These Dreamy Yards Are Full of Inspiration for Your Own Outdoor Oasis

published Sep 25, 2023
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Credit: Brooke Fitts

Listening to birds chirp, seeing tree branches sway in a breeze, watching butterflies flit by … is there anything better than communing with nature? Communing with your own slice of nature, of course. If you’re lucky enough to have your own yard, putting in effort is worth it to be able to enjoy nice weather just steps from your own door. 

It’s true, having your own patch of grass (or concrete, or wood) will require a lot of work to maintain. You’ll have to learn how to keep away bad pests like assassin bugs and discover how to attract good bugs, like ladybugs. You’ll have to build up your plant caring skills to keep plants happy and healthy (like knowing when you’re overwatering them or if they’re being affected by the cold). You may even have to learn how to weatherproof furniture for outdoor living

But there are plenty of fun tasks to complete when you have a backyard, too — namely, deciding just how you’re going to use your own outdoor oasis. If you enjoy dining al fresco, you can find or buy furniture to create an outdoor dining area. Or you can design a stunning sitting area in your yard to sip your morning caffeine in. You could find room for a vegetable garden, a play area for the kids, or even a hammock for sunny naps. Whatever your home’s yard size, there’s the potential to turn it into an ideal outdoor space that allows you to enjoy nature more fully.

The real homes below all have incredibly dreamy yards that are chock-full of inspiring ideas you can borrow for your own backyard. From outdoor kitchens, to ponds, pools, and more, the yards below will have you wanting to dig into your own outdoor space’s design. 

1. This San Diego Rental House’s Backyard Includes Lots of Sitting Areas

Caity Hall and partner, Corey Robinson, may have only been renting this house in San Diego, but they still put their stamp on the yard. “We are also very proud of redoing our side yard,” Hall explained in their house tour. “It was originally dirt and gravel and the space was only used by the dog. After being in the house for a year and then going into quarantine, we thought it made sense to make the most of our outdoor living (which we use every day!). So I dug up the existing gravel and weed cloth, laid sod myself, added plants and ground covering, built raised garden beds, and started our first herb and vegetable garden.”

The couple made not only a beautiful outdoor space for themselves, but also for their dog. “We are so happy to have more living space and Chauncey is so happy to have the grass to roll around on. We feel like such adults after completing our first landscaping job!”

See more of this home’s outdoor space in the full house tour

2. This Raleigh Ranch House’s Backyard Features Bold Patterns

When Marie, who works in finance, bought her home five years ago, it was in rough shape, but there had been a lot to fall in love with. The home’s bones were great, and the backyard had a creek in it. She knew that she would be able to make it into her own outdoor paradise. “I have redone almost every single room, the bathroom, and the kitchen, as well as finished the basement, and added a cute patio with a cedar hot tub. I’ve done many of the home improvements myself to save money and I just love how perfect my home is for me and my family,” she explains in her house tour. 

See more of this home’s big backyard in the full house tour

3. This 92-Year-Old Remodeled House’s Backyard Has an Outdoor Kitchen, Faux Hedge Wall, and More

Amina and Victor purchased this 92-year-old house to remodel, and ended up doing a ton of work on the outside, as well as the inside. “I have a pretty big backyard, for an urban city lot, with an interesting layout,” Amina wrote. “On one side of my house, my property line has views into three different neighbor’s yards and on the other side, one of the ‘walls’ of my property line is actually ‘sanctioned off’ by the neighbor’s garage and fence, both of which sit significantly higher than my yard. Given this scenario, it has been challenging to style my outdoor space when I can only control what my yard looks like. In the spring of 2020, after brainstorming with my concrete guy, I ended up adding a concrete patio in the backyard. We followed that with a cement stadium bench on the high-grade property line to create a natural-looking separation between my yard and the neighbor’s. I then finished off the yard space with a beautiful custom cedar fence around the perimeter and panels that created a faux hedge above the stadium seating, which add more greenery and privacy to my backyard urban oasis … and, of course, bistro lights followed by the addition of a little outdoor kitchen and pizza oven!”

Get a full tour of this house’s outdoor space in the house tour.

Credit: Amber Kelly

4. A Gorgeous Renovated Nashville Home Has the Coolest DIY Backyard Greenhouse

Does anyone else dream of having the coziest little greenhouse to tend to plant babies in … and maybe just hang out in from time to time? If so, you’re in for a treat with Andi and Eric’s Nashville house. Thanks to a big backyard and building skills, they’ve created one of the dreamiest backyard greenhouses of all time! “Eric turned our falling-apart, termite-infested garage into a beautiful and functional greenhouse made out of recycled windows and doors found in our neighborhood,” Andi explained in their house tour, also providing a link to before and afters and step-by-step instructions. The greenhouse even has its own Instagram account: @eastnashgreenhouse!

See more of this home’s greenhouse and yard in the house tour.

Credit: Brooke Fitts

5. A Small Seattle Mid-Century House Features Beautiful Backyard Inspiration

Brooke Fitts’ Seattle house might be on the small side, but it more than makes up for it with architectural charm and a big backyard that she and her partner have put to work. “We really wanted to dive into gardening without a ton of space,” she wrote in her house tour. “We ordered these cool modular raised beds from Vego Garden and created space to grow food. We have five beds that are full of herbs and vegetables, and one bed dedicated just to flowers. We also converted a walled dirt strip into a pollinator garden along the rock wall in the backyard. Because it’s a small lot, we also knocked down an outdated carport to create more yard space.”

The backyard also offers a surprise bit of extra space: “It’s a small home (for three people and two dogs), so we converted a stand-apart backyard garden shed into a guest room/movie room and library for my partner’s extensive book collection. It’s like an extra room across the yard.”

See more of this home’s big backyard in the full house tour.

6. These Actors Have Crafted a Colorful, Creative Oasis in the Desert

Kit Williamson and John Halbach describe their home as a “1958 homestead cabin off a dirt road on 5 acres filled with Joshua Trees.” The desert landscape surrounding the house plays a huge role in the home’s atmosphere. “We’re up on the Mesa, and the sunsets are unbelievable. Our favorite thing about the house is that there are stunning desert views in every room,” they wrote in their house tour. But it’s not just the interior (with graphic tiles, cozy wood-burning fireplace, and colorful murals) that wows — the couple’s fun design style extends to the exterior of their home.

Walking around their yard you’ll find a pool, a hot tub, and an open-air bathtub, depending on what kind of soak you need. There are plenty of places to lounge, from an outdoor living area, to a dining space, and even a fire pit. The land even sports a 1950s vintage Shasta camper trailer named Dolly. The couple named the house El Dorado Oasis — “Because it feels like a sanctuary in the desert.” 

See more of this couple’s cool house and outdoor areas in the full house tour.

7. The Biophilic Design of this U.K. Home Feels Like Living Inside a Garden

Ross and Marianna Popejoy’s home in the U.K. is basically the epitome of “bringing the outdoors in,” thanks to huge doors that open up to their lush garden. But they’ve also done a great job of bringing the indoors out by the way they’ve designed their garden to be an extension of their living area. The one that they are particularly proud of is the pergola that they built in the garden. There’s a pergola, but there’s also an outdoor cooking area and bench seating with it. They even have a rolling veggie garden. The entire home blurs the line between nature and architecture and it’s a beautiful space, to boot.

See more of this home’s amazing indoor/outdoor living space in the full house tour. 

8. A Creative Director’s Colorful Tropical LA Home Has a Vibrant and Graphic Outdoor Oasis

When Emily Wassall and her family bought this house, which was built in 1938, it was “livable but needed some love,” she explains. She incorporated her style not only inside the home, but also outside. She described her style as “heavily influenced by my love of travel and warm, tropical climes like Ibiza (eclectic global style), Miami (palm trees, pastels, architectural details), Bali (lush tropical terrains), Sydney (laid-back lifestyle), and more locally Palm Springs (mid-century design, simple graphic lines). This with a dose of 1980s aesthetic, Memphis design, lots of playful color, and a touch of nighttime glamour.”

See more at the full house tour.

Credit: Erin Derby

9. The Small Studio Apartment’s Equally Small Outdoor Area Is Stunning Despite the Small Size

It was the high ceilings and big bay windows that let lots of light pour in that sold Amanda Heald and her partner on this studio apartment, despite its tiny 300-square-foot size. There was also a small outdoor space that she knew could help extend their living area. Although technically a balcony and not a yard, the small exterior area gives off dreamy backyard vibes, thanks to the faux grass floor, lush plant life, and garden accessories. 

See more of this home in the full house tour.

10. This Los Angeles Rental Apartment’s Backyard Has a Dreamy Dinner Party Space and Chickens

Francesca is the owner of home staging and interior design company Francesca Grace Home. While the inside of her home — a Craftsman she rents in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood — is a brilliant blend of vintage furnishings and modern lines, with a sprinkling of bold colors and vibrant patterns, the outside of her home is the same! A dreamy dining area is set up under a big tree, while a cozy seating area centers around a fireplace. Oh, and there’s room for lots of chickens, too.

See more of this home’s yard in the full house tour.

11. This Brooklyn Abode’s Backyard Has a Dreamy Garden

Shelley V. Worrell and Janluk Stanislas love to cook, make cocktails, and entertain, and their backyard reflects those hobbies. Her garden, one of her favorite spots, provides herbs and veggies. “I love and enjoy my garden for many months of the year. During the winter months, I plan out my annual and vegetable gardens while feeding the cardinals, blue jays, and others. I also use this time to plan edits I want to make come spring. Naturally, one of my favorite elements is the picture window overlooking my back garden where I can look out onto the beds and birdwatch,” she wrote in their house tour. 

See more of their backyard in their full house tour.