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If we were to play word association with the term “backyard”, the chances of “refuge”, “relaxing”, and “unwinding” following right after are pretty high. An outdoor space is meant to be a quick getaway for us when we’re tired of being in the house — and that’s even more so when we’re fighting off a deadly virus and shouldn’t step out for our safety. But if your backyard is more a place to get away from rather than to, then you’re not alone — and we’re here to help.  

Whether you’d like lovely outdoor water fountains or breakfast nook to enjoy your morning coffee or want to set up your outdoor space with stools and benches for a late-night hang, here are tried and tested backyard ideas and tips to create stylish outdoor spaces that are both functional and pleasing to the eye.


  1. Set up a gazebo or a pergola: If your backyard is super exposed to the weather, then it’s a great idea to set up a gazebo or a pergola to shield you from the elements. The architectural addition instantly makes your backyard usable — whether you’d like to host an impromptu BBQ or would like to work out in the open for a change. You will probably be overwhelmed with options once you decide to set one up, so consider asking yourself what vibe you want to create; comfortable, playful, elegant, minimal, or funky? Once you have your answer, you can go all out with a weatherproof outdoor dining set that matches the style you’re aiming for, or keep it minimal with a few ottomans. 
  2. Frame a view: If you’re lucky enough to have a gorgeous view from your backyard, don’t let it go to waste. A great way to draw focus to such a view is to frame it, using landscaping or a few artfully arranged furniture pieces. An arbor, for example, uses a latticework of vines, creepers, and flowering plants and can naturally draw focus to where you want it. Installing a wooden deck a few inches off the ground also creates an instant viewing point. Given you won’t need much more than a few wooden planks (and someone handy with power tools), this also doubles up as one of those DIY backyard ideas that take your space a few notches higher on the style scale. 
  3. Plan an outdoor bar: On summer nights, there’s nothing better than cooling off with a cold drink in hand. Your backyard is the ideal space to set yourself up for such nights — especially if you add an outdoor bar, complete with bar stools. If your house is on the smaller side, then this maximizes the space you can use to entertain guests. Your setup can be as elaborate or as minimal as you’d like it to be, so long as you’re able to store everything you need without having to run back into the house every half an hour. That means you’ll need a bar table to work your magic on, an outdoor fridge, a rack for bottles, a shelving unit for cutlery and drinkware, and a few outdoor bar stools for seating. 
  4. Create an open-air cinema: Remember the charm of drive-throughs? If you’re looking to channel that cozy and intimate vibe in the comfort of your own home, then consider setting up an open-air cinema. This is an especially great idea for homes with families; you’re able to tear eyes away from small screens to focus on a  big one. First off, you’ll need some comfy seating. An outdoor loveseat works for small backyards with little room, while bigger spaces can step it up with an outdoor sectional sofa.  
  5. Turn up the Zen factor with a little pond or a pool: We’re all for turning our backyards into oases of calm, and we’ve found that water bodies make the job so much easier. Depending on how much space you have—and your budget for backyard pool ideas—you could consider opting for a placid body of water with a few fish or add lively interest with a miniature waterfall. If you’d rather have a water body that you can use, a pool with a couple of chaise lounges is your best bet. Of course, it’s more high-maintenance and eats up a lot of square feet. But that luxe vacation vibe you get by creating a DIY pond is totally worth it. 

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