15+ Awesome Modern Backyard Ideas for the Modern Family

Outdoor living spaces are quickly becoming the hottest trend in home design. The key to creating an outdoor space that is perfect for your family is knowing what they like and what they don’t like. If you’re stumped on where to start, we’ve got you covered with this list of 15 awesome backyard ideas for a modern outdoor-loving family!

Fire Pits

fire pits backyard landscaping ideas


In light of the recent cold weather, a fire pit is an excellent way to keep sun-downers warm. A wonderful backyard centerpiece can be created with natural gas or wood burning stones that will create a magnificent dragon breathing fire into the air.

Set Up a Yurt

yurt design ideas


One option for your backyard space is to use a yurt. They are an especially functional choice because they can be used as a guest room, pool house, play area or living/entertaining space. Yurts are more well-insulated than tents but less permanent than buildings, so you will still be able to hang out in them

Make It Multi-Purpose

outdoor fire pit and pool in backyard


Set up distinct zones to get more use out of your backyard. Here, Studio Robert McKinley used different flooring materials to distinguish the separate hangout spots. The concrete is durable and sturdy under the fire pit sitting area while the lawn functions as a nice segue to the pool. The green plants in a white pot are a pleasant transition

Fish Pond

Rocks Water Pond backyard landscaping ideas


A backyard pond is always a great place to stop and gaze upon. Some may enjoy the opportunity to jump in, while others will simply want to look at it from the safety of the edge. Either way, ponds are a beautiful addition for any green space. Add to that the soothing melody of water flowing over stones…

Trim Trees

wood fence and trim side trees


When selecting plants for your backyard, be savvy and select the trees with “growing” habits. Green Giant Arborvitae, Magnolia, Cherry trees, Persian Ironwood or Bamboo are great choices that provide beautiful aging without taking up a lot of space.

Side Gardening

backyard side garden


line the perimeter of your backyard with flowerbeds, leaving open space in the center. This effect will make it seem larger than it is.

Vancouver Contemporary

vancouver contemporary landscaping


The furniture is modern and deep-seating in this casual backyard, designed by Landscape 2000 of Vancouver. Bold vertical gardens and decorative pergolas fill the space with color, while a wall provides privacy.


Play house backyard landscaping ideas


Make the backyard into a whimsical getaway for children with playhouses that stir up imagination.

Modern kids deserve a modern version of Neverland Ranch, minus the assault charges of course! You could make a DIY playhouse with your kids or order one online like the rest of us millennials.

Pool and Spa Landscape Design

pool and spa landscape design


Chris Corbett, a landscape and residential designer in the Sacramento region of California, uses natural materials such as stone and wood. After this pool and yard project was completed, it would include an integrated water feature with scones that flow into the pool and spa.


bird house 1 backyard landscaping ideas


There are more than birds living in your backyard. You can create an environment that caters to animal needs as well. This makes for a rewarding—and colorful—backyard that also attracts a lot of wildlife, including bird visitors.

Bird Feeders

bird feeders


Making use of a bird feeder is an easy way to attract more birds to your backyard. You can buy these feeders either online or inside a store, but most are fitted with wire mesh that supports the seed dispensers as well as comes installed with three different feeding stations for cardinals, chickadees and finches respectively.

Set Up an Outdoor Mudroom

outdoor patio entrance


To avoid drips, use hooks and a bench to store your beach and pool gear so that it won’t leave drops of water on the floor. Transform your outdoor space into an elegant yet understated design by choosing casual furniture with minimalist decoration.

Set Up a Work Studio

backyard with separate


Those looking to add a workshop space to their backyard may want to opt for a floor-to-ceiling window design, which can increases productivity and creativity and helps maintain the visual flow of the landscape.

Upgrade Your Seating

outdoor seating ideas


Modern outdoor seating designed by Studio Life/Style includes swing sofas with super long ropes, that are a great option for lounging.

Create a Flower-Covered Pergola

wisteria trellis pictures


The ultimate backyard escape in this cottage is the pool and pergola. Hanging beneath it, shady bistro chairs provide a perfect place to eat your lunch or read a book.

A White Backyard

comfortable garden nook


White paint, furniture and light colored plants can make the backyard seem larger than it is.

Mosaic Pathway

mosaic garden pathway


Your backyard deserves your love. Introduce not just color, but a sense of detail: create with mosaic and patterns what you cannot grow in the backyard– hills, valleys, trees, grasses.

Vertical Box Gardening

vertical flower boxes


With space for lawns, trees and gardens at a premium in modern life, it can be difficult to find a corner of the backyard suited to planting. However this is only true if you are thinking or engaging with traditional lawns and borders. If you’re willing to think on an abstract scale when it comes to your garden’s spaces then vertical box


Consider the functions of the space.

When designing your backyard, think about the comforts you want available. For our backyard, we wanted to be able to eat and cook food (of course), as well as relax with a coffee or book while backyards designs incorporated these desires into the design.

Select a limited color palette.

If you’re a novice designer, it can be helpful to choose colors consciously. I find that limiting your colors down to three or four shades helps you make the right choices.

Create rooms.

Planning a backyard layout might seem like it would be easy, but oftentimes there are no true walls to give you direction. Fortunately, there are many ways to create the illusion of walls even without physical boundaries. Planting flower beds or installing stone panels can help you map out an attractive outdoor living space.

Understand how the climate affects the design.

According to our observations, contractors cannot make your backyard dreams a reality. If you live in a similar climate like we did with large temperature changes over time then consider materials that can adapt well to these changes; however, if you live in an area with high heat and sun exposure, choose building materials that are better able to withstand the effects of the environment

Consider what to hire out.

When looking to hire an expert for your backyard design, make sure they match your aesthetic. Whether you want to see more of a modern or plant-focused effect in your space, hiring someone with the right skillset will ensure they can complete everything you’ve envisioned.

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