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Make Your Neighbors Jealous: 15 Cool Backyard Ideas For A Unique Space

No matter its size or shape, your backyard is your domain. It’s a clean slate on which you can inscribe all of your outdoor design fantasies. And everyone wants to have a backyard that fits their aesthetic, brings them joy, and makes for an irresistible spot to sit and enjoy the view.

Coming up with cool backyard ideas for your space can feel like a truly daunting task. But we’re here to help! Check out these great ideas for landscaping, decor, garden design, and recreational fun that will help make your backyard the coolest place to be!

Cool Backyard Ideas

Landscaping Ideas

1. Paver Stone Walkways

Paver stones are large, beautiful cuts of stone that provide a gorgeous, elegant accent to any backyard. Because of the variety of shapes, sizes, and colors in which paver stones come, the sky is truly the limit for how you can use these to elevate your cool backyard ideas!

You can use them to create a walkway that winds through your garden or orchard. You can line the border of your house with them. You can even welcome your guests with a lavish paver stone walkway from the driveway to the front door! And in many cases, lone paver stones make a great decoration just placed within your mulch work as a stepping stone through your backyard’s landscaping spots.

The only limit to cool backyard ideas with paver stones is the farthest reaches of your imagination!

2. Lavish with Lavender

Sunset over a violet lavender field .Valensole lavender fields, Provence, France.

Lavender is a flower well known for its calming properties and uses in both folk medicine and modern healing. But there is another benefit to growing lavender which makes it a key factor for your cool backyard ideas–and that’s its untapped landscaping potential.

The rich, royal tones of a healthy and mature lavender plant make it an absolute landscaping bombshell. Lavender can complement any healthy lawn, hedgerow, treeline, or other greenery. Using it to edge your walkways, driveway, and to frame your house will create an elegant, almost mystical, and very whimsical atmosphere.

You can also consider using lavender to bring a pop of eye-catching color to areas in your backyard that you find to be more drab or shadowy. With just a single lavender bush, you can transform any area of your backyard into a garden of delight.

3. Utilize Hedges

While they might require a bit more care and cultivation than many landscapers are used to, hedges make for a really cool backyard idea. Their sharp angles and stern definitions add a whole lot of dimension to spaces, both large and small.

Hedges allow you to naturally delineate the lines of your backyard space. You can use them to cordon off specific areas for certain uses, such as dining or games (we’ll get to more of those cool backyard ideas later!). And all of this you can do with hedges, so you don’t have to overdo it on fence lines that can ruin the more natural aesthetic you might be going for.

Hedges are a fun, unique backyard idea that, with a little extra maintenance, can really transform your backyard from average to elegant.

Design & Decor Ideas

4. Install a Pergola

Modern patio furniture include a pergola shade structure, an awning, a patio roof, a dining table, seats, and a metal grill.

Nothing quite fits the aesthetic of cool backyard ideas like installing a pergola! These lofty, slatted structures are the reigning champions of the backyard decor game. Wherever you place a pergola, it automatically raises the appeal of your backyard space. And that’s just when you install it!

Decorating a pergola is a fun and fantastic way to make this backyard decor staple truly your own. You can hang string lights, or train roses, creeping ivy, or other growing plants to climb and hang in a natural curtain from the pergola’s slats.

The hardest part of installing a pergola is deciding the best place for it. You can install your pergola over a patio, porch, hot tub area, dining setting, or just about anywhere that appeals to you. With so many options, design styles, colors, makes, and models of pergolas, you are sure to find one that fits your backyard’s aesthetic.

5. Build a Unique Fire Pit

A woman drinks a glass of wine in front of a fire pit on the luxury patio of a hillside home overlooking city lights.

It’s true that nowadays, you can pick up a fire pit at just about any lawn and garden center, supermarket, and even most hardware stores. But when it comes to cool backyard ideas, just any fire pit won’t do.

To really up the ante of your backyard design, consider a custom-built fire pit. This can be made with stone, brick, or metal. It might encompass a bricked recess for setting up chairs and benches as well, or be built in ground with a unique grate cover.

Whatever your preferences, having a one-of-a-kind fire pit can truly elevate your backyard space, making it the best place to be during any night of the year.

6. Create an Aesthetic Reminiscent of the Greats

Another great way to elevate your backyard space is to make it reflective of a time period or design style that you love. You can use stylistic nuances, decor pieces, and even plant life to evoke notions of ancient Greco-Roman architecture, romantic Italian design, and other well-known cultural aesthetics.

This can be a great way not only to drum up some cool backyard ideas but, in many cases, to pay homage to family heritage. Delve into your lineage, find your roots, and dream up ways to incorporate them into your backyard design.

7. Add a Fountain

JUN 19, 2011 Serengeti, Tanzania -  - Fountain and old wooden chairs and table set in tropical backyard garden under tree with green shrubs under natural light in the afternoon

Fountains make for a bold choice when it comes to cool backyard ideas. But there’s just no beating the whimsical elegance of cascading water. Whether you go big or small, striking or subtle, even just the sound of a backyard fountain’s tumbling water can really make the space feel cozy, reflective, and welcoming.

If you are planning to install a backyard fountain, it is important to bear in mind the depth of the fountain base and the accessibility of high-risk groups. Families with young kids will want to weigh the risks and benefits of having a pool of sorts present and assess the danger of drowning.

8. Designate Eating Spaces

Patio Table outdoors

While it’s not uncommon to have some porch or patio furniture where families and guests can sit to enjoy a backyard meal, consider taking your dining setting to the next level for some truly cool backyard ideas.

You can often achieve this aesthetic appeal by designating a dining space within the backyard itself, using stylish walkways, hedging, or garden framing to direct guests to their eating getaway. Consider a space with paver stones, a unique seating arrangement, string lights, and citronella torches to keep pesky bugs at bay.

You can create a truly magical dining space with the right design and decor touches.

9. Up Your Furniture Game

Once you start adding pieces like pergolas, fancy fire pits, and designated spaces for eating to your cool backyard ideas, you may find yourself in need of elevating your backyard furniture as well. And this can be a great way to really set your backyard oasis apart from the rest.

There are tons of fabulous backyard furniture options out there. You really have your pick of what suits your style! From three-sided lounging arrangements with a fire pit in the center, to crescent benches gathered around beautiful tables to lounge chairs you could just fall asleep in…there is something to fit every design style.

Garden Ideas

10. Plant a Rose Garden

Rose seedlings

There is something so beautiful, romantic, and charming about a rose garden; this is a design element that will transport you to a simpler, more elegant time. And with so many different varieties of roses, it’s quite easy to find a color and type that will suit your vision for cool backyard ideas.

Planting a rose garden gives you options not only to draw the eyes of visitors to certain parts of your backyard design! You can also use them, similar to hedges, to demarcate certain areas of the yard for different uses.

You can also plant a rose garden over places you find unsightly or less evocative in order to create a more vibrant overall feel in your backyard space.

11. Turn Your Fence into a Gardening Asset

Chances are, you have at least considered a fence for your backyard space, if you don’t already have one installed. But a fence can do more than just make your space feel like an oasis from daily life. It also has the potential to expand your cool backyard ideas for your garden.

Whether you have a chain link, mesh, or privacy fence, you can turn that barrier into a beautiful asset by installing garden boxes along the fence. This will add a pop of color and vibrancy, allow you to expand your gardening dreams, and help pull every aspect of your backyard together to help complement the overall appeal.

12. Structure Your Garden to Welcome Guests

Glasses of rose wine seen during a friendly party of a celebration. Generative Ai

It’s no secret that planting a whole new garden of various flowers and other greenery can be an exciting part of fleshing out your cool backyard ideas! But the truth is, you can tailor what you’ve already got in your gardening plot to elevate your backyard aesthetic.

Consider using items like trellises or smaller pergolas to transform tomato, squash, cucumber, or bean growth into an aesthetic element. Opt for stunning wooden raised beds over in-ground planting. Create visual appeal by keeping clear, symmetrical beds with even space between them, where you can build in walkways so you and your guests can peruse and admire your growing plants at will.

This is another area where you can use string lights to your advantage! Framing your gardening areas with poles and hanging lights between them can create a cozy, welcoming environment around your garden, beckoning guests in to admire and enjoy the food you’re growing.

Recreational Ideas

13. Build in Some Gaming Areas

playing cornhole game outside in summer

It may be simple enough to buy a foldable, storable game of bocce ball or cornhole, or a tennis net that can be torn down and tucked away. But you can really elevate your cool backyard ideas by making some beloved games a permanent fixture of your space!

Consider installing a tennis court, bocce ball area, croquet course, or a put-put space. You can also use hedges or a rose garden to cordon off these areas, making for a fun recreational space some guests can enjoy while others take advantage of the more relaxing areas of your backyard.

14. Install An In Ground Trampoline

This one is popular with both kids and adults! Above-ground trampolines are just about everywhere these days, but they can become a lot of hassle in bad weather and be a pain to deal with in the wintertime. They can also raise concerns about safety, with or without a net.

So, in order to really optimize your space and get the most bang for your buck, consider an alternative that makes for a really unique and cool backyard idea: install an in ground trampoline! These tend to last longer, they can be a lot safer, and their standout design and installation style will raise the appeal tremendously.

15. Make a Movie Space

This cool backyard idea will make your house the talk of the neighborhood! By getting a movie projector and hanging a screen against your fence or the side of your house, you can transform your backyard into an at-home movie theater.

This is a great way to make lasting memories and pull everyone together to wind down at the end of a long day enjoying your fun backyard. Set up cushions and furniture, settle in with some popcorn, and get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime with this fun backyard activity!

Wrapping Up Cool Backyard Ideas for a Unique Space

Now that you’ve caught some vision for cool backyard ideas that will make your space really stand out, it’s time to take things to the next level! Check out some other must-have considerations for your design, decor, recreation, and more, over on our Backyard Living page.