13 Extra-Cool Things to Do With a Backyard

If you’re bored of the typical lawn-and-patio backyard, then maybe it’s time to add some fun to your outdoor living space.

From surfboard showers to freestanding bathtubs, here’s how you can put some character back into your backyard.



1. Add a lava rock shower

Amazing backyard garden and design ideas magazine #backyard #garden
SOURCE: GM Construction, Inc.

Yes, this outdoor shower is in Hawaii, but that doesn’t mean you can’t snag a similar look wherever you live. The lava rock wall provides a natural backdrop for the outdoor shower, while tropical plantings, a teak towel rack and wide stepping stones add appealing texture and a resort-like vibe.

2. Capture a dragon instead

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SOURCE: Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Bathing in the yard not your cup of tea? Then make way for a dragon, or any other creature sculpture, in a vintage tub to create a statement-making fountain.



3. Mimic ancient ruins

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SOURCE: Mayita Dinos Garden Design

A tiny, lush meadow leads to a secluded garden room. Partial stone walls look as if they have been crumbling there for centuries, fire-filled stone urns mark the entrance, and an antique burbling fountain provides soothing sounds.

4. Let your outdoor room ramble

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SOURCE: GARDENIA-Sharly & Tanya Illuz

Instead of filling your entire backyard with grass, try layering connected outdoor rooms, paved in natural stone and interspersed with trees and native plantings.

5. Lay down a stone path

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SOURCE: GARDENIA-Sharly & Tanya Illuz

Make the journey through your backyard enjoyable by laying stone mosaic paths instead of the typical concrete or stepping stones.

6. Set up an outdoor tub

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SOURCE: swelldone.com

Could there be anything more freeing than bathing in the great outdoors? If privacy is a concern, a roll-down screen can help you feel less exposed but still connected with the surrounding landscape.



7. Arrange a living room right on the lawn

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SOURCE: Antonio Martins Interior Design

Why stick with furniture only on the patio or deck? Create an outdoor living room that really embraces the outdoors by positioning your furniture in an area of your yard planted with grass or a foot-traffic-friendly ground cover.

8. Use colorful tile

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SOURCE: Marco Antun

Spice up your outdoor kitchen with a colorful patchwork of tiles. If you don’t have an outdoor kitchen, a patchwork-tiled table or bench would be just as eye catching.

9. Plan a secret seating area

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SOURCE: JWT Associates

Follow a path lined with bamboo plantings to a hidden seating area and discover the perfect place to kick back and relax. The wicker lounge chair provides another layer of privacy when you’re seated, making this an ideal hideaway.

10. Set up a dining table

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SOURCE: VAN SWEDEN

Add a dining table and chairs to your backyard to encourage your family to dine al fresco.



11. Create a vine-covered party pad

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SOURCE: Vgzarquitectura Diseño SC

Make a lush, jungle oasis by training climbing vines over garden walls and stringing up rows of glowing lights. A long, low outdoor fireplace is the perfect spot for gathering around, while weatherproof modern chairs add a colorful touch.

12. Add a built-in mosaic bench

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SOURCE: Clement Desylva

This gorgeous built-in mosaic bench reminds me of the whimsical designs of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona. A piece like this would be a welcome change from standard backyard furniture that needs to be protected from rain and snow.

13. Or how about a surfboard shower?

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SOURCE: Wilco Bos Design + Remodels

Resurrect a favorite old surfboard by turning it into a unique outdoor shower.

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