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Backyards have become a true extension of the home. When properly landscaped, a backyard will provide additional outdoor living space where you can spend time with family and friends. Just like the inside of your home has rooms, your backyard should also have rooms. A good landscape design will create a series of rooms that serve as different spaces for outdoor dining & entertaining within your yard.

The Green Scene in Northridge, CA.

Backyard Living Room

Purpose: entertaining & socializing
Features: patio furniture (love seat, chairs and a coffee table), fire pit or outdoor fireplace
Location: near back door of the house, adjacent to outdoor dining room and kitchen

A backyard living room should have plenty of comfortable seating, and can be situated around an outdoor fireplace.

Shades of Green Landscape Architecture in Sausalito, CA.

Backyard Kitchen & Dining Room

Purpose: cooking & dining
Features: grill, countertops, outdoor dining table and chairs
Location: near back door of the house, adjacent to outdoor living room

Including a built-in grill and dining bar in your backyard design will make your yard the ultimate entertaining space.

Maureen Gilmer - Morongo Valley, CA

Backyard Office

Purpose: working
Features: solid roof, work surface, adequate lighting, wind screen and power connectivity
Location: north side of home for even light

Learn more - Necessities of an Outdoor Office : 7 essential elements for designing a backyard workspace

Huettl Landscape Architecture in Walnut Creek, CA.

Backyard Sanctuary

Purpose: relaxing, reading or contemplating
Features: chaise lounge and a fountain or pond
Location: in a somewhat private part of your yard, off to the side or in a corner

A pair of chaise lounges and a pond provide a relaxing backyard retreat.

Photo courtesy of Grace Design Associates in Santa Barbara, CA.

Backyard Game Room

Purpose: fun & games
Features: basketball court, bocce ball, an in-ground trampoline, a large lawn, etc.
Location: away from the house and neighbors to avoid broken windows or disturbances

You can add a game area to your backyard, such as this bocce ball court.

Shades of Green Landscape Architecture Sausalito, CA

Backyard Garden

Purpose: growing plants, vegetables and herbs
Features: raised beds for vegetables, irrigation system
Location: an area with easy access and good sunlight, can be tucked in a narrow or awkward spot not suited for other purposes

If you want to grow vegetables be sure to plan for a garden room with raised beds.

Huettl Landscape Architecture Walnut Creek, CA

Defining Backyard Rooms

When creating rooms in a backyard, subtle clues should be given that define each space. Landscapers use design tricks to designate outdoor rooms without inhibiting the overall flow and unity of the yard. For example, a patio cover can be placed over a dining area, the paving material can be changed between an outdoor kitchen and an outdoor living room, and a low wall can divide the play area from the vegetable garden.

This backyard's rooms are on different levels and paved with different materials.

Landscaping Network

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