5 Cool Modern Backyards

written by:
June 5, 2013
Clean, modern design need not end at your front door. As these five backyards show, a single bold move—geometric pavers, a sculptural firepit, a water feature, or even a concrete slide—can make the space. Steal these ideas to create your own modern yard! For more outdoor ideas, check out our roundup of 33 Landscaping Ideas.
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  Seated on Philippe Starck's outdoor chairs for Kartell, homeowners Bruce Golob and Jean Freeman take in the warmth from the freestanding fireplace at their Two Black Sheds retreat on Wisconsin's Madeline Island. Photo by Chad Holder.

    Seated on Philippe Starck's outdoor chairs for Kartell, homeowners Bruce Golob and Jean Freeman take in the warmth from the freestanding fireplace at their Two Black Sheds retreat on Wisconsin's Madeline Island. Photo by Chad Holder.

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  Eric Garcetti, mayor-elect of Los Angeles, and his partner, Amy Wakeland, transformed a mid-century house on a cozy hillside plot into a sustainable home with garden terraces and panoramic views. In their newly terraced yard, an outdoor water feature adds a subtle soundtrack to the property while keeping the plants irrigated. Photo by Misha Gravenor.  Photo by: Misha Gravenor

    Eric Garcetti, mayor-elect of Los Angeles, and his partner, Amy Wakeland, transformed a mid-century house on a cozy hillside plot into a sustainable home with garden terraces and panoramic views. In their newly terraced yard, an outdoor water feature adds a subtle soundtrack to the property while keeping the plants irrigated. Photo by Misha Gravenor.

    Photo by: Misha Gravenor

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  Stepstone's narrow concrete pavers add a graphic touch to the garden in the Mill Valley home of Dwell founder Lara Hedberg Deam and architect Chris Deam. Photo by Dustin Aksland.  Photo by: Dustin Aksland

    Stepstone's narrow concrete pavers add a graphic touch to the garden in the Mill Valley home of Dwell founder Lara Hedberg Deam and architect Chris Deam. Photo by Dustin Aksland.

    Photo by: Dustin Aksland

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  Rather than resist the natural slope of this backyard in San Francisco, landscape architect Eric Blasen composed a well-considered, minimal, multiterraced space with a concrete slide. The resulting yard is more Tadao Ando than Magic Kingdom, with a design that caters to both the whims of children and the aesthetics of adults.  Photo by: Marion Brenner

    Rather than resist the natural slope of this backyard in San Francisco, landscape architect Eric Blasen composed a well-considered, minimal, multiterraced space with a concrete slide. The resulting yard is more Tadao Ando than Magic Kingdom, with a design that caters to both the whims of children and the aesthetics of adults.

    Photo by: Marion Brenner

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  Architectural designer Barbara Hill worked with metal artist and designer George Sacaris to create a sculptural gas fire pit in the backyard of her retreat in Marfa, Texas. Using repurposed pipes uncovered during the renovation, Sacaris welded them together in a vertical formation. When the fire is flickering, it engulfs the sculpture and adds another note of drama to the outdoor area. Photo by Misty Keasler.  Photo by: Misty Keasler

    Architectural designer Barbara Hill worked with metal artist and designer George Sacaris to create a sculptural gas fire pit in the backyard of her retreat in Marfa, Texas. Using repurposed pipes uncovered during the renovation, Sacaris welded them together in a vertical formation. When the fire is flickering, it engulfs the sculpture and adds another note of drama to the outdoor area. Photo by Misty Keasler.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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