Dreamy Outdoor Backyard Living Spaces and Inspiration

When this time of year rolls around, I turn into an outdoor/landscaping crazy person! I can’t stop looking through photos for inspiration and ideas. I firmly believe that your backyard should be an extension of your home and be a place where you can just get away from it all and relax. It drives me nuts that our own backyard is just a huge empty space, but hopefully this year that will change. I’ve always said that if we ever win the lottery, the first thing I would do is hire a landscaper to finish off our yard and make it perfect. Here is some of my latest backyard inspiration… I am pretty sure you will fall in love with these spaces too and be yearning for yard work!

This outdoor living area is perfection. I love the look of the wood lower floor mixed with the stone upper level. The lighting really sets the mood for a summer get together on the patio.  (photo: gdalandscape.com)

This home in La Quinta, California is like something from my dreams! I’ve always been a huge fan of having a bonfire area in the center of a pool, with stepping stones leading to it. It’s such a fun idea and I doubt it would ever get old. Can this please be my house? (photo: pekarekcrandell.com)

I’m also a huge fan of comfy seating outside. I really love this first photo because you could easily make your own seat like this out of wood pallets. Hmmm… new summer project?  I can just picture myself wasting an afternoon out there, reading magazines and eating fruit. The second photo would be perfect seating for a bonfire too!!  I like how it’s a permanent structure made of natural stone, with colourful cushions to top it off. (photos: gmconstructioninc.com; gracedesignassociates.com)

Yes, yes, YES! This is the perfect mix of function and design and I want to skip across all of those planks right now!  I absolutely love how the stones (or are they wood?) are incorporated into the surrounding deck. This whole setup makes the idea of visiting a cabin in the woods by yourself a little less scary. (photo: trestlewood.com)

Doors!!!  These make such better alternatives to your standard gate. I am obsessed with the first image. That rustic castle-like feel. With a gate like that, you know that what’s beyond it is bound to be magical. On the right, an old door has been put to good use in this garden entryway. Easy to do too! (photos: rosewoodcustombuilders.comroomsnblooms.com)

Oh hello there, puppy! Isn’t this backyard area just lovely?! Framed by trees, comfy seating, and a fireplace for those cooler nights! The image on the right is something that I have been thinking about doing in our backyard. A slightly raised deck to hold a table and chairs. (photos: culbertsondurstinteriors.com; tdl.com.au)

Finally, isn’t this just the coolest thing ever? This living area is outside! The deck is covered by an awning and the side of the house is wall-less. Imagine just walking from your kitchen into your backyard seamlessly! (photo: dannybroearchitect.com)

What would you do to your yard if you won the lottery?

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By Dana Fox

Founder of the Wonder Forest blog and brand and bestselling author of the Watercolor With Me book series.

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