35 Unique Backyard Ideas to Steal for Your House

Get away from it all (without leaving your home).

urn coffee table

There's inspiration to be found in even the most manicured landscapes or stately patios.

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outdoor daybed
William Abranowicz
Cozy Daybed

This restful spot outside a Los Angeles home looks even more inviting thanks to a seat cushion in and vintage pillows. All that's missing is a good book.

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english garden
Francesco Lagnese
English Garden

Designer Podge Bune went with traditional roses and hedges for her Hamptons cottage, but didn't worry about a color scheme. "I thought, 'Well, let's just have a riot,'" she says. "I'm so bored with all white."

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stone fountain by wendy owen
Marion Brenner
Stone Fountain

Wendy Owen used local fieldstone and water channels to create a scenic fountain on her Sonoma property. She took inspiration from historic structures in Provence.

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Rebecca Vizard Louisiana House garden shed
Paul Costello
Garden Shed

Rebecca Vizard used a post office in Seaside, Florida, as the model for her petite garden shed. The spruce-colored fence is stained Sherwin-Williams's Shade Tree.

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stone outdoor shower
David Tsay
Outdoor Shower

"Washing off the vineyard dust in an outdoor shower is a special treat for everyone, including the golden retrievers," says designer Rela Gleason of this clever space outside a Sonoma home.

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outdoor vintage sofa
Victoria Pearson
Hanging Lanterns

Enjoy your outdoor set-up morning, noon and night. To illuminate a Malibu patio, designers Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe strung up lights in the trees.

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Flower-Covered Pergola

The only thing more heavenly than this cottage's pool is the wisteria growing beside it. Shading a group of bistro chairs, the pergola provides the perfect lunch spot.

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Victoria Pearson
Fire Bowl

For an Ojai vacation home, a laid-back seating area fits the no-hurries, no-worries vibe. The fire bowl warms up the courtyard during cooler weather.

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Lisa Romerein
Curtained Cabana

Thick curtains make it easy to hide away, but this California pagoda embraces days (and nights!) outdoors with big lanterns and comfy cushions.

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cypress outdoor kitchen
Christopher Baker
Outdoor Kitchen

Alfresco dining is great, but cooking outside is even better. In a Key West house, the outdoor kitchen cabinets are made from old cypress shutters.

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Björn Wallander
String Lights

Designer Jill Sharp Weeks used string lights to make her garden feel like an extension of her home. The space even includes an outdoor privy, the only bathroom on the ground floor.

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outdoor dining room with fireplace
Reed Davis
Roaring Hearth

A freestanding chimney permits summer parties way past Labor Day. With the table tilted at an angle, guests can arrange themselves near or far from the flames.

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Björn Wallander
Garden Fountain

Take in a Charleston rental's water feature from the comfort of an outdoor swing. With a weeping willow overhead, the urban home feels like a private paradise.

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fire pit
Francesco Lagnese
Family Fire Pit

For her Connecticut property, designer Bonnie Edelman created this outdoor feature as a gathering place for friends and family. Designed with storage in mind, speakers are hidden in the walls of local stone, and logs are stacked under the benches.

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outdoor dining table
Ngoc Minh Ngo
Garden Dining Area

Rustic yet refined, a 10-foot-long table sits in the center of landscape designer Lisa Bynon's vegetable garden in Southampton, New York. A graphic cedar deer fence encloses formal raised planting beds.

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bowling game court
Luca Trovato
Outdoor Court

Sonoma vineyards offer a picturesque view while guests of a California cottage enjoy the French bowling game boules.

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courtyard
Amy Neunsinger
Backyard Wabi-Sabi

Rocks and stones suggest a Japanese garden in this courtyard retreat designed by Pamela Shamshiri. Amphitheater-style steps provide extra seating when the homeowners are having a party.

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fire pit
James Merrell
Lakeside Fire Pit

Just looking at the incredible view in Thom Filicia's yard puts you in a more relaxing frame of mind.

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french garden
Simon Watson
French-Inspired Florals

In the Cloister Garden of William Christie's 16th-century French countryside estate, the classic rose Katharina Zeimet stands out among the formal hedges.

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studio with blue french doors
Ditte Isager
Shed Turned Studio

This sweet little garden structure houses a getaway for guests.

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tiered garden
Amy Neunsinger
Levels of Space

Topiaries bring an extra dose of greenery in Mark D. Sikes's breezy backyard.

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pavilion
William Abranowicz
Open-Air Pavilion

A round opening in the roof offers a glimpse of the sky from the comfort of a Florida home's daybed.

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red stripe hammock
John Kernick
Relaxing Hammock

This red-striped hammock hangs between two trees outside design consultant Ellen O'Neill's home. "I felt like I had run into an old friend when I saw this hammock at IKEA," she says.

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wicker dining chairs
David Tsay
Shady Dining Area

Oak trees shade a round table surrounded by wicker chairs, creating a lovely setting for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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brick outdoor fireplace
Karyn R. Millet
Backyard Fireplace

Designer Tobi Tobin used brick from an old patio to give this outdoor fireplace a more vintage look. The candlelit chandelier can be raised and lowered by a rope pulley rigged to a tree.

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gray outdoor room
Amy Neunsinger
Limestone Veranda

A wall of greenery makes a lush backdrop for this elegant conversation space.

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dock with umbrella and chairs
Don Freeman
Dockside Retreat

A private dock is the ultimate lake cottage accessory. It's a place for dozing, diving and daydreaming

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colorful outdoor dining table
Luca Trovato
Colorful Dining Space

This comfortable seating arrangement outside a country house enjoys the shade of century-old oak trees.

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outdoor dining table with candle lantern and hanging potted plants
Reed Davis
Canopy of Blooms

Hanging container plants create a chandelier effect in this chic open-air dining space.

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shed
Francesco Lagnese
Mini Vacation Home

An adorable tiny house brings a fairytale element to a Hamptons garden.

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