25 Blissful Backyards

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By Annie Fleming
Warmer weather is on the horizon, which means barbecues and pool parties are too. What better way to welcome the spring and summer seasons than epic modern backyard design?

As they vary in design and layout, each backyard is unique in its own way. From green grass to concrete patios, check out 25 of our favorite backyards from this week. 

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The dining room leads onto a terrace with a built-in concrete table and barbecue that are original to Raman and Schaffrath’s design. A pair of Hardoy butterfly chairs from Knoll are positioned by the pond.

The dining room leads onto a terrace with a built-in concrete table and barbecue that are original to Raman and Schaffrath’s design. A pair of Hardoy butterfly chairs from Knoll are positioned by the pond.

Bring asphalt patios and concrete backyards alive with rugs, plants and monochromatic color palettes.

Bring asphalt patios and concrete backyards alive with rugs, plants and monochromatic color palettes.

Chong left enough space in the 16-foot-wide backyard for a garden and comfortable dining area.

Chong left enough space in the 16-foot-wide backyard for a garden and comfortable dining area.

Underneath the fire pit, sits a french drainage system. The custom bbq area mimics design elements located in the home.

Underneath the fire pit, sits a french drainage system. The custom bbq area mimics design elements located in the home.

Architect Sean Lockyer designed a 5,760-square-foot concrete, stucco, and ipe home for a couple and their three children in the Southern California desert town of Indian Wells. The residents selected the home’s furnishings, including the Royal Botania chaise lounges.

Architect Sean Lockyer designed a 5,760-square-foot concrete, stucco, and ipe home for a couple and their three children in the Southern California desert town of Indian Wells. The residents selected the home’s furnishings, including the Royal Botania chaise lounges.

When the Ferguson Sauder family—parents Meg, a school counselor, and Tim, a design instructor, plus kids Cole, Olive, and Asher—wanted a multifunctional backyard addition, they decided to build it themselves. Two Liftoff chairs by Tim Miller, one of Tim’s former students, surround an oil-drum fire pit set in granite dug up on the property. On the deck, the Panamericana chair is by Industry of All Nations.

When the Ferguson Sauder family—parents Meg, a school counselor, and Tim, a design instructor, plus kids Cole, Olive, and Asher—wanted a multifunctional backyard addition, they decided to build it themselves. Two Liftoff chairs by Tim Miller, one of Tim’s former students, surround an oil-drum fire pit set in granite dug up on the property. On the deck, the Panamericana chair is by Industry of All Nations.

Instrumental in extending the new spa-like qualities to the outdoors was the decision to demolish the original leaking, kidney bean-shaped pool that crowded the backyard. Now taking its place is a new, blue glass tiled pool and floating concrete pads which provides an enticing and refreshing focal point for the interior family spaces. Eliciting the harmonious and serene light qualities of a cloud's interior, the spaces are now more functional and peaceful.

Instrumental in extending the new spa-like qualities to the outdoors was the decision to demolish the original leaking, kidney bean-shaped pool that crowded the backyard. Now taking its place is a new, blue glass tiled pool and floating concrete pads which provides an enticing and refreshing focal point for the interior family spaces. Eliciting the harmonious and serene light qualities of a cloud's interior, the spaces are now more functional and peaceful.

Low retaining walls form a subtle barrier between the backyard and the surrounding vegetation. Mandy Graham designed the armchairs and lounges.

Low retaining walls form a subtle barrier between the backyard and the surrounding vegetation. Mandy Graham designed the armchairs and lounges.

"When I come home, this is like a sanctuary. I open up the doors and sit outside and read, or work around the house," says resident Colleen Nusinow.

"When I come home, this is like a sanctuary. I open up the doors and sit outside and read, or work around the house," says resident Colleen Nusinow.

Since Portland is at roughly the same latitude as Sapporo, Japan, Howells was inspired by minimalist Japanese gardens. All of the wood used in the space, including the furniture, is designed to weather to a silver-gray shade over time.

Since Portland is at roughly the same latitude as Sapporo, Japan, Howells was inspired by minimalist Japanese gardens. All of the wood used in the space, including the furniture, is designed to weather to a silver-gray shade over time.

On an idyllic afternoon, members of the Oropeza and Castillo clans splash in the backyard pool framed by Trex decking and outfitted with furniture by Móbica.

On an idyllic afternoon, members of the Oropeza and Castillo clans splash in the backyard pool framed by Trex decking and outfitted with furniture by Móbica.

Adds Soheil: "Whether they’re retirees or students or young couples, the idea was to create an environment they’ll never want to leave."

Adds Soheil: "Whether they’re retirees or students or young couples, the idea was to create an environment they’ll never want to leave."

A maple tree grows through an ipe deck in the garden that Mary Barensfeld designed for a family in Berkeley, California. A reflecting pool separates it from a white-granite patio, which is furnished with a Petal dining table by Richard Schultz and chairs by Mario Bellini.

A maple tree grows through an ipe deck in the garden that Mary Barensfeld designed for a family in Berkeley, California. A reflecting pool separates it from a white-granite patio, which is furnished with a Petal dining table by Richard Schultz and chairs by Mario Bellini.

An indoor-outdoor space with a modern fire pit. 

An indoor-outdoor space with a modern fire pit. 

A perfect patio/back yard for barbecuing. 

A perfect patio/back yard for barbecuing. 

The beanbag chairs and outdoor sofa and chairs are from West Elm and the Case Study Museum Bench is from Modernica.

The beanbag chairs and outdoor sofa and chairs are from West Elm and the Case Study Museum Bench is from Modernica.

Looking out from the roof deck gives an expansive panorama of the San Francisco skyline, but a peek over the edge reveals the minimal lines of the backyard below.

Looking out from the roof deck gives an expansive panorama of the San Francisco skyline, but a peek over the edge reveals the minimal lines of the backyard below.

A backyard in Laguna Beach.

A backyard in Laguna Beach.

Outer Space Landscape Architects built a custom fireplace in the backyard, which acts as a backstop for the seating area.

Outer Space Landscape Architects built a custom fireplace in the backyard, which acts as a backstop for the seating area.

Backyard atmosphere / detail

Backyard atmosphere / detail

Concrete meets greenery in the backyard. 

Concrete meets greenery in the backyard. 

A modern brick home with an incredible backyard.

A modern brick home with an incredible backyard.


Awkwardly shaped and saddled with a run-down garage, the backyard posed a challenge. Since the city wouldn’t allow for the removal of the garage, Wendi and Lukas decided to convert it into additional living space.

Awkwardly shaped and saddled with a run-down garage, the backyard posed a challenge. Since the city wouldn’t allow for the removal of the garage, Wendi and Lukas decided to convert it into additional living space.

Designer Monica Berdin—who is married to architect Clinton Cuddington—worked with Aloe Designs to cover two sides of their backyard studio in drought-tolerant flora. A sheltered deck features a custom fire pit and a pair of turquoise Condesa chairs.

Designer Monica Berdin—who is married to architect Clinton Cuddington—worked with Aloe Designs to cover two sides of their backyard studio in drought-tolerant flora. A sheltered deck features a custom fire pit and a pair of turquoise Condesa chairs.

A pebble mosaic and artificial turf divide the yard into zones that never need to be mowed.

A pebble mosaic and artificial turf divide the yard into zones that never need to be mowed.