As much as I love to get cozy in the living room and lounge around in bed (let's be real—my favorite place in any house is the pantry), a backyard is the true sanctuary. Indeed, your outdoor space can be as inviting, comfortable, and stylish as your interiors, but it'll also offer fresh air and nature. From manicured landscapes to stately patios and paradise-status pools, get ready for some al fresco bliss with these 37 backyard ideas. And make sure you bookmark your favorites so you can bring them to life at home.
If your space allows, set up a yurt in the backyard. It'll have so much functional range—use it as glamping guest room, a pool house, or even just an outdoor living room/ entertaining area. Because they're more insulated than tents but less permanent than an actual building, you can still hang out in them during the cooler months.
The backyard is your space to reconnect with nature and unwind in the fresh air. So instead of saturating it with furniture and décor, focus on landscaping and florals.
This inground swimming pool surrounded by a sun-dappled garden and canopy of trees is a backyard dream. Hang some string lights in the seating area for extra style points.
Swing sofas are the perfect blend between benches and hammocks. Not only are they relaxing and comfortable, but they can also be visually intriguing, especially if you play with scale and proportion. These super tall ropes are the perfect example.
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.
This dining area blends in beautifully with the natural landscape. Opt for a rustic dining table with wooden tree trunk stools as dining chairs. It's, edgy, sleek, and sophisticated while still being approachable.
If your backyard opens up into an expansive forest—or even if you just have a few trees—now's your chance to build a treehouse. Or, if you don't want to build an entire house, just build a banister around it as a peaceful lookout deck.
If you have a tiny outdoor space, you can still take advantage of the fresh air in style. Hang a slim hammock and then make it pop with a jute area rug, fun throw pillows, and floor cushions for extra seating.
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.
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.
Build a bar for more stylish entertaining outdoors. Choose an eye-catching tile design and hang string lights for a romantic, summery vibe.
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."
An outdoor clubhouse like this one will make your backyard feel like a luxury resort in some far-away tropical destination. The built-in sofa and drum pendants make the rustic touches (like the straw roof) feel a little more elevated in this space.
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.
For a sleek, minimalist patio, whitewash your wood paneled deck and keep things tonal with a gravel garden instead of grass. Bring a heat lamp outside for warmth, so you can still hang out there during the chillier months. Floor cushions will be great for extra lounge seating.
Elevate your backyard garden by cultivating a small citrus grove. Not only do the bright hues create a gorgeous visual landscape, but your fruit will also come in handy in the kitchen.
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.
If you want to make your family home the go-to house in the neighborhood, take notes from this backyard situation. With an epic play structure, twisty water slide, and plenty of greenery, it has child-like glee written all over it.
So you don't have a backyard but you do have a rooftop terrace? That can be just as magical when styled well. Bring in plenty of greenery, and then set up a little sitting area for dining or reading.
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.
This restful spot outside a Los Angeles home looks even more inviting thanks to a seat cushion in Great Outdoors' Fresh Canvas and vintage pillows. All that's missing is a good book.
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.
Just looking at the incredible view in Thom Filicia's yard puts you in a more relaxing frame of mind. If you have a large lawn, consider building a fire pit hangout zone in the middle of it.
In the Cloister Garden of William Christie's 16th-century French countryside estate, the classic rose Katharina Zeimet stands out among the formal hedges.
A manmade pond complements a solar geothermal house in Wassaic, New York. Landscape designers carved the pool out of a craggy mountain ledge and surrounded it with native plants.
Sonoma vineyards offer a picturesque view, but half the fun of this California cottage is the court for playing the French bowling game boules.
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.
This sweet little garden structure houses a getaway for guests. You could also turn your garden shed into a studio, if you have a creative side hustle or work from home.