are going for, it’s now time to design your seating areas and pick out the right outdoor furniture.

There are plenty of furniture ideas to choose from when designing your outdoor living room area that matches the style and theme you have in mind. For example, built-in seating is a great way to complement a Mediterranean backyard and can be surrounded by a beautiful wooden table and a few wooden patio chairs. You can use earthy tones for your built-in couch cushions and chair pillows and throw an outdoor rug as a focal point.

You can keep things simple by adding a few Adirondack chairs around a small coffee table under a large wooden pergola. To style your wooden pergola, you can grow climbing plants around it for a gorgeous cascading greenery effect.

You can make your patio design even more special by adding lighting fixtures to it. You can add string lights for a beautiful cottagecore effect, you can hang light fixtures from trees, walls, or a large fence. You can also opt for alternative lighting like tiki torches for an exotic resort ambiance!

You can also add green elements to your patio by adding potted plants such as smaller trees or flower boxes for a pop of natural color and texture!

Add An Outdoor Fireplace

A fire pit will do wonders for your yard and will allow you to enjoy it year-round even during cold, windy winters! Nothing is cozier than huddling up with your family under a fuzzy blanket roasting marshmallows on a blazing fire pit.

Your fire pit can play an essential role in the decor of your patio as you can design your outdoor seating area around it. You can add a couple of Adirondack chairs around your fire pit as they are comfortable and lower to the ground. You can also pair it with built-in seating for a contemporary style.

A firepit area can be a very special addition and can provide an unforgettable backyard experience as it transforms your outdoor space into one you and your loved ones can make lasting memories together.

Pro Tip #2 – Be Strategic With Your Garden Landscaping

Living elements are crucial to the design of your outdoor living spaces which is why when choosing the correct plants for your yard you need to be very strategic.

There are a variety of ways you can design your garden and millions of different plants to choose from. Our expert garden designer has provided you with the best ways to plant your own backyard and turn it into a lush green haven!

Plant A Native Garden

One way of ensuring a hassle-free and low-maintenance garden is by opting to plant native plants in it. What are native plants and why is native gardening increasing in popularity, you might wonder?

Native gardening is when you plant a garden using plant species that are indigenous to your environment, meaning that are already grown naturally in your state. There are plenty of native plants to choose from depending on where you live so make sure to do your research!

Grow A Flower Garden

You can also grow a beautiful flower garden in your backyard and surround it with natural stone creating a gorgeous focal point people can’t resist but turn to. A flower garden is a very special addition to your yard especially if you opt for aromatic flowers that give off a sweet scent that fills your entire property!

Planting flowers can require a little bit of effort on your side, especially when considering planting annuals, for this reason, stick to planting flower beds with perennials to ensure they will continue to bloom for many years to come!

Opt For Non-Traditional Backyard Garden Ideas

You can also separate different areas in your garden using a small wooden fence or by drawing separate clean lines using natural stone or gravel. You can even add stepping stones that lead to a small secret garden which you can build in your side yard to make use of it as well!

Make Use of Vertical Space with a vertical garden. If your backyard has a lot of empty walls or a large surrounding fence it might be a good idea to think vertically!

If your garden falls on a slope you might want to consider terraced gardens, this is perfect for creating zones in your garden that are dedicated to different plants. For example, they can be separated according to plant type, one area could be a designated flower garden full of brightly colored flower beds and the other can be an herb garden.

Go for The Most Original Lawn Ideas

With a large yard, you get to play around with your lawn ideas and do not need to opt for a classic natural grass lawn. You can use your lawn to separate different areas in your yard, for example, one space can be a traditional grass lawn and another space can be designated to grass alternatives like ornamental grasses which are becoming increasingly popular due to their very aesthetically pleasing nature.

You can also use alternative lawn ideas such as using creeping thyme as a ground cover which gives your yard a beautiful pop of purple color that will transform your outdoor space!

Add Your Own Backyard Vegetable Garden

A vegetable garden is a great way to ensure you and your loved ones are being provided with organic produce that is chemical free, the best part is you get to grow the organic produce in your own garden!

You can use raised beds to separate each vegetable type which not only adds depth t your yard and layering but it is also very beneficial to the growth of the vegetables. Remember, you don’t have to be limited to vegetables and legumes with a vegetable garden, you can also grow fruits and herbs!

Pro Tip #3 Add An Outdoor Kitchen And Adjacent Dining area

Outdoor kitchens are becoming an increasingly important addition to your yard. They allow you to host plenty of family gatherings and parties in the comfort of your own backyard.

Building an outdoor kitchen will allow you to enjoy those hot summer days when you want to fire up the grill, cook up some juicy stakes and enjoy the outdoors with the family.

There are many ways to stock up your outdoor kitchen, you can add a traditional grill, make space for a fully stocked kitchenette that includes a built-in stove and cabinets, you can also add a pizza oven and mini fridge.

Always add a seating area to complement your outdoor kitchen. What use is a fully equipped kitchen if you have no place to sit down and enjoy the tasty meals you whipped up?

Seating areas can include large outdoor dining sets with enough space to fill up the whole family as well as invited guests, they can also be a set of smaller round tables inspired by a Parisian Café which is perfect for hosting outdoor events!

Pro Tip #4 Make Use Of Your Outdoor Space With Water Features

A large backyard would not be complete without the addition of water features! A water feature can range from a large backyard swimming pool to a backyard pond.

Adding a water feature to your yard also increases the curb appeal of your house making it a worthwhile investment to make but you are not necessarily limited to one water feature only! Having a large backyard gives you the luxury of adding multiple water features to it.

Add A Pool And Jacuzzi

A swimming pool is a classic staple to a large backyard, especially when considering all the different ways you get to use it! From backyard water sports to entertaining guests and hosting birthday parties a pool is a perfect way to add fun and entertainment to your home.

You can also compliment your pool with a relaxing jacuzzi which is perfect for when the long working day gets to you and you just want to sit back, relax and enjoy the massaging jets on your back! Jacuzzis are also perfect for a winter swim as the heated jets will keep you warm.

Incorporate A Backyard Pond

Ponds are a beautiful addition to your large yard as not only do they make use of an empty space you may have been wanting to fill up but they are perfect for nature lovers who want to build their own ecosystem.

You can add Koi fish to your pond which is gorgeous to look at and add striking colors to your yard, they are also easy to care for and the kids love feeding them! You can even add lily pads to your pond and other water plants to attract local wildlife like native frogs to your pond!

Add A Bird Bath or Fountain

Bird baths are making a comeback into yard design styles due to their delicate and elegant nature as well as more and more people value the addition of natural wildlife visiting their homes.

Fountains make a very glamorous focal point in your yard, inspired by Mediterranean villas, a large fountain in your backyard is a great use of space as it adds a touch of sophistication and elegance to your outdoor living space.

Where Else Can I Find Backyard Ideas?

Our experts at Shrubhub have years of backyard landscaping experience and can transform any outdoor space no matter if they are large or small backyard!

There are plenty of backyard landscaping ideas we can help you with all you need to do is check out Shrubhub and sign up for our services. We will provide you with all the landscaping ideas you will need to makeover your dream large backyard!

If you sign up now you can get the backyard landscaping design of your dreams for just under $300!

The Worst Backyard Landscaping Ideas

As landscape contractors, often we see homeowners and designers making critical design mistakes during backyard remodels that can end up removing functionality and resell value. The backyard of your dreams can become a nightmare by making the following creative decisions.


Learn How to Build a High-Functioning Backyard Landscape

  • Common Mistakes Backyard Designers Make
  • High Cost & Low Value Backyard Design Examples
  • How to Establish the Right Priorities During Backyard Design and Renovation
  • Build a Backyard That Can Be Improved Over Time
  • Think Ahead to Maximize Value

In our line of work, we’re constantly visiting and assessing backyards and we’ve come across many backyards with awful layouts. From poor planning to sketchy execution, your dream backyard can quickly become non-functional with just a few design mistakes. We think these landscape designers should be sent to live in the backyards they designed as punishment. 🙂

Common Mistakes Backyard Designers Make

One of the biggest mistakes made is choosing fashion over function. Creating an attractive and eye-grabbing landscape layout is important, but if the additions are not practical you may end up doing more harm than good. You can accomplish a high-functioning backyard makeover on a budget by avoiding the following mistakes.

Creating Backyard Designs that are Not Walkable

Sometimes we see that more complex backyard designs will not provide walkways that make sense. To offer your family the best functionality, ensure there are no design elements that are obstructing the pathway. You don’t naturally walk around in rectangles, so creating obstacles in the backyard is not ideal. During the planning stage, make sure that there is a sufficient walkway to each area that will also blend together as a whole.  

Not Accounting for Privacy Needs

When planning your outdoor space and considering different backyard landscape ideas, incorporating privacy is key. Without it, you may run the risk of having a spa in clear sight of your neighbor’s upstairs window or creating a living area that leaves them vulnerable to your sounds and activities during the day and night – not to mention them being able to see what you’re up to easily.

For this reason, taking measures to ensure privacy in landscape design should be considered right off the bat. This will give you the opportunity to pick an appropriate spot for every feature while simultaneously establishing effective ways to obstruct views and dampen noise. Avoid unwanted feuds and noise complaints! 

Opting For Features that Deteriorate or Require Constant Upkeep

Keep in mind design features such as fountains, ponds, or garden boxes will require consistent upkeep and maintenance. Water features specifically can be quite a pain to keep in good shape and half the time they don’t work correctly. Mold and mildew growth is also a concern in these areas and often they become more of a burden than an enjoyed add on. 

Also, selecting finishings that require upkeep during backyard design updates will add to your workload and may not be worth it. For example, we don’t typically recommend Stucco walls or siding. It’s a porous material that stains easily and can crack, requiring regular maintenance and cleaning. 

Adding too Much Concrete or Hardscape

With today’s modern design theme being so popular, we are constantly seeing homeowners and backyard designers go way too far with concrete. While the use of concrete slabs and stone creates a sleek and stylish look, overkill of this is not practical for a family to utilize.

You’ll hear us mention this multiple times throughout this article, but resell value should be top of mind during any major renovation project. Turning your backyard into a bachelor pad is not recommended, because this will be the only buyer you’ll attract in the future. Finding a balance between hardscape and grass is the name of the game. Covering up the entire space with cold hard concrete will remove the coziness and functionality that many seek out during the home buying process. At the end of the day, one of the biggest mistakes you can make during backyard renovation is failing to be family-friendly. 

Elaborate Backyard Designs That Don’t Match the Home

A quaint old-fashioned home will look odd with a bunch of modern design elements in the backyard. When planning a landscaping design for your home, it is essential to consider how it fits with the architecture of your house. Certain elements may work well with one style but not at all with another. For example, a brick patio may appear out of place in front of a home that has Mediterranean-style architecture, while paving stones would look much more appropriate. 

Sectioning the Backyard into Smaller Areas

When trying to elevate the look of your backyard, it can be easy to want to go all out and create a multifunctional lawn. However, if the space is chunked into many small sections you may be left feeling like you have less space once the renovation is complete. You’ll also find that these smaller spaces offer much less usability, and it can be tricky to provide walkways to all the areas. Finding a balance between hardscape and grass is the name of the game, and can be a tricky decision. 

Making the Backyard Layout Symmetrical

We see this all the time. Homeowners or landscape designers will sketch a perfectly even design on their backyard landscape design tool. While this look is typically desired, it’s not practical in most backyards. Creating perfect symmetry in an irregular space is nearly impossible and can cause many hiccups throughout execution often leading to dissatisfaction with the end result. To fully maximize on your space, don’t worry about symmetry as much as a practical and useful design. 

Overkill of Added Features

Many think that if they’re not cutting corners or completing a backyard remodel on a budget, there’s nothing to worry about. On the contrary, overkill is one of the top mistakes made by homeowners and backyard designers.

You can absolutely lower functionality and sales value by adding too many features. It can be tricky to narrow down your priorities when considering backyard landscape design ideas, but it’s important to leave room to breath. Make calculated decisions when it comes to walkways, lights, planters, and water features to ensure that the backyard is still practical and not overwhelming. 

Implementing Too Many Pebbles or Gravel into Landscape Design

Gravel or pebbles can be nice in small amounts and will help fill the space if you’re looking for a cheap backyard makeover. However, keep in mind this ground cover is very abrasive and provides little functionality outside of aesthetic or decor. When considering resell value, gravel or pebbles in excess is not ideal for families or pets. 

High Cost & Low Value Backyard Design Examples

There are many backyard design elements that are high cost and provide little added value to the home. While it’s very exciting to make backyard updates and enhance your space, remember you’re not in a backyard makeover contest. Not all high cost additions are necessary. 

Often homeowners will install permanent features similar to those seen in commercial settings. Constructing permanent elements is necessary in commercial spaces to deter theft, but is not needed in residential backyards. In fact, permanent design elements in your backyard can end up making your home more difficult to resell. Prospected buyers prefer the freedom to make their own choices, so adding permanent fixtures is not the best choice. Instead opt for fixtures that can be removed if needed.

Commercial grade features that are not applicable to residential yards include:

  • Permanent Benches
  • Raised Planters 
  • Fixed Fire Pits
  • Permanent Pergolas Instead of Umbrellas or Awnings
  • Elevations or Dual Levels
  • Creeks or Ponds

There are also a few backyard creative elements that are high cost/low value and can pose safety risks. Not only can a few glasses of wine lead to a lawsuit from friends, installing these elaborate additions may also deter prospected buyers in the future. The following backyard renovation ideas are not recommended for safety reasons: 

  • Floating Stepping Stones
  • Marble Surfaces
  • Sunken Seating Areas

Establishing Priorities During Backyard Design and Renovation

When planning a backyard redesign, it’s important to keep your priorities straight before jumping into execution. We’ve seen many cases where homeowners invest a big chunk of money into complimentary features such as expensive tile or colored gravel but forget to run low-voltage conduits for lighting in the area. Also, if irrigation lines aren’t properly supplying trees and planters with water you may be stuck watering manually. Our numbered list below will help you understand your priorities to ensure nothing is overlooked. 

  1. Utilities & Lighting
  2. Surfaces
  3. Plants and Vegetation
  4. Added Design Features

Build a Backyard That can be Improved Over Time

The best way to improve your backyard is to invest in utilities. This offers the capability to continue making improvements over time if needed or desired.  Don’t overload the space with features that won’t be used or benefit the functionality. Investing in utilities also creates much more freedom for you in the future or for prospective buyers to utilize the space how they’d prefer.

Think Ahead to Maximize Value

As mentioned earlier in this article, resell value should be a consideration when doing any type of backyard renovation update. While you may think now that this is your forever home, life happens quickly and things are constantly changing. Keep in mind that some design elements are not practical and can really hinder your ability to sell the home. There should be a balance of hardscape and soft scape to create a functional lawn for a future buyer. The following features should be avoided if possible: 

  • Drops or Multi-Level
  • Blocked Separations
  • Heavy Boulders
  • Invasive Plants
  • Creeks, Ponds, Fountains 
  • Any Type of Design Overkill
  • Excessive Hardscape

We hope this article helps you steer clear of common backyard design mistakes we see made daily by professional landscape designers. When done right, a backyard renovation becomes an extension of your home and is useful for the whole family AND future buyers. Ready to get your backyard makeover started? Request an estimate below to speak with our experts! 

Private Home Yard Design Ideas: Classic Patio Styles

The courtyard or backyard is the space that transforms the transition from home to garden. It’s a place where we can lounge on a sun lounger or make family plans over a cup of tea or coffee. Each owner of the house is constantly trying to optimally combine this transit space with the garden. We have prepared for you some examples of classic private house courtyard design ideas that demonstrate the harmony of landscape design, while maintaining the main role of the courtyard as a space for relaxation.


English Romantic Courtyard

This quiet English courtyard garden will fit in even in small spaces. In this design, there is often a fountain, it is surrounded by beautiful plants. Additionally, topiaries and flower beds in pots are equipped.

Barbecue style yard

This yard is designed exclusively for relaxing with family or friends. A prerequisite is the presence of a lattice gazebo or canopy to create a cozy, shaded place. Also at the location there are a table and chairs, containers with flowers are placed nearby. The fence is usually also selected as a lattice type to hide this area from prying eyes.

Garden private yard

This option is suitable for cottages. The territory is equipped with a house with a small outbuilding, a stone fence, gates and minor plantings. Going deep into the location, you can see the abundance of a large number of garden crops, harmoniously interconnected.

The second variation of this style is Savannah. The fence is made only on three sides to provide a view of the street. Necessarily complemented by paths, beautiful plantings, a fountain and a statue. The statue should be the main focus placed in the center of the garden area.

Mediterranean-style courtyard

Mediterranean-style courtyard, where the entire landscape is in perfect color harmony. The space seems to be divided into three layers: the first, created by ceramic tiles, the second, accentuated by the stone wall and terrace, and the third belongs to nature, which harmoniously complements the landscape of the courtyard, giving it a sense of vitality.

Accentuated yard

Evergreens are of great importance in this design. They occupy the main area of ​​the territory. Here there is a place for flower beds exclusively from boxwood or juniper. But flower containers with permanently changing colors of crops depending on the season can add color.

Ideas for the design of the courtyard of a private house – round locations

A prerequisite for the design of such a courtyard is the presence of a round terrace based on stone or brick. Such a location is surrounded by beautiful evergreen plantings. The terrace is equipped with metal benches and chairs for relaxation.

Shady patio

This variant of the arrangement of the patio implies the presence of a large number of vines that create shade on the territory. The atmosphere is complemented by a murmuring miniature waterfall or fountain, which will set you up for relaxation. The path or terrace is laid with stone slabs with moss in the cracks.

Private house gravel patio

For those looking for an inexpensive central patio cover, fine gravel “floor” is the best solution. A cast-iron fire pit would look great in this style. You can relax on a cozy bench. Plants planted in bulky pots placed around the perimeter of the territory can add rich colors to this style.

Choose the design of your private yard that best reflects your desires. Whether it’s relaxation, entertainment or meditation – the courtyard should be exactly your space, where it will be cozy and pleasant to be.


10 Modern Private Yard Design Ideas on a Budget providing pleasure.

We’ve unearthed many incredible landscaping ideas that will transform your backyard design and fill you with that sense of joy.

If you have a small garden or yard, these ideas will help you with further design.

1. Terrace or patio

A terrace or patio is the perfect place to entertain in your backyard oasis, it also adds a certain attraction to your backyard. Not to mention the tremendous value it can offer your home.

2. Hang your hammock outdoors

Hang your hammock under a tree for a romantic getaway in your own backyard.

3. Lighting

Another economical way to enhance your backyard is with recessed lighting.

Outdoor lighting offers your space a stellar aesthetic and can be used in a variety of ways, including along paths with torches or lanterns or draped string lamps in trees.

Outdoor lighting can greatly enhance your mood and make dining outdoors more romantic.

4. Create an amazing relaxation area

For even more seating, you might consider hanging a bench and laying down an outdoor mat and throw in some of your favorite cushions for comfort.

This effectively creates a cozy and serene place to stay at a low cost. You can even repurpose an old bench as a more economical way to achieve that look.

5. BBQ area

This should be a comfortable and functional space that you can use. An outdoor kitchen is a great way to entertain and get people out of the house and get some fresh air.

6. Campfire site

Dig a hole, fill it with gravel, and then build it with landscaping stones or fire resistant materials of your choice.

7. Garden Landscape

Another inexpensive backyard landscaping idea is to create a garden landscape with your favorite seasonal flowers.

You can use metal poles or wooden planks and then add a climbing plant and watch your new garden grow.