Dwell's Favorite 101 Outdoor Back Yard Design Photos And Ideas

For plantings, landscaper Aaron Teer helped select leafy specimens like the lion’s mane Japanese maples on the lower level.
Durable fiber-cement HardiePlank clads the rear facade.
The homeowners wanted a space to accommodate their interests: gardening, looking after their ducks, or relaxing in the shade provided by the canopy of trees on the property.
Torcuato House Pavilion - Besonías Almeida arquitectos
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.
A hammock hangs from the sheltered terrace outside the master bedroom.
The cabin is intentionally subdued in color and texture, allowing it to recede into the woods and defer to the beauty of the landscape.
In this view, one can see how the curved addition makes space for an outdoor seating area with a fire pit, and eventually meets the clapboard form of the original house.
At the rear patio is a kitchen, dining area, and an Ipe-wood deck with a fire pit, lounge seats, and a water feature.
Dusty built the half-pipe for their son Gram's first birthday. It's the cornerstone of the large back yard.
In the outdoor dining room, wire chairs by Harry Bertoia for Knoll surround a mango wood table made by a local carpenter, Diego Madrazo.
Case Inlet Retreat
The landscaping appears to be based on the mullet principle: business in the front, as seen here (manicured grid lawn, with native vegetation sprouting in careful symmetry), party in the back (sunflowers and wild mountain grass growing in harmonious chaos).
The home’s undulating roof, composed of exposed wood beams and plywood sheathing, references the rolling terrain. A Cor-Ten steel–clad outdoor fireplace was built by BRD Construction; the same material was used for the interior fireplace, as surround on some windows, as cladding for the garage door, and on the chimney. The lounge chairs are from the Finn Collection from Design Within Reach. Tim Kirby of Surface Design Inc. tackled  the site’s landscape architecture.
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Leelanau County, Michigan
Dwell Magazine : September / October 2017
Unable to alter the footprint of the building, the Deams created a backyard living area that nearly doubled the home's living space.
Having achieved LEED Gold certification for their Aspen property, Sarah Broughton and John Rowland use a Savant home automation system to monitor the house’s efficiency, adjusting any elements that take up too much energy.
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.
A Bay Area landscape designer works her yard like a jigsaw puzzle, packing a bevy of distinctive destinations into a steep and diminutive plot.

Photo by: Morgan Rachel Levy

Read the entire article here.
Since surrounding neighbors can overlook the one-story property, Thomson created a roof detail that is environmentally friendly and attractive: “the bio-diverse [green] roof is planted with indigenous species of flowers and grasses,” he says.
Emilio Fuscaldo sits in the garden outside the brick house that he designed for himself and his partner, Anna Krien, on a small subdivided lot in Coburg, a suburb north of Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Nic Granleese.
The Fung/Blatt family enjoys the backyard of their Mount Washington home. Despite its 5,000-square-foot lot, the house is just 1,640 square feet. Michael Blatt admits, “If we could add anything to this house, it would be five walk-in closets.”
Though the fire pit was “kind of an after-thought,” says Hannah, the family uses it year-round. “In the spring and fall, it warms you up on cool nights, and in the summer, it just adds ambience.”
Among the first Passive Houses in France, this bamboo-clad farmhouse by the Parisian firm Karawitz Architecture only uses a tenth of the energy a conventionally constructed home does. Photo by Nicholas Calcott.
The spruce panels that coat the second-floor exterior will fade in tandem with the zinc-coated steel that rims the glazed windows and doors. "They will go gray like we do," says Claesson.
Until Sasseen took ownership, the ground at the back of the house was sheathed in concrete. She created a softer environment when she replaced it with bluestone and planted beach grass that rustles in the ocean breeze.
Classic butterfly chairs from Universal Patio Furniture are stationed by the pool. The mural is by street artist Morley, a close friend.
Architect Gregory Phillips connected the original house to a new modern extension that doesn’t interfere with the surrounding houses. “I try to be true to the location,”he explains, “so it doesn’t seem like some spaceship has landed.”
The outdoor fire pit.
In their concrete-walled courtyard, Yuka and Aaron watch as twins Emerson and Jasper, daughters Maude and Mirene, and Alfie the dog play. The house is painted in Black Bean Soup by Benjamin Moore, a color in keeping with the period of the original architecture
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.
Located on Hawaii’s Big Island, the Lavaflow 1 - Robert Trickey House was designed by San Francisco-based architect, Craig Steely. Captured by architectural photographer Mike Kelley, this home and studio was built on hardened lava from the 1955 Kilauea eruption.
Bruce Thatcher and Kirsty Leighton behind their London home.
The home’s enclosed courtyard sits at “the heart of the structure,” says Baumann, who resides with his wife, Lisa Sardinas, and eight-year-old son, Oskar. “This is clearly the dominant space; everything flexes towards it.” Baumann cast the square concrete floor tiles himself, enlisting the help of his son. A small, neat patch of grass—a playful nod to the archetypal domestic lawn—is edited down to a charming folly.
For the breezeway, Schwartz used concrete to achieve the feel of a hardscape courtyard. Uma basks beneath the egg-shaped opening.
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.
Sitting on the edge of a lake in the Mornington Peninsula, this house by Melbourne-based MA Architects was designed as a series of teak-clad modules with the main living areas in the center and large deck that extends from the living room.
The renovation and two-story extension of this 1880 Adelaide bungalow includes a 23-foot rear lot with a pool.
This 1949 inter-war modernist house in New South Wales was renovated by Sam Crawford Architects, Conway Atkins House in a way that paid homage to it's heritage with nautical and transportation art deco elements.
Architect Prineas remodelled this minimalist residence in Lane Cove, in Sydney’s Lower North Shore, with a rear extension connected to the main house via a small link that creates two internal courtyards. The house had plenty of strategically positioned large windows and skylights that connect it with the tree canopies above it.
Rimrock | Olson Kundig
Cedar slats mark the facade of the Worple's lakefront vacation home in Ontario.
Gregory and Caryn Katz are dwarfed beneath the cantilevered concrete overhang, which houses the bedroom on the upper level. The stackable glass doors that run beneath allow the house to open completely to the yard and swimming pool, soften the severity of the concrete, and blur the boundary between indoors and out.
CAUCASO
Rear wall of courtyard
Dining with a Scandinavian touch: Archi dining chair combined with Carver table.
Philippe Starck’s outdoor chairs for Kartell provide cozy fireside seating. These and the sofa version were selected by Salmela. “They’re very much an art form,” he says.
Designed by Boston-based architect Sebastian Mariscal, this house, which celebrates the best of Californian indoor-outdoor living, was designed to frame views of the trees and the surrounding landscape.

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.