Backyard Landscape Ideas to Elevate Your Outdoor Space

An outdoor dining table underneath a purple dusk sky

It’s easy to neglect your backyard when the temperatures are below zero or spring rain is in the forecast, but warm weather is coming, and it’s time to start thinking about your outdoor space. Now is the perfect time to start thinking about backyard landscaping ideas that will make your backyard more inviting.

In preparation for backyard season, Green Side Up Contracting has put together this inspiration guide to the top trending backyard landscape ideas of the year.

Backyard Landscape Ideas

Outdoor Living Rooms

Indoor-outdoor integration isn’t just for California. Seamless indoor-outdoor integration is becoming increasingly common in Ontario as homeowners embrace outdoor living rooms so that they can make the most of the summer months.

One of the key features that can take an outdoor living room to the next level of luxury and comfort is an outdoor fireplace. Talk to us about your options for custom outdoor fireplaces and create a unique gathering place in your backyard that will wow your guests and bring comfort and warmth, even on chillier evenings. Picture yourself curled up on the couch in front of a roaring fire and looking up to enjoy the stars above.

Outdoor Kitchens

Want more time outdoors? Think beyond the grill when it comes to cooking in the fresh air. Custom outdoor kitchens will change the way you approach dinner, whether company’s over or you just don’t feel like going inside today. Covered outdoor kitchens protect you from the elements while giving you the joys of open-air cooking. These spaces are designed to blend seamlessly with your deck, patio, or pool.

Integrated indoor-outdoor living can completely change your perspective on everyday living. If you’ve ever noticed how your kitchen is a natural gathering place for your family, you understand how transformative an outdoor kitchen can be.

Edible Landscaping

One of the biggest new trends that homeowners in the GTA are integrating into their backyards is edible landscaping. Fruit-bearing trees and vegetable patches are catching the interest of homeowners who want to feel more connected to their food. They have a love of gardening and are ready to take it to the next level, creating more sustainable living practices and discovering the joy of produce grown right in your own backyard.

Water Features

Incorporating water into your backyard or garden will bring a soothing, tranquil energy to your outdoor space. The sound of running water has always fascinated people, and it can completely transform the vibe of the space that you’re trying to create. Water features have a centering effect that will immediately draw people’s attention.

Water features with enduring popularity include tabletop fountains, multi-tiered fountains, and water walls. In addition to the aesthetic appeal of a water feature, you can also install features that reuse and recycle rain water, reducing water consumption and helping your property capture more rainfall instead of creating runoff.

Interlock Patios

An interlock patio is a great alternative or addition to a wood deck. It can create a second level to your yard if you want a patio that steps off from your deck, or it can extend right out of your living room.

Interlock is a great low-maintenance and weather-resistant solution. Interlock patios have also become more popular lately because of the high cost of lumber and supply shortages. You may be surprised to learn that the cost of an interlock patio can actually be much less than a composite deck. Check out an interlock cost calculator to see what kind of a difference it can make for your budget.

A man pulls a flowering plant out of his garden with his hand while a woman smiles behind the plant

Low Carbon Landscaping

Reducing the carbon footprint of your home has become a priority for many homeowners as more people become aware of the impact their home has on the environment. One of the ways people are living more sustainable lifestyles is by using low carbon landscaping in their homes.

Low carbon landscaping includes projects like building patios or walkways with permeable pavers, installing green roofs, and creating rain gardens. These eco-friendly projects often combine two solutions in one, by reducing your household water consumption and reducing the amount of polluted runoff that leaves your property during major rainfall events.

Eco-friendly landscaping can also focus on eco lawns. These are lawns that do something very different from the typical grass lawn that dominates most North American backyards. They make use of natural pollinators, native species, drought-resistant plants, and herbaceous plants to make sure your yard consumes less water and energy and helps local ecosystems.

Immersive Gardens

An immersive garden goes way beyond convention. Immersive gardens tell stories that evoke emotions and build a stronger connection with nature. They emphasize a wider diversity of plants, water features like fountains, streams, or waterfalls, and pathways that allow you to get lost in a private sanctuary.

With spring here, talk to us about residential landscape maintenance. At Green Side Up, we can handle your whole spring clean up, getting your backyard ready for your next big gardening project. Our spring clean ups include thatching grassed areas, removing debris and detritus leftover from fall, blowing dead material out of shrubs and hedges, top dressing and over seeding, and tilling garden beds. Start fresh this year for better growth.

Drought-Tolerant Plants

More environmentally-minded homeowners may choose to landscape using drought-tolerant plants. These are plant species that can withstand drier conditions and can be ideal for landscaping as the summers get hotter and drier. Not only will choosing drought-tolerant plants reduce your household water consumption, but it also means your yard will look better even during the toughest summers.

Unique Outdoor Living Spaces

A lot of backyard landscaping tends to focus on things like dining outdoors and with good reason. When the sun is out late into the evening, eating outside is a treat in itself. But there’s more to your backyard than dining al fresco.

More and more people are looking at their backyards as multifunctional places for everyday living, not just a space for special occasions or entertaining company. People are looking at their backyards as spaces where they can work, practice yoga, meditate, or where they can set up stations for the kids to do homework, too.

Vertical Gardening: Green Walls

One of the downsides of city living is that privacy can be a bit of an issue. In your backyard, you want to create an oasis that you can enjoy in privacy. A green wall brings a vertical element to your garden, making use of climbing vines and plants that cascade downward.

Keep in mind that climbing vines and ivy can damage brick, and you may want to build a separate structure for a green wall rather than rely on the side of your home. Talk to us about custom carpentry services for all kinds of features that you can add to your deck or backyard. We can do everything from hot tub enclosures to pergolas and structures that are perfect for a green wall.

Warm backyard lighting hanging from a fence

Top Trends for Exterior Backyard Landscape Design in 2024

While projects like building a pool or adding a deck are best done with the help of a top-quality contractor, there are also plenty of exterior backyard landscape design ideas that you can implement on your own. They include new furniture, accents, lighting, and other projects that you can incorporate into your backyard.

Ambient Lighting

For families that love spending their evenings out in the backyard, the lighting can change everything. You want to strike a balance between softness and illumination with your lighting – no harsh floodlights, but not so dim that you can’t see each other. Consider options like LED pathway lights, sconces for covered areas, and statement fixtures.

Industrial Accents

Industrial touches create a fascinating contrast with the natural setting of the backyard. Materials like concrete, metal, and reclaimed wood add a certain edge to the softness of the grass, plants, and flowers, and they’re easily incorporated into your backyard through things like metal pergolas, metal fireplaces, and reclaimed wood furniture like an outdoor dining table. If you’re building an outdoor kitchen, you have the ideal opportunity to add some industrial accents to your décor.

Handmade Decor

If industrial isn’t your style, you can always take a different tact. Custom, handmade decor is always a conversation piece. People are used to seeing the same mass-produced items. Adding something unique, like a sculpture or custom-built furniture, will feel all your own and spark a bit of extra joy when you’re enjoying your outdoor space.

Before you start planning a backyard reno, like a new deck, garden, or even just updating your patio furniture, find some inspiration in the latest trends in backyard landscape design. Green Side Up Contracting can help you with all of your landscape construction needs. We’ll help you design, plan, cost out, and build just about anything in your backyard. You can use our deck calculator to find a rough estimate of the cost of a deck, but we’ll also walk you through all the costs that come with custom design decisions, materials, and more.

It’s our goal to create your dream backyard. If you’re feeling inspired to update your backyard this year, give us a call.