Make the most of your backyard with practical tips and ideas from these picturesque outdoor living spaces.
An above-ground fire pit is perfect for a small group to gather around to roast marshmallows or have a conversation. Soft outdoor furniture and a matching patio umbrella make the space even more inviting. Be sure to research local ordinances before installing a fire pit in your backyard.
Break up a stretch of patio with beds of plantings. Next to this southwestern home’s pool, succulents are the perfect choice. Succulents thrive in harsh, dry climates. If you don’t live in this climate but love the look of succulents, consider planting them in containers that can easily be brought inside in the fall.
If you're fortunate enough to have a large shade tree in your backyard, consider siting your patio under its canopy. You'll enjoy the cool, shady retreat in the heat of summer when you need a quick break from your gardening chores. You can also plant your favorite shade plants, such as hostas and caladiums, around your patio.
Who said a shed is only for storage? This repurposed shed makes a great outdoor eating area completely protected from the elements. A fresh coat of paint, colorful accessories, and lights strung across the ceiling keep the space light, bright, and welcoming.
Create a focal point and add some height to your backyard decor by creating a simple structure using a pair of columns and wood beams. A classic fountain underneath completes the look and adds the relaxing sound of trickling water near the seating area. Potted plants complete the look.
Define multiple zones in your backyard through different flooring treatments. This backyard features three distinct treatments underfoot: a checkerboard pattern made from large patio pavers and squares of grass, a stone floor under the pergola, and gravel under the seating area. The natural-looking pergola is constructed from logs tied together with rope.
There are many creative ways to make an outdoor table using durable materials capable of withstanding the elements. Here, thick glass-block pillars hold up a tabletop made from a sheet of industrial glass. The transparent quality of the table keeps the focus on the beautiful plantings surrounding it.
When you have a beautiful backyard, there's no need to go overboard with color. But sometimes a pop of color in small doses, like the orange used on this multi-level patio's chairs and umbrellas, is a nice touch.
Create a simple, winding path through your backyard using gravel lined by larger rocks. Better yet, have the path lead to a secluded sitting area. This backyard’s lush plantings create the feeling of a nature hike.
Create a cozy corner protected from breezes for a place to enjoy a morning cup of coffee or afternoon tea. Add shade with a pergola overhead. Choose durable furniture that withstands the elements.
With an outdoor fireplace, you can keep using your backyard even after the days start cooling off and getting shorter. The commanding size of this fireplace makes it the focal point of the backyard. Comfy furniture offers the perfect spot to entertain or cozy up with a warm drink.
The circular shape of this patio not only adds character, it also functions well for entertaining and encouraging conversation. Curves are typically more relaxing than straight lines. A short wall around the perimeter of the patio offers plentiful seating when hosting large groups.