DIYer architect John Tong, founding principal of 3rd Uncle Design, turned a century-old industrial dairy in a back alley into a home with a colorful playground for three kids. “The courtyard is an extension of the house, with a big table that hosts parties, a stage for impromptu performances, and part of an old loft overhead that will one day become a tree house for the children.”
photo credit: Stacey Brandford, via dwell
A budget-friendly eclectic patio and outdoor kitchen brings bold looks to a modest backyard. “Inexpensive building materials such as gravel, cinder blocks, and pressure-treated wood form the backbone of the design.”
photo credit: Edmund Barr, via Better Homes and Gardens
This modern courtyard doubles as an outdoor living room and kid’s playroom with a tepee playhouse; by environmentally attuned architects Hadley and Peter Arnold.
photo credit: Catherine Ledner, via dwell
photo credit: home of Anna Nordström Carlsson in Skäldervikens, Sweden, via Hus & Hem
Moreland Residence by Catovic Hughes Design. “Though much of the outdoor life of the house is within the confines of the yard, the design has a porousness that allows a perpetual, if mediated, interaction with the neighbors and the street.”
photo credit: João Canziani, via dwell
photo credit: Heden Torps nursery in Angelholm, via Helt Enkelt Hos Mig
New traditional backyard in shades of white; home of Mark D. Sikes and his partner Michael Griffin. Notice the bricked tiered terrace with potted boxwoods, climbing fig ivy and wisteria, along with comfortable restoration hardware furniture and blue and white porcelain.
photo credit: Amy Neusinger, via House Beautiful
Contrasting textures and colors give this contemporary patio space depth. A picnic table and almost neon chairs stand out against the yard’s natural shades. Greenery is planted inside stacked, precast concrete manholes. Concrete pavers are used to create a visually interesting and flat patio surface, with river rock poured into the cracks between the blocks.
photo credit: Better Homes and Gardens
Jill and T.K. Smith’s mid-century home in Joshua Tree mixes modern architecture with spectacular craggy desert landscape.
photo credit: The Brick House
photo credit: The Brick House
The outdoor space of this apartment, a 16-foot-wide deck, is designed to become part of the tenants’ living experience. To provide privacy without blocking light, the Zizmors worked with Kari Elwell Katzander of Mingo Design and built a perforated green wall with English ivy that climbs, wire mesh and hanging boxes sprout-ing with herbs and spider plants.
photo credit: Roland Bello, via dwell
A relaxing yet aesthetically appealing dining and entertaining area is a crucial part of any landscape design. The following set-ups transform the backyard into a stylish outdoor retreat.
photo credit: Mas de Cink, Southern France, via Living Agency
photo credit: Anthropologie
photo credit: Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer, via ELLE Decoration UK
This timelessly modern home by Pamela Shamshiri for Commune Design embraces the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi: imperfect, weathered, and organic. “The interior courtyard is visible from almost every room and makes a medium-size house feel much more spacious. Rocks and stones suggest a Japanese garden. Amphitheater-style steps provide extra seating when the owners are having a party.”
photo credit: Amy Neunsinger for House Beautiful Magazine, via bliss
photo credit: Shades of Green landscape architecture studio