Backyard Idea Book

by Lee Anne White

Backyard Idea Book showcases hundreds of creative, practical ideas for planning and decorating inviting yet functional backyard spaces. From porches, patios, and decks to pools and retreats to kids spaces and storage, this book is filled with fresh ideas to help you create a beautiful backyard that reflects and enhances your lifestyle. 

"Fabulous. It works like a reference manual for homeowners and professionals alike." -- Lynette Jennings, creator and host of Lynette Jennings Design



The Inviting Backyard
Expand Your Living Space
Create Your Own Domain
Start by Dividing Spaces
Collaborate with Nature 

Dining and Relaxing
Under the Shelter of a Porch or Portico
A Dream Deck
A Patio and Terrace Link to the Landscape
A Peaceful Courtyard
Cooking Out
Keeping Warm
Adding a Garden Structure
Creating a Casual Seating Area
Lighting the Outdoors 

Backyard Fun and Games
Kids Play Spaces
Recreational Spaces
Pools and Spas
Specialty Gardens 

Backyard Buildings
Studios and Retreats
Greenhouses and Potting Sheds
Storage Buildings 

Credits and Resources


It may not be obvious as you drive down the street, but theres a minor revolution taking place in Americas backyards. Behind those picket fences, we are retreating to the backyard after long work weeks and relaxing on our decks, porches, and patios. Were fleeing the comfort of air-conditioned interiors to cook, dine, and entertain alfresco. Were escaping to backyard playgrounds, courts, and pools for hours of family fun and games. Now that weve rediscovered the joys of staying at home, were finding new ways to spend that time outdoors. 

This shift toward outdoor living is changing the way we design backyards. Large expanses of green grass are surrendering to smaller patches of more easily managed lawn. Long, regimented rows of vegetables are being replaced by small yet efficient kitchen gardens planted just outside the back door. Folding chairs on concrete surfaces are being deserted for cushioned sofas on flagstone patios and redwood decks, often flanked by cozy fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, and soothing water features. The lines between indoors and out are forever blurred. 

Our concept of backyard activities is expanding, too. Swings may never lose their attraction, but they are just one element in a backyard playground that also includes slides, forts, bridges, and climbing structures. Badminton nets and croquet hoops are still common, but so are bike paths, bocce courts, and putting greens. And swimming pools -- once little more than rectangular holes in the groundnow run the gamut from pint-sized plunge pools and long, narrow lap pools to naturalistic pools with boulders, beaches, and waterfalls. 

In Backyard Idea Book, youll get a look at the latest trends in outdoor design to help you sort through the many new products and innovative ideas designed for outdoor living. And youll find inspiration for enhancing your own backyard with inviting spaces in which youll want to spend many sunny afternoons and starry evenings while relaxing among family and friends.