Transform Your Backyard with These 5 Landscaping Ideas

Revitalizing your backyard with proper care and a green thumb will create an atmosphere that’s complementary to your home’s architecture and interior design. Whether you’re someone who loves to view a sea of roses or bronze sculptures surrounded by mounds of moss, your backyard is a direct reflection of your personality. What’s great about landscaping is its ability to increase your property’s value.

Luckily for you, if you don’t mind working up a sweat and getting a little dirty, creating your dream outdoor oasis can be done at an affordable cost. We’ve compiled some charming, warming ideas that’ll make your backyard that much more special.

Adding Some Greenery

Let’s start with the obvious: Plants, plants, plants, and more plants. It’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for before buying any green, colorful family members. Read on to learn some brief, smart tips that will make the decision-making process a whole lot easier based on what kind of plant you are interested in.

Cacti & Succulents: If you’re looking for a dry, warming feel and perhaps aren’t fond of constantly watering grass, then cacti and succulents are perfect for you. From vibrant greens to shades of red, pink, and purple, variations of these plants are low maintenance, require minimal water, and flourish through most weather conditions. These plants complement elegant homes that are minimally designed or are decorated with old, aged antiques. 

Flowers: From the various-colored roses and tulips to vibrantly yellow sunflowers, adding beautiful foliage to your backyard can bring a wholesome feel. The color added will seamlessly fit in with areas of grass, any style of water fountains and can provide a lovely scent. Common household perennials and annuals can be found at your local hardware store and nursery.  

Trees: If I’d ask you to envision a tree from California, chances are you would see a palm tree. A couple of these added to any backyard will give it a buzzing, eclectic feel. For a sleeker, calmer tree that provides plenty of shade, consider the silver maple. Lastly, mostly grown for privacy, arborvitae trees are bushy, slim, and grow vertically. These work best when placed near walls and neighboring properties. 


With beautiful weather, socializing with family and friends in the backyard can take place yearly. If you desire a lovely area that acts as the backyard’s focal point, a terrace is a great option. What differentiates a terrace from a patio is that patios are generally attached to the back of the house; terraces are detached and act as a centerpiece. Read on to learn some simple design ideas that can really add personality to your home.

Materials: Terraces can be built out of several materials, each of them with its own advantages, costs, and appearances. Depending on your home’s appearance, there’s a material that can complement it, whether it be wood, stone, brick, concrete, tile, and marble. Within each material are subcategories like color, size of the panels, and shapes.  

Furniture: In your backyard oasis, you’ll want to have areas to sit, place food & drinks, and perhaps lay down under the sun. When it comes to outdoor furniture, you’ll be able to get as creative as you want. From loveseats to chairs and outdoor dining tables to small coffee tables, there’s furniture that will accommodate you and your family’s needs. 

Extra Accessories: Picture this: you just built a lovely terrace and have a feeling something could be added. Other ideas, whether they are to fill up negative space or objects that can be used, include potted plants, outdoor grills, and umbrellas or canopies. 

Lighting Fixtures

Key lighting fixtures are essential, unique tools that help emphasize and highlight focal points, plus they help to create a warm feel during different times in the evening. From solar panels to energy-efficient bulbs, lighting is an economical way to add both extra visibility and flair to your backyard. Below, there are some options that would work best for practically any architectural style. 

Flood & Path Lighting: If you have any walkways around your newly designed backyard, consider lining their perimeters, especially for gatherings that take place at night. A glowy, warming effect adds just an extra bit of taste, plus it allows for you to see where you’re walking. Floodlighting is perfect for when you would like to highlight specific objects within a low-light setting, like specific plants or art pieces. 

Deck Rail Lights: For patios, terraces, and areas with stairs, imbed deck rail lights to the faces of each stair. When dark, these lights highlight each stair, plus they act as a safety tool in making sure you can see where you’re stepping. Home Depot has several affordable options for deck rail lighting. 

String Lights: With a vintage summertime feel, string lights carry a soft, warm ambiance through the open spaces in which they hang. Usually hung from edges of rooftops to supports from patio fixtures, string lights create a cozy atmosphere and would work beautifully over a fire pit or dining area. 

Wall lights: These are usually placed symmetrically near important doorways and garage areas. If any of your current wall light fixtures seem a bit lackluster, consider ornate, bronze-finished lights for a sophisticated, modern look.

Stone Paths

With a spacious backyard, walking along stone pathways can be both sensible and attractive. Not to mention, stone walkways are very aesthetically pleasing. Whether you place large, chunky pieces of stone or small bricks down, created paths mesh beautifully with surrounding trees, bushes, and flowers to give your backyard oasis a cabin, forestry feel. Read on to learn various forms of these paths.

Stone paths: The stones used for creating paths come in an assortment of sizes, textures, and natural or uniform designs. From dark red brick to marble stone and concrete blue, there’s an option that will seamlessly fit into your backyard. 

Pebble rivers: For a slight zen garden aesthetic, line and create borders with your favorite color pebbles. This landscaping idea can be used for creating smooth transitions between sections like gardening areas. Lining the length of a wall, or surrounding stone paths is commonly done. This is a great option, as it doesn’t need to be watered like grass, and it reduces the amount of dirt being tracked into the house. 

Water Features

There’s something about flowing, trickling water that brings a calming sensation to any backyard. Whether you’re seeking a bold centerpiece or would just like soft, calming water sounds in the background, there are options for you. Some simple ways to achieve this include adding a fountain, statues, or a swimming pool.

A classic, multi-tiered pedestal water fountain works perfectly as a centerpiece. They range in height, though they will generally be above 5-feet — fountains like these work best for colonial, village, Monterey, and Spanish homes. 

On the flip side, smaller, statuesque water fountains are also made and can work well throughout your backyard. Usually, under 5-feet, these fountains can be placed near doorways, patios, and within a field of plants. Designs range from rocky waterfalls to rustic barrels and zen-filled geometry. Here are some intriguing, discussion-worthy fountains that will surely capture the eyes of guests. 

The costliest option, if you’re up for it, is hiring a contractor to build and create a swimming pool. With intense summer months, the idea of placing a pool in the backyard is increasingly appealing. To make the swimming experiences feel more luxurious, the perimeter of the pool can be accentuated with plants, statues, and sleek tile. 

Final thoughts

The possibilities are endless when it comes to renovating your backyard. Your luxurious home, its curbside appeal, and value can be complemented by new landscaping. Revamping the backyard makes being outside and under the Californian sun more enjoyable, especially with family and friends.

If you have any questions in regards to great contractors in the neighborhood or one that designed a backyard of a listed house with which you’ve fallen in love, contact Bill Ruane. Bill and his team’s expertise and attention to detail will ensure a smooth and optimal real estate transaction. Hailing from the South Bay and specializing in Hollyglen, Del Aire, Hawthorne, Westchester, Culver City, Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, and El Segundo real estate, Bill and his team can help you every step of the way.