Dwell's Favorite 28 Outdoor Hardscapes Design Photos And Ideas

Entry Court
Louvers protecting from the burning sun.
New addition and patio from outdoor garden: the concrete terrace extends into the garden, and receives daylight over the house from the southern sun.
The rear of the house features Victorian brick, a modern extension, and Velfac windows. Landscape designer Matthew Wright was inspired by the art of Henri Rousseau when choosing plants to set amid the garden’s Dorset pebbles.
Entry
Entry Bridge
Board-formed concrete walls create the core of the house and establish its organic feel. "There’s really no other cast-in-place concrete on the street," says Sarah, "but you don’t even see it until you’ve made it through the front courtyard." There, beneath a deep overhang, the couple designed a jagged pathway cantilevered over a water inside and reflections of light into the sitting area.
Rear wall of courtyard
Dining with a Scandinavian touch: Archi dining chair combined with Carver table.
Julie and Chris Hill’s home in Austin is built around a pair of massive oak trees, one of which shoots through an ipe deck, past a pair of Loll deck chairs, and into a void in the overhanging roof. “The hole also allows light to penetrate deeper into the house,” notes designer Kevin Alter.
Sævik compares her house to a contemplative hideout. “It’s very quiet,” she says. “You can concentrate and let thoughts fly.” Her favorite summer pastimes include reading, painting, drawing, yoga, and “just sitting and feeling the forest,” she says.
The couple often dine on the patio off the kitchen, warmed by a fireplace from Spark Modern Fires. Photo by Coral von Zumwalt.
In the back, ivy climbs across the garage’s raw cedar cladding next to a gate that allows access to the laneway—but the boys prefer to climb the fence.
Architectural designer Sebastian Mariscal and project manager Jeff Svitak created a house in Venice, California, for Michael and Tamami Sylvester. Known as Dwell Home Venice for its role as an exemplification of modern architecture, the house is an homage to indoor-outdoor living. Photo by Coral von Zumwalt.
The house is divided into three sections connected by a series of outdoor galleries. “When I walk from one room to another, I have to go outdoors and feel the weather and nature—rain, cold, and sun,” says Sævik. 

Instead of emphasizing the expansive panorama of oak, pine, and aspen trees, the house frames select views—a move inspired by Japanese design.
Lynn
Fashion designer Josie and her husband Ken Natori are big fans of traditional Japanese architecture, so when Brooklyn-based practice Tsao & McKown Architects designed their home in Pound Ridge, New York, they used a heavy, exposed-timber structure, and included Japanese-style gardens and landscaping.
Abernathy House
Cloaked House, as 3r Ernesto Pereira named it, blends into its hillside location.
Julie and Chris Hill’s home in Austin is built around a pair of massive oak trees, one of which shoots through an ipe deck, past a Loll deck chair, and into a void in the overhanging roof. “The hole also allows light to penetrate deeper into the house,” notes designer Kevin Alter. A limestone brick wall mirrors the curves of the Western red cedar roof, the edges of which are coated in stucco.

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.