It’s safe to say we all spent more time outside in the past year or so than we could’ve ever imagined we would. Many of us are taking a second look at our backyards and realizing they could use a bit of sprucing up. Backyard landscaping can up the ante of your home’s exterior and provide a wonderful area to relax and make memories. Here we’ll cover some of our favorite backyard ideas to help you refresh this space!

Gardens and Plants

Beautiful white two-story home from EDGEhomes with evergreen trees


Many tried their hand at being plant moms and dads this past year. No matter your skill level, adding in plants and flowers to your home exterior is a great decision. Not only does it beautify the appearance of your home, but it will put you in a good mood—and maybe even provide you with some produce!

If you’re newly venturing into taking care of live plants, adding a few potted plants on a front or back porch is a great first step. Researching how much light and water these plants can handle will be key, so make sure you’re taking that into account before you simply grab the first thing you see at the nursery.

If you’re feeling a little bit more experienced, you might try hanging plants or flowers in baskets, trendy planters, or in flower boxes on your windows. These will add life and coziness to the exterior of your home. Even if you choose to go for fake plants (there are some great fake succulents out there!) we won’t tell!


Wheelbarrow full of compost on green lawn

When it comes to gardens, there are endless possibilities—ranging from edible, to xeriscaping, to native plants, or even a zen garden. You may want to choose your garden based on what you get out of it (food, flowers, etc.), of if you’re purely going off the aesthetic, how the planters look with your home’s exterior. Just don’t forget to take into account the light or shade situation, as well as water access.

Having a garden will benefit you twofold—it will provide visual interest to the exterior of your home, and give you and your family a mood-boosting activity to do together. Taking care of any of the options we mentioned above – whether you’re harvesting squash or raking the sand in your zen garden – are proven to be great stress relievers, and will get you outside enjoying the sun and fresh air. 

Multipurpose Furniture

Elevated and landscaped concrete patio in backyard

“Strike the right balance between comfort and utility.”

Outdoor furniture needs to strike the right balance between comfort and utility. If you have a set of steel or plastic chairs you hate, this could be the perfect time to ditch them for something you actually want to sit on. This also applies to materials like wicker or rattan, which are often used for outdoor furniture, but tend to wear down easily from the elements. 

Try opting for quality items that have specific materials to withstand sun and water. If you can, try them out in the store to make sure they’re not just cute, but also comfortable. Try making the space look similar to an indoor gathering space by adding an all-weather rug under the furniture, multiple side tables, and plants. The more established the space is, the more it will feel like home. 


patio lights on a string at night

Once you have some furniture established, you’ll want to nail down the lighting situation outside. There are multiple factors for lighting the outdoors, including how much light you want, avoiding bugs, and specific types of lighting sources.

Wall or ceiling lights will be more of a permanent feature, so if you’re still playing around, maybe first try some cozy outdoor lanterns and lamps that you can arrange with your newly acquired furniture. String lights are a favorite for backyard decorating, especially since you can play with how much lighting you use, as well as the color of the strings and the bulbs themselves. Lighting will help set the mood in your backyard perhaps more so than any other element!

Outdoor Features

Backyard firepit with plenty of seating for a young family

If you love entertaining in your backyard, you probably enjoy having a central – or multiple – outdoor features to gather around. This might be a fire feature, water feature, projector screen, sound system, outdoor grill, kitchen area, or any other variety of additions.

If you want to incorporate more natural elements, a fountain or water feature is a lovely way to do so. Fire pits come in many varieties too—from bowl-shaped pits, to portable smokeless stoves, to chic stone features with clear or black rocks. Narrowing down the function of these elements will also be key – whether you’re roasting marshmallows with family or hosting glamorous parties – to decide what feature will serve you best. 

A Fresh Start

Close-up of a green backyard with the sun setting in the background
Refreshing your backyard landscaping is a great way to add the finishing touch to your beautiful home. If you’re starting by incorporating greenery, be sure to first check out our list of shrubs that won’t die on you and our guide on what to plant and not plant next to your house