Dwell's Favorite 155 Outdoor Grass Design Photos And Ideas

In Sunnyvale, California, architect Ryan Leidner cracked open a 1962 Eichler with a crisp remodel flush with foliage. He replaced the home’s vertical plywood facade with one-inch strips of American red cedar set at two depths. The rhythmic slats conceal a garage door that swings open on a hidden hinge. At the entryway, two massive panes of frosted glass shimmer with light and shadow from the atrium inside. Homeowners Isabelle Olsson and Matthaeus Krenn stand out front.
To most eyes, Ezequiel Farca’s 1970s-style concrete home in Mexico City looked like a teardown. Even the lot itself—shallow and crammed against a steep hillside—wasn’t particularly alluring. But Farca saw through all the restraints to create a spa-like refuge in one of the world’s most energetic cities. "It’s is such a hectic place. You’re bombarded by so much information the moment you step into the streets," says Farca, who first gained prominence as a furniture and interior designer. "So we envisioned this house as a retreat, a kind of a temple." The rooftop courtyard is lined with a verdant mix of indigenous plants, including banana trees, palm trees, lion’s claw, Mexican breadfruit, and native vines. The chaise longues were designed for Farca’s EF Collection.
An artist and an architect built their home, studios, and an exhibition space inside a lushly landscaped Antwerp warehouse.
In the backyard, there is a laneway structure that is partially clad in the same shingles as the main house. Brian and Karen rent the outbuilding to a tenant. Measured collaborated with Aloe Designs on the landscaping.
A fully glazed wall—which incorporates both louvres and sliding doors—connects the dining room and kitchen to the deck and garden. The natural slope of the site replaces the need for a fence between the garden and the beach.
Luciano Kruk perforates a concrete volume with glass walls to fashion a simple yet elegant vacation home in the province of Buenos Aires. On a quiet lot populated with aged pinewood, Luciano Kruk designed a modest vacation home for three sisters and their families. The 807-square-foot, two-level home is ensconced in its forest setting. The firm employed board-formed concrete inside and out to connect the building with its environment. "Pine planks were used to set the formwork so that the partitions, as well as the slabs, would preserve the texture of the wood veins in an attempt to establish a harmonious dialogue with the bark of the local trees," said the firm.
The steel-framed doors fully open to the courtyard, maximizing indoor/outdoor living space on the small lot.
"A well-performing house extension facing south on a small inner-city block built in rammed earth is not easy to achieve," said Welsch. "However, in this challenge was our opportunity: We decided that our extension will curl around to capture the sun, creating a communal courtyard and allowing the occupants to look at their own house rather than a paling fence."
A steel-and-glass extension hosts the main living spaces and flows into the backyard.
The backyard is one of this home’s best features. With a lot that nearly equals the square footage of the home itself, there was plenty of room to play with landscaping.
In the coastal town of Byron Bay in New South Wales, Australia, local practice Harley Graham Architects elevates the Australian "garden studio" with this 646-square-foot granny flat. Named Marvel Street Studio, the guesthouse is an addition to a home designed by Paul Uhlmann.
In the rear courtyard, Steve spent three days demolishing a rock grotto, which had been installed in the 1970s, with a jackhammer. Its boulders found new life as hardscaping near the pool. “I’m glad we could repurpose those boulders,” Jessy says, “I hate adding to landfill.”
A string of glass hallways connect the four pavilions, bringing a slice of the great outdoors inside.
“The darker, midnight blue exterior paint color was used on all of the existing building elements to create more of a dynamic contrast with the new structure, which was painted white," says Ryan. Tomatoes, little gem lettuce, green beans, a tobacco plant, and a few strawberry bushes (tended by the kids) grow in the courtyard.
A wooden picnic table is located off one end of the living room, creating a tranquil setting to enjoy alfresco dining while soaking up the sunshine.
Located in Aarhus, Denmark, Villa R is a minimalist, serene structure clad in zinc panels. "The objective was to create a house that brings the forest inside through large glass panels—and create an ever-changing seasonal backdrop for the interior living spaces," stated the architecture firm, C.F. Møller, of the 3,200-square-foot abode.
This world-class wellness destination resort is tucked within the Philippines’ Batangas hinterland. For those wishing to indulge in jungle nirvana, this is the place. The Farm also boasts the best gourmet vegan cuisine in Asia Pacific.
The South Elevation provides complete transparency through the main level to established gardens beyond
All doors open up to the central courtyard of this single-story home.
Beyond the large pedestrian gate, “which is really the home’s front door,” says Gottschalk, “the house begins to reveal its strong indoor and outdoor relationship. Blurring the boundary between the two is a key design element.”
Wood decking extends out to the yard.
Stone stairs on the perimeter of a main courtyard ascend to a rooftop garden. Large windows on the other side of the living area overlook an enclosed water feature with a statue of a monk.
Water features pepper the gardens throughout.
Negative space appears to be carved out of the dark exterior to reveal the home's bright white interiors.
A private terrace is an extension of the interior living spaces. A canopy provides protection while not interrupting the surrounding vistas.
The minimalist exterior is defined by the flat roof, overhanging eaves, a and ribbon-like band of glass windows.
The rear of the house continues the same mix of materials as the front facade and includes a long, narrow pool.
"The brief was to efficiently and cost effectively transform a light-starved weatherboard into an open and modern home with a good connection to the rear garden and a relaxed yet refined feel," says the firm. The owner charred and oiled the shiplapped cypress siding himself.
"After photographing the house, we all sat down around the servery over a glass (or two) of wine and shared travel experiences, building industry war stories, and discussed the renovation," says the firm. "It was very gratifying to hear and see that the space really fit the clients well. The space was comfortable, laid-back, and yet worldly, just like the clients themselves."
The pool house patio, featuring Harbour Outdoor sun loungers.
A 3,000-liter rainwater harvesting tank is located beneath the rear deck, which is made from spotted gum with an oiled finish.
The steel-and-glulam support system forms the covered corridor of the loggia.
Back into the forest, the Pool House is oriented for panoramic views of the valley floor.
The Pool House seen at night.
Based on the travels of a beloved French naturalist, Mr. Plocq's Caballon is an egg-shaped cabin that takes cues from both naval and aircraft carpentry.
Teak surrounds a minimalist outdoor shower.
This 3,200-square-foot structure was assembled with a prefabricated foundation, concrete panel siding, and efficient built-ins, minimizing construction debris and toxins—such as concrete foundation tar—on the site.
Melanie Maher sunbathes beneath the lattice of a pool house, which is clad in Cor-Ten steel.
The three attached structures house an office, guest suite, and game room, used by the family to watch football games.
The 5,200-square-foot retreat is designed to look like a cluster of old barns upon first glance.
The owners wanted to improve the connection between the interiors and the outdoor garden.
The addition increased the floor area of the single-level house to 2,228 square feet.
The outdoors are part of the cohesive design, embracing the vegetation, sites, and sunlight.
At Cuadra San Cristóbal, the water feature serves three purposes: as a drinking fountain for horses, as a reflection pond, and as a swimming pool for horses.
Cuadra San Cristóbal by Luis Barragán
The four-level, 2,690-square-foot home's oxidized copper elements almost blend into the surrounding greenery.
A Voido rocker by Ron Arad for Magis sits by the outdoor shower, also new.
The master bedroom was raised and cantilevered so as not to disturb the mature oak tree roots. Boulders are used as steps to the lawn.
This previously abandoned granite 18th century farmhouse in the Scottish Highlands was restored and extended by Moxon. The larch and red metal clad addition references the gabled roofline of the original structure and is connected via a glass passageway.
Constructed of steel, glass and concrete, the exteriors are clad in dramatic black with a floor to ceiling glass facade offering views of the valley below from the outdoor lounge area and pool.

Whether it's a backyard patio, an infinity pool, or a rooftop terrace, these modern outdoor spaces add to the richness of daily life. Escape into nature, or get lost in city views. Wherever you are, let these outdoor photos take you somewhere new with inspirational ideas for yards, gardens, outdoor tubs and showers, patios, porches, and decks.