HomeOutdoor Living Blog10 Big Backyard Ideas For a High-Style, Functional Space

10 Big Backyard Ideas For a High-Style, Functional Space

May 21, 2021

Looking for big backyard ideas? Chances are you’re not only interested in creating an attractive yard — you need tips for optimizing your space to its best potential. Lucky for you, we’ve got the landscaping ideas you need to inspire your big backyard project.

Benefits to Designing From Big Backyard Ideas

Room to add multiple functions to the space so you can use it all day long.

More opportunities to create different outdoor experiences, such as large gathering places as well as more private areas.

More ways to incorporate your personal style into multiple elements of your backyard.

Celebrate your expansive space and start planning your yard’s makeover with these big backyard ideas.

Explore our inspiring Deck Ideas Series for everything from styling to design inspiration.

1.) Designate Areas for Use at Different Times of Day

Transform your space into a luxurious outdoor living area where you can enjoy multiple experiences throughout the day — plus, gather with family for an enjoyable escape right out your back door.

Examples of designated areas for different times of day include:

Big backyard ideas build a pool deck

Sunbathe on Your Composite Deck

You may plan to start your day catching some late morning rays, and where better to do that than in a lounge chair on your low-maintenance composite deck?

But as the afternoon sun begins to beat down, you’ll likely want to seek some shade. In which case…

Lounge Under the Pergola

pergola offers semi-shaded protection thanks to its slatted roof — giving you a perfect place for lounging on a warm afternoon.

For greater shade protection, opt for a shade canopy over your pergola’s roof.

Big backyard ideas add a pergola

Want to Beat the Heat?

Don’t worry when the temperature rises. Choose TimberTech AZEK capped polymer decking, which stays up to 30° cooler than the competition. *

*Although TimberTech AZEK decking products are cooler to the touch than many other deck board products, all decking products will get hot in the sun. Additionally, the darker the decking color, the hotter it will feel. For hotter climates, consider choosing a lighter color.

2.) Balance Open & Occupied Space

Big backyard ideas balance open & occupied space

Backyard structures such as decks and patios bring new functionality and character-rich style to your backyard landscape, but to truly optimize your backyard, balance open and occupied space.

Use patios or hardscaping close to your deck to play up texture and create visual interest, but keep parts of the yard structure-free for kids and pets to play, or for garden parties to unfold.

3.) Bring the Indoors, Out

Big backyard ideas bring the indoors, out

Modern backyard ideas include bringing indoor amenities — such as electronics, cushioned furniture, and decor — outdoors. This gives you a true “outdoor living room” where you and loved ones can sit back and enjoy the comforts of the indoors, all while experiencing the beauty of the outdoors.

The best way to integrate indoor amenities into the outdoors is under an enclosed section of your deck, where rain and other inclement weather can’t easily reach. However, it’s still a good idea to choose outdoor-rated furniture and make sure electronics can be stored safely away, since weather can blow in from the sides.

4.) Get Creative With Curves

Looking for big backyard ideas that elevate your space and give you a unique design? Go for curves.

Curving designs make the greatest impact when they have room to show dynamic movement, making them ideal for big backyards.

Creative Deck Ideas featuring TimberTech AZEK Harvest Collection in Brownstone with bright pink potted flowers

Design a Curved Deck

Curved boards* in your deck design give you an eye-catching, unexpected shape that adds softness and elegance to your backyard.

Use curved boards along your deck’s border, as part of your deck stair design, or even as an inlay (a contrasting section within your deck surface).

Create a Curved Landscape

Cultivate curves in your landscape design for a truly elevated aesthetic. Go for winding garden beds, rounded paver walkways, and hedges trimmed into circular shapes.

You can use curves as softer divisions to designate different areas of your space for different uses.

Big backyard ideas create a curved landscape

*Note: Curved decking is achieved through a process called “heat bending,” which will require an experienced contractor to perform. TimberTech® AZEK® boards are best suited to this process.

5.) Play With Deck Patterns

Patterns in your deck design can be subtle or bold, but all patterns add dimension and texture to your outdoor living space. You can get bold with patterns or infuse your space with subtle sophistication — just by considering the board layout of your deck surface.

Big backyard ideas go bold with complex deck patterns

Go Bold With Complex Patterns

Visually complex patterns such as herringbone and diagonals are perfect for larger decks where the pattern has plenty of room to repeat. Consider using multiple patterns (shown here through a central herringbone inlay). Curated pattern play creates focal points and differentiates spaces that serve different functions. 

Stick to Subtle Sophistication

Choose a picture frame border to give your deck a refined, polished appearance. Picture frame decks can feature one, two, or three boards for the frame, each adding another layer of visual interest. For contrast, consider using a different colored deck board for the picture frame.

Big backyard ideas stick to subtle sophistication with deck patterns

6.) Get Creative With Color

Why is color key to big backyard ideas that make an impact? Because the colors you choose don’t only affect your space’s look; they also affect the ambiance. Bright colors typically add energy to your space, while muted colors will contribute to a tranquil vibe.

Places where you can add in color include:

Big backyard ideas get creative with color

Deck Boards

Mix and match deck board colors to create subtle combinations or bold distinctions across your deck surface.

Big backyard ideas choose bold pillows and throws

Furniture & Decor

Add pops of color throughout your backyard with statement-making furniture piecesthrow pillows, and decor elements like plant containers.

Big backyard ideas use flowers and greenery

Flowers & Greenery

Plants offer colors and textures that contribute to your space’s ambiance, whether you’re going for a cottage garden look or a rugged California landscape.

7.) Embrace Low-Maintenance Living

Typically, the bigger the space, the greater its maintenance needs — but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Making low-maintenance choices for your yard’s landscaping minimizes its need for upkeep. Low-maintenance choices for your big backyard include:

Geometric deck steps ideas

Go for Composite Decking

Composite decking is a low-maintenance alternative to traditional wood, which requires rigorous upkeep, including sanding, staining, and sealing, to keep the deck surface looking clean.

A composite deck’s cleaning schedule? An occasional clean and rinse with the appropriate cleaner. Seriously…that’s it.

Opt for a Composite Paver Patio

Use composite pavers rather than traditional paver stones. Paver stones are moisture magnets and require regular sealing and cleaning to keep them from developing mold and mildew.

Composite pavers are resistant to stains, mold, and mildew, so your patio stays beautiful for longer.

Opt for a composite paver patio

8.) Choose Low-Maintenance Plants

Choose low-maintenance plants for your big backyard

Another tip for low-maintenance outdoor living? Choose low-maintenance plants to save yourself the time and trouble of labor-intensive gardening every year.

Tips for Choosing Low-Maintenance Plants

Privacy screen and composite deck

Cultivate Atmosphere & Add Privacy

Flowers and greenery impact your space’s atmosphere by adding a sense of privacy. 

Choose tall, full shrubs to plant along your space’s border, or install a planter wall or trellis at the edge of your deck or patio.

9.) Mix Materials

Mix materials in your yard for a multi-dimensional and multi-textured space. Big backyard ideas that combine materials include:

Introduce texture with landscaping and hardscaping

& Hardscaping

Combine hard and soft textures with hardscaping elements such as stone, rock, and gravel, and landscaping like plants, mulch, and grass.

For a super low-maintenance yard, consider xeriscaping, which champions drought-tolerant plants, the use of mulch and rock, and minimal turf.

Mixed material railing system featuring Drink Rail in the Classic Composite Series by TimberTech

Railings With
Mixed-Material Components

Mix and match railing materials for a curated deck perimeter.

For the greatest design choices, choose a top rail from the Classic Composite Series which can be paired with composite, aluminum, glass, or cable infills.

10.) Go Multi-Level

Incorporate different levels into your backyard to create dimension and introduce greater functionality.

Go multi-level with deck platforms

Subtle Deck Platforms

Divide up your deck design with sections separated by one or two steps. The layers of decking add dimension by breaking up an otherwise flat surface.

Levels can also help you separate different functions of your deck to create multiple outdoor living areas.

A Furnished Under Deck Area

Have a second-story deck? Double your outdoor living space with a water management system that re-directs rainwater to keep your deck and under deck area enduringly beautiful.

Once protected, decorate your under deck space with outdoor furniture and decor to suit your tastes.

Go multi-level with DrySpace or under-deck areas

With an abundance of big backyard ideas to inspire your own project, you’re now ready to start planning your yard’s design. Partner with a TimberTech-registered contractor who can lend you their industry expertise so you can start thinking big.

Bring the Beauty of TimberTech to Your Backyard

Work with a TimberTech pro for a build that transforms your outdoor living space.

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