Modern backyard ideas in 2023

The professionals offer their best advice on creating a modern and useful garden, including feature fire pits, stylish color palettes, ideal pavement, and pools.

It’s understandable why choosing a contemporary garden design is becoming more and more popular. These modern, stylish areas are a welcome change from fussier or more conventional designs and can be used in yards of all kinds.

Materials are meticulously selected and typically smooth, durable, and low upkeep. Layouts are simple, and strong lines are praised. Gardening plans are simple, with frequently just a few types chosen for their harmonious color scheme and architectural shape. The most effective designs are, of course, not just beautiful to look at but also useful, as with any outdoor concept. A modern-style allotment can incorporate covered outdoor gathering areas, ambiance-enhancing fire features, swimming pools, paths, and plants.

Above all, it’s crucial to remember that modern external designs can still feel just as inviting. The Head of Domestic Hardscapes at Belgard(opens in new tab), Joe Raboine, notes that these designs frequently place an emphasis on natural light and muted hues to exemplify a contemporary flare that is warm rather than frigid.

These contemporary backyard ideas will give you plenty of inspiration whether you’re planning a complete makeover for your outdoor space or just a chic yet modest upgrade, perhaps for your paths or landscaping.

Soften Hard Materials With Natural Elements

According to Joe Raboine of Belgard, when looking into materials for a contemporary garden, big size, movable hardscapes should be taken into account. The best choices are those with smooth edges and muted hues.

Consider allowing areas between and around your hardscaping to intersperse low-growing vegetation in order to create a more organic and aesthetically pleasing effect. Filling in the spaces with gravel or stones can also produce an appealing visual difference. This strategy also gives you the freedom to use inventive arrangements and geometric designs.

According to Dani Alexander of Studio AKA, “We always strive to integrate native elements in our hardscapes” (opens in new tab). “Natural stone particles in a variety of hues and patterns can brighten up and mellow concrete, which is extremely contemporary.”

The addition of large, coordinating garden receptacles with additional foliage gives this setting the ideal closing touch.

Build A Statement Backdrop

As shown in this basalt-paved patio area created by California-based Surfacedesign, gray can add a feeling of refined, urban elegance to an external design scheme (opens in new tab).

A real eye-catcher is the sculpted, free-standing yard wall. Constructed from puka magma and covered in unique covering, it makes a dramatic statement when viewed from above. Pops of color, motion, and equilibrium are added by lush tropical vegetation and calming cascades.

Another way to incorporate the limits of your garden into a modern design is to paint a feature wall in a striking color, add an outdoor mirror, or grow vertically to make a flora background. Try to replicate the materials, hues, or growing choices throughout the rest of your site, regardless of the strategy you choose, to tie everything together.

Tie Together Tranquil Living Zones With An All-White Palette

Less is usually more when it comes to modern designs, and your color palette is a fantastic spot to start. Your area will feel concentrated and well-thought-out if you limit your color selection to just one or two main hues. In actuality, the effect will be much more significant than a jumble of clashing colors.

A beautiful illustration is this peaceful landscape from Living Gardens(opens in new browser). Large format stones, furnishings, and the main structure that houses an outdoor cooking and eating area all gracefully display brilliant white tones. The end effect is light and breezy, with each zone blending into the next without interruption. Planting-wise, plants and foliage stand out against the plain background.

Of course, using only light colors won’t give off a contemporary feel. If you keep to a small number of tones, you can create a modern color scheme with somber, natural, or bright tones just as successfully. Everything is up to your individual taste.

Get Creative With Pathways

There should be a network of flower pathways running through every property. And in a contemporary garden, it’s a fantastic chance to make a style statement with clean lines and carefully chosen materials.

This layout features smooth, precisely positioned stepping stone stones that lead to stairs that seem to levitate. The smaller-cut stones interspersed between each brick and the exposed border of the retaining wall lend a textural, organic feel, and the linear lines and neutral hues perfectly compliment the fa├žade of the home.

The xeriscape vegetation in the prairie-style to the right provides a striking contrast to the hardscaping and is suitable for this sloped area in terms of irrigation requirements. The effect is incredibly theatrical as the patchwork of earth tones softens up the grays.

Choose Contemporary Patio Furniture

Furniture serves more than just practical purposes; when thoughtfully chosen, it can add style to a contemporary design. For instance, this sitting arrangement is a major discussion point.

One of my best ways to liven up an outdoor area is with a backyard fire pit, which works especially well to add movement and warming to contemporary-styled spaces. There are many slick and efficient designs to pick from, but a fire table is a surefire choice for that contemporary flare. Place one in the middle of your sitting area so that as night falls, everyone can congregate around it for a sociable feel.

According to Daniel Thorp, Director at LaGuardia Design Group, “Basic ornamentation with clear lines makes the table silent in the environment” (opens in new tab). He continues that a low height will keep it from overpowering the nearby furniture, and broad platforms are helpful for setting small dishes or drinks.

Consider An Architectural Outdoor Room

Rain or shine, an outdoor room makes the most of your garden and provides a second living space that’s ideal for hosting family and friends. A lavish, louvered trellis is perfect for a contemporary garden. So that you can simply change it based on whether you want to bask in the sun or enjoy cover and safety.

There is everything you could possibly need for stylish outdoor life when you explore this design by Consilium Hortus(opens in new tab) at the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival in 2022. A custom hearth and bar area were located inside the garden structure, which had folding glass walls and was the ideal spot to escape to. A plunge pool, sizable dining area, and sun loungers were available outside.

Due to their sleek appearance and ease of maintenance, porcelain slabs are a popular choice for many modern paved backyards, and they were used in this area. In order to create a sense of the natural world around the modern oasis, I also liked how the design’s sharp edges were softened by a combination of perennials and large boulders.

Choose Contemporary Patio Furniture

Furniture serves more than just practical purposes; when thoughtfully chosen, it can add style to a contemporary design. For instance, this sitting arrangement is a major discussion point.

One of my best ways to liven up an outdoor area is with a backyard fire pit, which works especially well to add movement and warming to contemporary-styled spaces. There are many slick and efficient designs to pick from, but a fire table is a surefire choice for that contemporary flare. Place one in the middle of your sitting area so that as night falls, everyone can congregate around it for a sociable feel.

According to Daniel Thorp, Director at LaGuardia Design Group, “Basic ornamentation with clear lines makes the table silent in the environment” (opens in new tab). He continues that a low height will keep it from overpowering the nearby furniture, and broad platforms are helpful for setting small dishes or drinks.

Raise Up Your Planting In Corten Steel Beds

According to Dani Alexander, “picturesque environments tend to enable you to wander.” The author adds, “A contemporary site has obvious connections between areas, and vistas tend to be central rather than concealed and disclosed.”

Raised garden plots and half walls are excellent ways to create this more ordered arrangement. This layout, which divides the area into color-blocked receptacles made of durable Corten steel and a minimum vegetation strategy, is an effective illustration. As a focus point, there is a central aquatic element.

Because they only need to learn how to care for a few kinds of plants or have outdoor materials that are all kept in the same manner, modern gardens that rely on uniformity or repetitive elements frequently make upkeep easier for their residents, she continues.

Make A Statement With Simplicity

Here’s another illustration of simplicity’s attractiveness. I adore how this design’s crisp lines and refined finishes serve as a chic background for a few prominent features, including the tree, two identical fire pits, and a flowing cascade.

A variety of greenery plants have been used, carefully organized in an array, as opposed to frilly blooms better adapted to a sentimental design. They give the back wall an additional depth of texture and color while subtly evoking a tropical landscape.

Tom Casey of Anthony & Sylvan Pools(opens in new tab) offers his best advice on how to incorporate a swimming pool into your contemporary garden design. “For those of our clients who prefer a more modern style, we suggest geometric pools with straight lines and acute angles to achieve a current appearance. Other current trends that can improve a straightforward pool include disappearing borders and deeper interiors.

“Adding LED illumination provides a striking upgrade for our clients who are refurbishing older pools,” he adds. A fantastic way to improve a pool’s design is to turn an abandoned Jacuzzi into a sun bench and include water features like waterfalls or sprinklers. To achieve a more contemporary appearance, many of our customers also choose to refresh the flooring, curbing, and swimming pool surface. The planting around a pool is equally essential, and we’ve discovered that elements like slender bushes, contemporary outdoor furniture, fires, and stones make lovely highlights.

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