88 Outdoor Hardscapes Back Yard Design Photos And Ideas

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.
A lap pool runs alongside the west facade of a hybrid prefab home in Palm Springs by Sander Architects. “Our version of prefab,” explains architect Whitney Sander, “involves the use of building shells that are the ‘heavy lifting’ parts of any house: main structure, secondary  structure, and (often) building skin.”
A rear view of the narrow house shows how Chong twisted the house’s volumes to bring daylight into each room.
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.
Raise the Roof 

Using a commercial roof in a residential project was a first for architect Michael Epstein. While similar systems are often covered, Epstein chose this long-span roof deck from Epic Metals for its beam-like interior face, which hides fastenings in its deep grooves, creating a flat-panel appearance.
The couple often dine on the patio off the kitchen, warmed by a fireplace from Spark Modern Fires. Photo by Coral von Zumwalt.
View from Sunfish Lake
29th Street Residence in San Francisco, California
The guest house.
Exterior of the guest house.
A picnic table from Janus et Cie sits off the kitchen; the landscape architecture is by Richard D. Wood. In addition to passive solar, says Hawkins, “there is the added benefit of a thick concrete slab as a thermal mass that absorbs and stores the heat from the sun.”
In the backyard, Kunigk “montaged” what she admired in the work of John Pawson, Tadao Ando, and Piet Oudolf, the Dutch garden designer who collaborated on landscaping for New York’s High Line. She plans to reconfigure the plantings again with the landscape designer Rina Zweig, who worked on the front yard.
In the Mission District yard Monica Viarengo created for the Sharkey family, outdoor chalkboard paint by Sydney Harbour applied to marine-grade plywood offers a gallery for creativity.  A mural by local artist Erik Otto—inspired by the neighborhood—brightens the back of the space.
The couple source ideas for their garden from their trips to Japan.
Delighted with the result, they requested additional structures, including a pool house with a dining area that opens to the outdoors. Rising from the edge of the pool deck, a planted overhang shelters a gym and sauna below.
Once unkempt terrain (1), the lot was replanted by Elysian Landscapes. Board-formed concrete walls now hold a lush collection of Bloodgood Japanese maple trees, Canyon Prince wild rye grasses, and Blue Fox Tail agaves. A Spun stool by Heatherwick Studio for Magis joins an outdoor furniture set by Plain Air.
The patio is equipped with IKEA furniture; the previous residents chose the sliders and windows, which are by Sierra Pacific
. Daughter Sydney plays with friends in Siegal’s prototype for a prefab playhouse.
Sling chairs by Garza Marfa flank  a Made Goods concrete table.
Sixteen-foot-tall glass walls, paired with seven-foot overhangs and three-foot solar screens, optimize the home’s passive climate control and capture views of the  valley that unfurls across the couple’s 160-acre property.
Gawthrop, an avid hang-glider who is a member of the U.S. Soaring Team, wanted the home to evoke flight; the standing-seam roof from Metal Sale is held up by wire struts to resemble a plane’s wing.  In the foreground is the rock formation designer Alan Nicholson had excavated.
Water recirculates from a bench-level channel into a shallow pool bordered by succulents. Montalvo’s longtime landscape contractor Santiago Vasquez worked with her on the hardscaping.
Working with contractor Mike Stayer of Core Construction, the designers created an indoor/outdoor environment for the family. The kids hang out while Jaclyn helms the grill from Barbeques Galore. The Eos Collection dining set is from Design Within Reach. An Element coffee table from CB2 occupies the covered patio.
A pair of Icelandic prefab pioneers deliver an efficient family home in Culver City. 
Building smarter is at the heart of everything designers Tryggvi Thorsteinsson and Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir do. Whether they’re testing the limits of indoor/outdoor living or developing a prefabricated wall system that they hope will make traditional wood framing a thing of the past, the founders of the Santa Monica design studio Minarc are consumed with making structures stronger, lighter, and more efficient.
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 feature—bringing the sounds of water inside and reflections of light into the sitting area.
Swimming pool at rear yard
Rear facade, with maximum glazing and balconies to maximize daylight, views and social interaction.
Iceland prefab pioneers Tryggvi Thorsteinsson and Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir of Minarc built this Culver City family home with mnmMOD  – a customizable, locally manufactured building system of prefabricated panels the duo designed, which minimizes energy consumption and reduces a home’s carbon footprint. Made with a blend of 30 percent recycled steel and cradle-to-cradle certified extruded polystyrene, mnmMOD components can be assembled with just a screw gun.
Most of the fixed carpentry for this project was designed by AS/D and built by a contracted carpenter. Tzalam, the wood of choice, resists humidity and heat.
Asked to find an ecologically sustainable building solution, blaanc turned to a vernacular building technique that still thrives in certain pockets of rural Portugal, rammed earth.
Garden
Cantilevered deck from Lake Michigan shore beach side.
The exterior terrace is complete with an integral fireplace.
Dining with a Scandinavian touch: Archi dining chair combined with Carver table.
Inspired by the precise designs of the weaver bird, these nest like lanterns can be moved around for soft (solar LED) light.
Rear wall of courtyard
The combination of a low concrete wall and built-in bench creates an intimate seating area that acts as an extension to the kitchen and dining room. Another steel trellis above creates an armature for more plants that will fill in and provide shade. The terrace is topped with blue stone and wood screens give the plants a ladder on which to grow.

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.

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