15 Modern Backyard Ideas to Try This Summer

Light and bright modern backyard with low couches.

While a modern design may seem intimidating and a bit outside the box for outdoor spaces, it’s actually quite easily achieved as long as you follow its basic design rules.

Clean lines, neutral colors, geometric shapes, functional decor, and minimalism are just a few of the key principles of modernism. If you need some inspiration on how to apply modern design in your backyard, we’ve got you covered. Here are 15 modern backyard ideas to try this summer.

  • 01of 15

    Keep Furniture Minimal

    Modern backyard with minimal furnishings and ambient lighting.

    This super trendy and minimal backyard by Huntergreen Garden Design features just a few practical furnishings to allow the landscaping to shine through. Built-in seating along the back fence and plenty of ambient lighting create an inviting space that needs little more than a few chairs to make it feel complete.

    • 02of 15

      Opt for Square Pavers

      Outdoor dining area with large modern pavers.

      Large square pavers are in when it comes to modern backyard design, and this cutting-edge design by Yardzen proves it. To get the look, space them out slightly and add contrasting gravel or sand in between to create a geometric design and make the pavers pop

    • 03of 15

      Add Statement Planters

      Small seating area in a modern backyard with large planters.

      No need to go all out with elaborate garden beds if you’re aiming for a modern look. Several statement planters featuring small trees, shrubs, grasses, or flowers are all that you need to make a minimal and contemporary space.

    • 04of 15

      Stick to Black and White

      Small backyard with modern black and white design.

      Opting for a neutral color palette is always recommended when it comes to modern design. Black and white is a classic pairing that feels instantly modern and is simple to put together. This chic space by Brana Designs features primarily white furnishings with pops of black to provide contrast and drama.

    • 05of 15

      Add an Unexpected Pop of Color

      Modern, clean backyard with a large pool and bright yellow chaise lounges.

      While neutral palettes are the goal, don’t be afraid to add a pop of unexpected color to your backyard, particularly in a bold or neon shade. Maydan Architects used neon yellow chaise lounges as the finishing touches on this modern poolside design.

    • 06of 15

      Try Horizontal Fencing

      Modern backyard with horizontal fence.

      Most wooden fences are made using vertical fence boards, so if you’re going for a more modern design, try installing fence boards horizontally as MGB Building Group did in this downtown Toronto backyard. The result is contemporary and unexpected, not to mention super stylish.

      Continue to 7 of 15 below.
    • 07of 15

      Keep Decor Minimal

      Modern backyard with a pergola and minimal decor.

      Modern design requires clean lines and uncluttered space, so avoid going overboard with decor and accessories. Instead, choose a few practical decor pieces like a fruit bowl or a small planter with herbs inside to finish off the design.

      Continue to 8 of 15 below.
    • 08of 15

      Choose Low-Seated Sofas

      Light and bright modern backyard with low couches.

      Low seating is a quick way to give any space a modern feel. Just take a look at this modern outdoor seating arrangement designed by DMAR Interiors. Add an outdoor rug and some shade cover to make the space truly functional and inviting.

      Continue to 9 of 15 below.
    • 09of 15

      Add a Concrete Patio

      Modern concrete backyard patio.

      When it comes to modern design, clean lines, and minimalism are the goal, and nothing checks those boxes quite like a concrete patio. Opt for large concrete slabs with a smooth finish over smaller and more intricate designs, and use furniture and landscaping to add texture and contrast to the space.

      Continue to 10 of 15 below.
    • 10of 15

      Incorporate Different Textures and Materials

      Large modern backyard with a plunge pool.

      When furnishings and decor are minimal, adding interest through the use of different textures and materials is important. This backyard design by Yardzen incorporates wood, concrete, metal, and fabric in strategic ways to create contrast and visual interest without making the space feel cluttered.

      Continue to 11 of 15 below.
    • 11of 15

      Add a Fire Table

      Large modern backyard with a fire table and couches.

      Fire tables are a great accessory for modern backyards. Not only are they stylish and super functional, but they are literally more modern than alternatives like open fireplaces or fire pits. Choose a fire table with a minimal design to achieve that modern look.

      Continue to 12 of 15 below.
    • 12of 15

      Make It Moody and Dramatic

      Modern black and white backyard.

      McNeill Photography for Allweather Landscape

      The exaggerated use of black in this trendy backyard by Allweather Landscape gives the space a super modern and moody look. The use of white furnishings with light wood and textured plants like grasses and palms keeps the space from feeling too dark while providing plenty of visual interest.

      Continue to 13 of 15 below.
    • 13of 15

      Add a Pergola

      Modern backyard with a large pergola.

      Pergolas are a great addition to any modern backyard because they are sleek and minimal structures that provide shade and make a space more functional. Instagram user @interiorwife added some string lights and tarps to her pergola for some added shade and ambient lighting.

      Continue to 14 of 15 below.
    • 14of 15

      Incorporate Geometric Patterns

      Modern backyard with geometric design.

      This modern backyard may have a neutral color palette, but it’s certainly not lacking in interest thanks to the bold use of geometric shapes and designs. Square pavers and angular furniture are accented by high-contrast patterns on the throw pillows and ottomans for a super contemporary look.

      Continue to 15 of 15 below.

      Match Your Patio Furniture

      Thin backyard patio with a pool and patio furniture.

      Another way to keep things simple in a modern design is to use the same patio furniture throughout the space, rather than mixing and matching different styles. This provides a simple backdrop for features like a large pool and clean landscaping to shine

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