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Modern Backyard Landscaping Ideas & Inspiration

By Axis Fuksman-Kumpa September 7, 2021

Modern Outdoor Fire Place

Understanding your garden style is a critical piece of the puzzle when creating a successful backyard or front yard landscape design plan. Modern landscape design focuses on the principles of classic geometry and straight lines. It generally incorporates a smaller color palette for plant material and a more neutral palette for hardscape. Clean edges, balance and scale are all critical to this look. Repetition of a small number of plants will also help achieve this look.

A modern house exterior doesn't require modern landscaping and vice versa. There are ways to incorporate the design principals into your yard to achieve this style no matter the home.

Check out some fun Tilly modern landscaping ideas and see what inspires you!

Colorado Cozy

This backyard features ornamental grasses that provide texture and movement. The green color palette is a great backdrop and creates an intimate feeling in this "outdoor living room" space. Rectangular stone pavers ground the design.

modern backyard with a concrete fire pit and outdoor seating

Tennessee Delight

This gorgeous modern backyard design focuses on a smaller plant selection and groups them in deliberate and repetitive masses giving the space a clean and polished feel. (Okay, we snuck a modern front yard landscaping render too!) Throw up some string lights and have the perfect evening hang out. Edging garden beds is also a key aspect of creating a modern design. Crisp edging will make a huge difference!

modern landscape design ideas
Tennessee Landscape Design

Comfortable in Cali

The neutral hardscape palette for this design gives it a comfortable and modern feel. The outdoor kitchen and modern outdoor fire pit space complete this backyard style. We love the large pavers surrounding the swim-spa on the wood deck.

Modern Pavers and Fire pit
California Landscape Design

Rolling Hills in Virginia

This modern backyard landscape plan allows your eye to travel to focal points throughout the patio, rather than stopping to focus on individual objects.The sloped yard is made useable through this smart design with a stone retaining wall and stairs. The built ins around the fire pit make for a clean look that's no fuss.

Image of a backyard with slope and patio
Virginia Landscape Design

Entertaining in Texas

We love the use of minimal color in this modern Texas backyard makeover! The space feels like a cozy outdoor living room. While this design uses more plants than many modern plans, the way it repeats itself works well in this space. The tiered flagstone patio is perfect to extend the indoor outdoor living for this client.

Modern Back Patio Design
Texas Landscape Design

Sunsets in Nevada

The retaining walls are elevated by the long linear beds of this design. The Tilly lighting plan works to highlight the landscape in the evening and create ambiance and visual appeal. Exterior lighting can play a critical role in landscape design. We also love the stone pavers set in gravel on the side of the house - making what was formerly a messy pass through into a simple, yet beautiful design.

Backyard Design with Retaining Wall
Nevada Landscape Design

Sunshine in New Jersey

This modern backyard design mimics the modern home exterior and architecture. The rectangles and squares translate into long linear beds and patio layout, perfectly framing the in ground pool with a waterfall. This home has multiple entertaining areas to enjoy many family gatherings!

Backyard Modern Patio Idea
New Jersey Landscape Design

S'mores in Cali

The chic use of hardscape, outdoor sofa and architectural design of the outdoor fireplace, make this backyard design concept flawless! The outdoor kitchen, pergola with fireplace and separate fire pit area make this a beautiful oasis.

Modern Outdoor Fire Place
California Landscape Design

Sporty in Illinois

This beautiful design incorporates classic elements into a more modern backyard design giving it the best of both worlds. We love the multiple living spaces seating areas for different activities - the bar and outdoor kitchen, the lounge area, the outdoor fire pit, and the sports court!

Backyard Entertaining Area
Illinois Landscape Design

Pretty in the Longhorn State

The dark pergola, modern pea gravel patio and fun pop of pink used in this small backyard space give it a relaxed feel. We love modern spool for homeowners to relax! Modern is also a great style to embrace a low maintenance design plan.

Outdoor Pergola and Patio
Texas Landscape Design

Mountain Life in Colorado

This modern front yard is achieved through the strategic plant material that is arranged in deliberate and repetitive masses along the foundation. The modern backyard landscaping look is achieved through linear and clean lines and minimum color. The wood deck then moves to gravel with a fire pit area, keeping an organized look throughout.

Backyard Design with Fire pIt
Colorado Landscape Design

Swimmingly Beautiful in Florida

Rectangular pavers in gravel is a great backyard landscaping idea to achieve this a natural modern style, like this Florida design. It’s easy, visually appealing and works in a small or large space. The pool is complimented with modern landscaping plants, such as grasses, the design is complete.

Modern Pool with Lounge Area
Florida Landscape Design

Terrific in Texas

The checked patio pattern adds fun to this modern backyard design. The yard is a functional space for a family with children, while also being a great entertaining space for adults.

Modern Backyard Patio Idea
Texas Landscape Design

Cool in Colorado

The smaller planting palette, neutral hardscape choices and wood fence tied this backyard landscape together nicely while maximizing each area for entertaining and relaxation. The modern outdoor couch is a nice finishing touch in this small backyard.

Image of a backyard with slope and patio

Achieving a Modern Landscape Design

If you're looking to create a modern design, search for modern landscaping ideas when on your neighborhood walks, on Pinterest, Instagram, in gardening books. Start noting what aspects of the design you like - and don't like. Keep track of the plants and grasses you like, the colors you are drawn to, paving patterns, hardscape, walkways - and more. Start a wish list or mood board to help bring your vision to life - or communicate it to a landscape design expert.

If your yard is landscaped, but it's not the modern concept you are going for - don't worry! If you don't have the budget to completely remodel your yard (most don't!) remember it can be phased over time. Sometimes, it's easiest to delete plants that aren't to your liking, are overgrown, or not in great shape. While it may leave your landscape a little bare that can spark great ideas. Or at least give you more of a blank slate to work with.

Consider the modern exterior house colors as well. Our friends at brick&batten, the exterior home design company shared some of their favorite modern home exterior colors this year including Raccoon Fur by Benjamin Moore and Anonymous by Sherwin Williams.

Unsure what your garden style is? No problem, take Tilly’s Garden Style Quiz to find out what you lean towards, whether it's classic, eclectic, cottage, tropical or another.

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