Patios & Decks by marta carraro

20 ideas for your outdoor space

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No matter the size of your outdoor space, you should take advantage of it and create your own little garden of Eden. If you live in the city with a small balcony or a home with a large backyard, the possibilities are virtually endless. Below we have twenty ideas to help you transform your outdoor area into a place that you will want to relax and enjoy. From the smallest patch of land to wide, open spaces there is something for everyone on this list!

1. Urban and green.

If you live in a more urban area and don't have a lot of natural greenery, surrounding your space with potted plants is a great way to add natural decor to your patio. You can hang plants on the wall or have many planters scattered around your outdoor area. This is a great idea for people who like a more low maintenance backyard and can isolate various plants in different pots. 

2. Blend your outdoor furniture with nature.

When you're choosing furniture for your patio space, you can opt for a more natural atmosphere and get furniture that blends in with the surrounding area. Choosing wooden or bamboo furniture and rugs made of light materials will give the space a cohesive and natural look. This patio is a great example of this idea, with two wicker armchairs and two beige outdoor rugs to create a beautiful seating area. The designers also threw in a very modern plastic chair to create contrast.

3. Use natural materials to decorate.

Wood and stone are great elements to decorate with, especially for a patio. There are infinite ways to use these materials such as using hardwood flooring or stone tiles throughout the space or, in this case, using a combination of both. Here we see a patio made of small stones that are roughly the same color as the hardwood which serves as an accent in this space. The wooden furniture and platforms stand out against the stone and make it a focal point of the space.

4. Create a peaceful sanctuary.

Your patio should be a place where you can go outside and just relax so why not make it your sanctuary. Using all natural materials, as we discussed above, and also including small shrubs will create a space of pure Zen. This garden uses cherry colored hardwood to create the main pathway and plant beds which are then filled with bright white stones. The small shrubs are arranged in a way that will cover a good portion of the stones while also exposing some of them. A water feature sits in the middle and provides the gentle and soothing sounds of running water. 

5. Light up your yard.

Set the mood and brighten up your garden by using lighting in key areas. In this cozy garden, we can see that the designers wanted to create a small seating area in the corner. They highlighted a few of the plants with spotlights placed on the ground and added a nice love seat, creating a simple yet beautiful outdoor seating area. The same idea can also be achieved with wall sconces or track lighting.

6. Surround yourself with what you love.

Your backyard is a place for you to go and relax, so fill it with things that will put you at ease. This small garden uses stones and wooden platforms to create a small little seating area. The bench rests up against the wall of the home and the rest of the space if filled with bright green plants in pots of various shapes and sizes. This creates a little paradise that is both beautiful and low maintenance.

7. A modern style patio.

If you are really low maintenance or trying to achieve a more modern look, tiling the entirety of your backyard would be a great idea. This home uses concrete tiles to cover almost the entire outdoor area, leaving small pockets to fill to the brim with flowers and plants. This gives the space a more modern look and the plants are a bright and colorful addition to the very neutral space.

8. Create a rustic backyard.

If you follow a more traditional style, adding a pergola to your outdoor space will give it a beautiful rustic style. The wooden beams add a warm element to the backyard and act as the main focal point for the space. This means that the rest of the outdoor area doesn't need to be decorate too much. You can leave the pergola exposed or allow flowers and vines to cover the space and give the space a bit of a whimsical vibe.

9. Something for everyone.

If your backyard is big enough, you can incorporate many different elements in the space to make everyone happy. This outdoor area has a sandbox for the kids to play in, a small seating area for two, a teepee and hammock near the tree, along with a rocking chair and a small doghouse. The space looks very modern and elegant but is very inclusive of everyone who wants to use the backyard to play and relax.

10. Long and narrow.

 Garden by Joana França
Joana França

Casa Malva, Bloco Arquitetos

Joana França

Even if you have a super narrow space behind your home you should still use it to relax in and it is even easier to maintain. Keeping this small space clutter-free is key so that it doesn't seem overcrowded. Line the wall with small shrubs to bring life to the space and add a small seating area that allows you to relax. This can be in the form of a small table with two chairs or even a hammock, as we can see here, and it creates a simple yet functional space.

11. Vertical gardens are all the rage.

 Garden by Greice Peralta
Greice Peralta

Jardim Vertical

Greice Peralta

If you have a large blank wall or simply want to cover up an area, why not think about adding a vertical garden? You can concentrate most of the plants and flowers in this area and create a lush and beautiful piece for this unused space in your garden. Add a small seating area and a couple of plants on the ground and you have an incredible wow factor for your backyard.

12. A tiny patch of serenity.

Even if you have the smallest piece of land in your backyard, you should still create a beautiful space to enjoy the outdoors. This super tiny garden features plants right along the wall and two wooden panels that stand out against the white rock. The dark wood creates a nice contrast and allows the plants to blend into them. 

13. Focus on the lower areas.

For a beautiful space that doesn't require a lot of effort, try a garden that uses small shrubs and planters for decoration. This small outdoor space features two patches of green grass with a few different plants scattered around. The wooden blocks up against the wall add a contrasting element but still maintains the look by keeping things low to the ground.

14. Stones and shrubs.

If you live in an area that doesn't get a lot of rain or simply can't be bothered to water the garden everyday, opt for a stone garden that will bring you serenity. Light colored rocks are great for covering large spaces because they don't absorb a lot of heat. A couple of seating chairs and a few shrubs to add life to the space and you have a very low maintenance garden that still looks very beautiful.

15. A very green space.

If you have a larger outdoor area, why not cover it in grass and enjoy the outdoors to their fullest? This garden features a large patch of grass, a vertical garden on one wall, a small tree near the window, and a little rock garden with a potted plant to give the space an old world vibe. The arched windows and small Greek fountain in between make the home feel very old world.

16. Using concrete to break up the yard.

 Garden by Katrin Lesser
Katrin Lesser

Sitzecke im Südhof

Katrin Lesser

If you want a mix of natural and modern elements, use concrete to break up the grass and plant areas. This will create a backyard that is easy to maintain while also leaving a window of creativity to design how you'd like. This garden features a basic bench along one all of the space and a small garden with a large tree and various plants. The concrete stepping stones break up the natural vegetation but still make the space feel natural.

17. Create shade for your garden.

Having a place to relax in the shade during the summer months is very important for a backyard. This can come in the form of an umbrella or even an awning, which is great for small outdoor spaces. The most important party to remember is that whatever you choose can be moved around so that sunlight can come in and nurture the plants in your space, otherwise the plants won't get enough sun and will die.

18. Step into our very own space.

If you want a very creative way to decorate your garden, use stepping stones in various shapes, sizes, designs, and positions to create a unique and beautiful space. This garden uses concrete stepping stones in alternating positions to create a unique floor for this space with just a little bit of grass peeking through. This gives you the best of both worlds and is very low maintenance as well.

19. An herb garden.

If you live in a very urban area or just love to have your own organic herbs, incorporate an herb garden into your backyard. This can be done with the vertical wall method, a small garden patch, or simply with many potted plants around your space. You can use this herb garden as the focal point of your backyard, as we see here, and keep the rest of the space very simple.

20. Urban gardens.

If you live in a city and can't have an all natural garden you can still achieve a super green look. Place many planters around the space with various plants, shrubs, and even trees to create a super lush environment that would make forget that you live in the city. Using hardwood and other natural elements will also give the space a more organic feel and are much easier to maintain than grass.

We think you will love this ideabook: 37 small and economical green ways to decorate your walls

Do you love relaxing outside? Get inspired with these 20 garden ideas
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