A backyard is the heart of your humble abode. From barbeque parties to reading books in cozy spots out on your patio, it’s a place where you’ll be spending most of your time during the warm summer months.
Are you looking to revamp your outdoor space in time for spring, or want to overhaul your existing dim backyard into a relaxing paradise? We’ve got 15 alluring ideas to help you convert your lawn into a modern backyard.
Beautiful Modern Backyard Pictures & Ideas
#1. Build a Stream and Mini Waterfall
Do you find yourself hiking in your free time to be amid nature? Bring the tranquility of a rippling stream and the serenity of a gentle waterfall to the comfort of your home!
Uplift your backyard’s aesthetics by constructing a multi-layered patio with a waterfall and stream. With beginner-level know-how of construction and a few days, you’ll have your water feature right in your backyard.
You can begin by digging to create depth or adding stone slabs to increase layers for the cascading water. Consequently, by using gravel and medium-sized rocks as the base, you will have a low-maintenance brook running right through your backyard.
What’s more, give your modern backyard a raw look by introducing plants like water lilies, water lettuce, blue iris, and various aquatic plants to the stream. However, before you undertake this project and start digging, remember to check with your local authorities to mark underground utilities.
#2. Build a Contemporary Fire Pit
Take your backyard game to the next level by setting up a concrete fire pit. The fire will add a mystic touch to your modern backyard and ensure your relaxing sessions continue post-sunset.
Give your fire pit a present-day look by using sharp geometric shapes during its construction. You can also build your fire pit with stone, iron, and copper materials, but concrete is the easiest and most versatile to work with. Above all, by incorporating furniture made out of oak or maple wood around your fire pit, you can create various cozy spots in your modern backyard that blend into the concrete structures.
Furthermore, you can build small wooden steps leading up to the main attraction on your lawn. Additionally, by creating a succulent bed in your backyard, you can add subtle touches of nature to complement the concrete.
Before you begin upgrading your outdoor, nighttime ambiance, take a look at this ultimate backyard fire pit guide to help you with the process.
#3. Design For a Narrow Backyard
One of the main problems of a small lawn is inefficient use of the space. This design is especially suited for people who have a narrow backyard and want to revamp it into a lavish modern space.
Counter this problem by laying white pebbles along your lawn’s vertical boundaries, giving your narrow yard an elongated charm. Likewise, a wooden pathway leading to a seating area will transform your boring patio into a modern backyard.
Moreover, add warmth to your back porch by installing dim orange lights along the perimeter of your lawn. Similarly, illuminating the wooden bench will add a touch of elegance to your beautiful backyard. Throw a few colorful cushions on your bench, and you’ll have a picturesque modern backyard at your disposal.
For the final touches, decorate the newly built patio with low-maintenance plants like the snake plant, spider plant, or aloe vera planted in artistic pots behind your sitting area.
#4. Add a Backyard Swing
Turn your backyard into a modern-day oasis by building a comfy swing and a small pond for relaxing on those sunny days. Besides, placing the swing in the center of your yard will allow you to create dedicated spaces in the garden.
For instance, backyard owners could form a pond, lining the parapet with contemporary tiles to add a new-age look to the water feature in their lawn. Further, spruce up your mini reservoir by incorporating submerged plants like anacharis or hornwort. Another suggestion is to add color to the pond by growing cardinal flowers and water lilies.
Construct pillars to support the swing using pressure-treated wood like birch, mahogany, oak, maple, and cedarwood. These types of wood are perfect for building exterior columns as they can support the weight of the swing. In addition, the pressure-treated wood is immune to rot, making it appropriate for use in outdoor furniture.
What’s more, growing shade-loving plants and shrubs under your swing can help utilize every inch of your backyard!
#5. Design For an Outdoor Kitchen
Including an outdoor kitchen in the garden’s design could be worth it if families enjoy outdoor cooking in their spare time. What’s best, you could also host barbeque parties over the weekend and invite neighbors, family, and friends. Most importantly, you can indulge in an al fresco dining experience right in your backyard!
The essential components of this design are kitchen appliances like a barbeque grill or a pizza oven. Also, a workspace for meal preps and storage cabinets for crockery and cooking tools will complete the kitchen aspect of your garden.
Add a stone walkway leading up to a wooden deck and raised gravel beds for the dining table and seating areas.
Light up this outdoor kitchen with vintage string lights to give a rustic look to your upcoming modern backyard.
#6. Backyard Plunge Pool
Do you have a small yard and fancy going for a dip on those sunny days? By installing a plunge pool on the lawn, you can sink into the warm waters after a hard day of work. What’s better, call your friends and neighbors over for an afternoon pool party.
Expect a modern backyard paradise by affixing a colorful beach umbrella and a sun lounging chair to the deck. Consequently, placing mattresses draped in outdoor covers can add a beach-side aura to the patio.
Use the wall embracing the pool to grow perennial plants and creepers to keep the pool area cool. Moreover, by placing stepping stones on the grass, there’ll be a magical-looking path leading to the plunge pool.
#7. Wooden Deck and Stone Tiles
Although a plain stone tile yard and a simple wooden deck are deemed as bland, combining the two will leave you with a gem of a backyard. The contrast created by the earthy wood and sleek stone will convert any backyard into an artistic wonderland.
You can construct a path in the lawn’s center using porcelain tiles, leading to a garden on one side and a wooden deck on the other. Create a comfortable nook by adding relaxing lawn chairs to the wooden deck. Additionally, any backyard becomes a charming space by surrounding the deck with lush green plants and bushes.
Top it off by creating a water body around the stone tiles. The elevated tiles and rippling water will add a touch of elegance to the already-enhanced backyard.
#8. Private Garden With Tall Hedges
People are often subjected to the prying eyes of their neighbors when they have a low fence in their backyard. To get back the exclusivity one desires in their garden, changing the garden’s layout might do the trick.
Firstly, begin by creating an outline of the hedge around the yard’s perimeter. Secondly, select the plants you want to grow to cover the fence. We suggest choosing between various hedge plants like Buxus, murraya, and yew plants. However, due to its simple growth cycle, English laurels are the best choice for growing hedges.
To significantly reduce the maintenance time for the garden, grow faux grass. Throw in a comfortable couch and a coffee table, and you’ll have a personal retreat right there!
#9. Using Plants to Make a Wall Design
Transforming any lawn into a modern backyard often requires a plethora of changes. However, this idea will spice up your patio in no time and requires minimal effort to execute. For those with a bland wall in their backyard, make it the main attraction of this outdoor space by nurturing eye-catching plant varieties.
Begin by choosing a design for the wall and marking the outlines. To create this wall feature, mount pots along the outline on the wall. Once the pots are in place, proceed by selecting aesthetic plants.
The trick to maintaining a healthy plant wall is to avoid using flora with a fast growth rate. Using plants such as arrowhead, Boston fern, English ivy, and maidenhair fern will ensure you spend more time mesmerized in the backyard.
In a nutshell, a living wall shifts your guests’ attention from the primitive features of your lawn.
#10. Choose a Calming Color Palate
One can scarcely go wrong with a simple color palette of plain white and calm greys. While these neutral tones give a sense of space and tranquility to all outdoor areas, they also let the flora of your yard shine.
By incorporating new-age materials like a composite deck, anyone can achieve a neat look for their backyard while staying eco-friendly. It is easier to maintain than a wooden deck and is more durable. In the same way, using porcelain paver blocks to decorate the floor will give the patio a refined look.
Fill up the backyard space by placing a sleek dining table to transform your lawn into a fancy outdoor dining area. Install a fire pit and chrome lanterns for the final touch to give the setup a captivating feel.
#11. Unify Your Indoors and Outdoors
Your lawn is an appendage of your house! So, creating harmony between the indoor and outdoor space helps drastically transform a yard by increasing its visual appeal.
Use sliding doors or bi-fold doors to aid in creating an effortless flow from your house to the backyard. Similarly, to make the partition stand out, use a brick inlay around the door. However, there are other methods to accentuate your backyard further.
Try to maintain uniformity by using complementary tiles on the patio and in the room on the other side of the sliding door. In addition, a wooden deck and terracotta planters will bring a complete look. By adding lively accessories like cushions and throws, give your lawn a homespun aura.
#12. Fabricate a Pergola
For sunny-yard owners looking for solutions to jazz it up, building structures like a pergola are an epic choice. Not only do they provide much-appreciated shade on those hot days, but they are also less cluttered and more fashionable than gazebos. Thus, adding a chic look to your backyard while serving multiple functions.
You could opt for a fully retractable roof if the main purpose is shade. However, a pergola with intermittent beams laid spaciously can effectively outline outdoor spaces such as a seating area or a dining table. What’s more, the beams of a pergola provide ample support to creepers and climbing plants.
Create an elevated concrete floor for the dining table or seating area and a green lawn in one corner. The varying textures complement each other, causing your relaxation furniture to stand out.
With such an elegant yard, you’ll surely be spending most of your free time outdoors. Take a look at the best garden benches to find what fits perfectly in your yard.
#13. Backyard Studio Shed
If you’ve come across the term “backyard studio,” a dingy and bitter garden shed is what comes to your mind. But, contemporarily, a lawn studio is being recognized as an opportunity to express your design creativity in your backyard.
Studio sheds make for an entertaining addition to your home. And while there are numerous designs to choose from, they undoubtedly transform any backyard, from giving you additional storage space to a peaceful place to unwind.
This picturesque cabin with a teal and white palate creates a new-age yet trendy appeal and leaves you to customize the inside as per preference. A small wooden deck adjoining the shed can be added to provide extra space for a coffee table or ornate pots to hold dainty plants.
Feel free to go the traditional way and use wood to construct the garden shed, or try using offbeat materials like vinyl sheets.
Tip: Renovate a shipping container and build an extraordinary shed for your backyard.
#14. Grow a Modern Garden
A small backyard shouldn’t stop you from growing as many plants as desired. In addition to livening up the lawn, the plants provide a natural yet modern look to your yard. Moreover, by creating platforms across levels, you can enhance the look by growing many different plants.
The trick is to utilize all available spaces, from raised garden beds to the space under the seating area. Consider growing herbs like rosemary and oregano and plants like basil to make the most of your compact garden.
By growing plants along the boundary, you create an elegant pathway in your garden. To beautify the lawn even further, consider using a sleek glass panel to create a division and provide a sense of space. Remember to be patient when working with plants because beautiful gardens don’t grow overnight!
To make your task easier, check out this comprehensive guide on how to plant a garden.
#15. Convert Your Lawn Into an Outdoor Cinema
Although this isn’t an all-year-round solution, having a private movie theatre in your backyard can prove to be a delight in the summer months. Especially post-sunset while the weather is still balmy!
Contrary to popular belief, building a garden cinema is way easier than you’d think. The components required are rudimentary and can be scaled to accommodate most budgets. Try and fashion a kids tent or a white sheet into a screen, and with a basic projector and speakers, the open-air cinema is installed.
By styling the theatre with duvets, comforters, and outdoor cushions, you’ll achieve an old-school retro look for your cinema. Add to the ambiance by hanging string lights from a tree or a pagoda.
Take a look at these fantastic DIY backyard lighting ideas to find the perfect lights for setting the mood in your outdoor cinema.
By treating your lawn as a blank canvas and by utilizing various materials, you’d create a fancy outdoor area right in the comfort of your garden. Whether you’re a professional landscaper or a do-it-yourself enthusiast, we hope your find something here piquing your interest.