Backyard Design for Beginners


Designing a backyard can give your house a welcoming and interesting look. If you do not have any experience in designing a backyard, it can be complicated for you. You need to know about soil management, lawn management, attention to detail, and pest control. With proper guidance and help you can easily install a simple backyard design to bring life to your backyard. This is a beautiful way to connect with nature and forget about stress for some time.

It can be difficult to decide which plants to choose. Which furniture will suit the style, and how the lighting setup will make the place more welcoming? Color to paint the furniture, and what is necessary and what is not. If you have a hobby of gardening, you can simply improve your gardening skills and fulfill your hobby by planting different flower plants in your backyard. This will bring greenery to your backyard and content your heart. This is your time to start designing your backyard in an alluring way.

Types of Backyard Design

Designing your backyard completely depends on you. You have the right to explore your options and build a backyard that screams you. But as a beginner designing a backyard can be tricky. You can look at some backyard types to get an idea of how you want to construct your backyard. First, we will discuss some major terms for designing a backyard. They are Formal, informal, modern, and traditional.

Types of backyard design

1. Formal Backyard Design

For a formal design, you need to design using stainless steel, stone, and tiles. This design is based on making the structure clean and organized. You can add a garden in your backyard by keeping straight, short, and symmetrical hedges. A formal design has greenery but in an orderly and perfect way. The layout needs to be symmetrical like the hedges need to be equally spaced and have enough space for walking.

You can use dimensional stones or blue stones in flowerbeds or pathways. You can also install a pond if you have a large space. You can add koi fish to the fountain or pond.

2. Informal Backyard Design

For informal design, you need to use bricks and stones for flooring. This backyard design has a more curvy and rounded form. You can use flowers of different sizes and colors to pop up the backyard. Informal backyard design is more relaxed than formal backyard design. This design gives away forest vibes. You can feel more connected with nature as it does not require shaping the hedges to keep the form.

3. Modern Backyard Design

For modern backyard design, you can add pathways with sharp angles. You can also add lighting to the pathways so that it can be easier to walk at night. You can use wood furniture to decorate the place. You can add swimming pools in your backyard and place swimming pool chairs. You can also build a dinner table with shading without trees so that you don’t get sunburned or get wet.

4. Traditional Backyard Design

For traditional backyard design, you can use bricks and stones for flooring. You can use colorful plants and flowers. You do not have to worry about shaping the hedges. You can create a fun traditional garden using a maze structure. An oversized chess board using white and black pavers can make the backyard more interesting.

10 Simple and budget-friendly backyard design ideas

As a beginner, you can start with a simple backyard design. You need to start the project while keeping in mind the budget. According to your layout, the budget can very high or affordable.

Here are some ideas about simple and budget-friendly backyard design to help you out.

10 Simple and budget friendly backyard design ideas

1. Backyard lightning

Without wasting a lot, you can use bistro lights to increase the ambiance of the area. You can go for plug-in string lights rather than solar-powered ones. Solar pendant lights also create a warm glow in any area. If you like to try different lighting, you can give it a try battery-powered lanterns. These lanterns can be found in stores and they cost less.

2. DIY Backyard Fire Pit

Creating a backyard fire pit can be costly, you can create your fire pit. It would be less costly and more productive. You can build a backyard fire pit with a wood or charcoal-burning model. The cost will vary on the materials you are using.

3. DIY Outdoor Furniture

Without wasting your precious money on purchasing new furniture, you DIY your old furniture and give them a new and modern look. As a beginner, it would be hard to build something without any experience. First, you need to know about the materials. White oak, redwood, and cedar woods are resistant to decay. You can make cushioned modern lounge chairs for a more contemporary vibe. If you want to rest in your backyard, you can make sling chairs.

4. Hardscape Ideas

If you are someone who loves to build things, you can put your creative ideas into building a hardscape. These are the most expensive elements in backyard design. You can build pathways and decorate the whole place in your creative style. If you want to add greenery to your hardscape you can plan out the layout to find out which place needs more plants.

5. Spend Money Wisely

These backyard design takes a huge amount if you are building them with the help of a professional. You need to spend your money smartly.  You can spend a lot on the elements that you are going to use regularly. For example, if you have a fire pit in your backyard, you will use it regularly for hanging out with friends and gossiping with your family. Try finding more affordable items for your backyard.

Simple and budget friendly backyard design ideas

6. Inflatable Swimming Pool Above Ground

You can purchase an inflatable swimming pool if you lack the space for building a swimming pool or want to save money. This reduces your stress over pool maintenance and also saves your capital. Inflatable pools are less expensive and do not require big spaces. It is also easier to clean and fill up with water.

7. Add a hammock

Hammocks are comfortable and excellent arrangements for sleeping. It gives the backyard a livelier look. Hammocks are easier to set and less expensive. Hammocks are a great place for sleeping as they lessen your toss and turns. It will not cause any back pain.

8. Hanging Flower Pots

You can include hanging flower pots which will not only saves but also bring an elegant look to your backyard. You can also DIY these pots in your house which will be unique and less expensive.

9. DIY Colorful Flower Pots

You can color plant pots with vibrant colors to create a vibrant look to the backyard. These colorful pots cost so much money. You can paint regular flower pots and can add textures to them.

10. Less expensive Paving Materials

If you do not want to use grass, you use gravel and crushed stones. Gravel has better drainage so water can easily pass through it into the soil. 

You May like: Backyard Landscaping for Beginners

Tips for Working with Small Backyard

If you are struggling with small spaces and cannot decide how to decorate them. Do not worry, we got you.

  • You can set up multifunctional furniture such as a convertible sleeping chair. If you want to lie down and relax you can easily use this chair.
  • You can purchase a storage table that can be used for cable management.
  • If you do not have enough space to design a patio, you can set up the chairs and table in the grass and put a rug underneath. You can use candles or lamps for ambient lighting.
  • You can create a narrow pathway to walk around flowerbeds. You can decorate the pathway with stones.
  • You can plant some tropical plants to bring color and drama to your backyard.
  • You can go for a chic look with curvy and round-shaped furniture. An egg swivel chair and a small rug underneath a coffee table can make your small backyard look modernized.
  • You can arrange a vertical garden on a wall or a fence for lack of space.
  • You can use floating benches for seating. A bulky sofa or chair arrangement will require more space.
  • You can look for dwarf plants, it will save space and make the backyard look modernized.
  • You can build a wood gazebo with a soft armchair, pillow, and plants that suit the settings. It can make your backyard more appealing.
  • Mix up two or more ideas to have unique backyard arrangements.

Resources for inspiration and information

Resources for inspiration and information

It can be harder to find which backyard design will look good. You need to research a bit and find out what style suits your backyard. You will need some help in this matter. You can read books about the basics of designing a backyard. You need to plan out your ideas so that it will be easier for you to start your work.

You can also look up some websites about backyard design. You will get an idea about how you can make your backyard space a beautiful place for guests. Gap gardens will provide inspirational ideas and creative designs of parks, gardens, backyards, etc.

You can also read Landscape Architecture Magazine to get an idea of new architectural design, it is a valuable online library. It is a monthly magazine of the American Society of Landscape Architecture.

If you want some unique ideas you can use some social sites such as Pinterest. You will find thousands of backyard design ideas with pictures. You can also mix two or more ideas to get a more creative design for the backyard.

Best practices from professionals are all over the internet, you can easily find them with a click. You can browse the internet for ideas if these social sites, books, and websites do not work out for you.

You can seek out professional help. They can help you to plan out the layout of your backyard design and help you to put down plants in suitable places. They can also provide you with some care tips for your backyard.


1. How can I make my backyard less boring?

You can add bistro lights or pendant lights, hang a hammock, or set up a bean bag and mini projector. You can also arrange holiday cookouts with your friends.

2. What does every backyard need?

Every backyard needs vibrant plants, comfortable seating areas, storage capacities, ambiance lighting, umbrellas or shading if you do not have a roof, cushion, blankets, and a pillow.

3. How do you build a waterfall in your backyard?

First, pick a location for your waterfall. Then you need to collect rocks and gravel, make sure the area is leveled, dig a hole and build a frame, attach the tubing, and test the pump.

4. How do I be self-sufficient in my backyard?

You can be self-sufficient in your backyard by taking care of the soil, adding a full shovel of compost to the planting holes, watering the plants regularly, and saving seeds.

5. How do I choose a backyard layout?

You need to make a list, make a pathway, divide spaces, choose plants, and make a master plan.

Final Thoughts

Having a backyard gives you the advantages of a place for entertainment and to have privacy.  It is a separation between neighbors and a private place for family members to enjoy each other’s company. You can decorate your backyard the way you want, you can add a patio, arrange a swimming pool, or build a fire pit. It’s up to you how you want your backyard to look.

As a beginner, it feels like too much work to plan out the whole process. Without an actual plan and layout, it can be tricky. All you need is to figure out your design and work accordingly. If you feel like you need professional help, you can hire a professional. You need to spend your money wisely as backyard design is a costly process. You can DIY your furniture, waterfall, or fire pit to save money. You can get the most out of your backyard space and make it welcoming by following these ideas.

Next Attraction: Backyard Structures for Beginners

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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.

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