53 Outdoor Desert Hardscapes Design Photos And Ideas

The roof terrace offers a refreshing view of the ocean. "It's important for us to consider how to place architectural elements based on the topography and orientation, and how they’re going to face the sunset, the sunrise, and interact with the wind blowing over the land," says Elizarraras.
"The client’s goals were to create an open and light-filled home that maximized views of the Coachella Valley below and the Santa Rosa mountains to the south and west," says designer Stuart Silk Architects. Thunderbird Heights Residence enjoys a fluid connection between the primary indoor rooms and the outdoor terraces both for entertaining and casual outdoor living.
A look at the pool area of Steel House #2. Each major room features floor-to-ceiling glass panels and sliding doors that are all eight feet high.
The former home of interior designer and renowned blogger Sarah Sherman Samuel, this 1961 A-frame in Palm Springs received a thorough renovation and a new lease on life. According to her blog, when Samuel first toured the house she encountered "cloud murals, a scary dungeon-esque bathroom, and stanky old carpet." Much of the 784-square-foot space felt cramped and dated. However, she knew the home had good bones, so she decided to start renovating.
Phoenix design-build firm The Construction Zone renovated an old concrete-and-steel barn, turning it into a sleek new guesthouse with an open-plan, three-room layout. Completed for approximately $300,000, the 790-square-foot adaptive reuse project carefully preserves the character of the existing structure while upgrading it to match the modern aesthetic of the main residence.
A perforated, corrugated metal patio cover provides a transition between the bright desert sun, and the shaded interior of the house
The bedroom wing side of the house on the original foundation was kept low enough to keep views of the mountains to the north, but tall enough to screen the neighbors house across the street
A border hedge provides privacy for the backyard, where distant views of the San Jacinto mountains can be appreciated.
The L-shaped, flat-roofed Steel & Glass home has many of the hallmarks of Wexler's style. The 2,550-square-foot layout wraps a pool, made accessible by lots of sliding glass.
This home's prefabricated components were all made in Marmol Radziner’s home-building factory near Los Angeles, and trucked over to the one-and-a-half-acre site.
A striped hammock is perfectly placed for relaxing and taking in the sunset.
Outside, a punchy dining set spray-painted by Nagel livens up the patio.
“The loggia poles around the hose at all patio areas were painted a dark green. We had them sanded to bring back their original rustic wood glory.”
“The teepee is 26’ canvas with pine lodge poles. It’s simple in construction as it was originally intended to be a nomadic dwelling. It is extremely reliable in the high desert winds and even great in the rain. We have a small fire pit in there to keep it toasty on cool winter evenings. It’s one my favorite places on the property.”
“The [exterior] house color had faded to pink by the time we bought it. We painted it a Sherwin Williams color called Jackson Tan, which melds into the colors of the desert.”
Hoogland Architecture designed the Rubber Ducky Trail House to capture desert views from every angle. An outdoor spa allows the residents to linger outdoors well into the evening.
The natural palette and integration of outdoor living rooms blend the house into the desert landscape. In addition to rammed earth, integral color-synthetic stucco was used for the exterior walls.
Entry walkway leading to the front door and eventually to the grill and down to the pool
Entry Court
Outdoor Living
View over the Canal
Street view of the double gable
Constructed from local desert rocks, the exterior walls relate to the natural setting in which they sit.
The customized yurt, attached hut, and porch are perched atop Refugio Mountain for stunning views.
Homeowner Jay Longtin served as the general contractor and performed the majority of the remodel work, aside from the outdoor floors, concrete, and pool, which were done by Architectural Blue.
A lounging deck and firepit off the principle bedroom.
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Glazing facing the sea.
Owner Dave McAdam started Blue Sky Building Systems, whose steel-frame system easily adapts to sloped lots, before founding Homestead Modern, whose pre-designed homes can be built nearly anywhere for a set price. Above, a shaded patio off the main house enjoys access to a fire pit and a grill.
Ocotillo was placed in key areas as a great structural focal point.
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.
Burnette sought to maintain the property’s natural vegetation and rocky ground surface.
Wire fox terrier on guard at the raised wood deck and bedroom beyond
coastal midcentury modern // entry + drought-tolerant landscaping
"Sol" is a new home in the Willo Historic District in Phoenix. The house is a modern interpretation of the vernacular courtyard style found throughout the southwest.
Breezeway to the master bedroom beyond that opens up to the pool courtyard through a pocketing glass door
A stairway leads up to a roof deck, inspired by the historic sleeping porches in the area that take advantage of the cold nights to cool off in the desert.
A 10 foot deep cantilevered roof provides consistent shade pool side in the courtyard
Firepit and wire fox terrier with hardscape and landscape to exterior dining terrace at raised deck beyond

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.