Five Backyard Ideas to Improve Your Spaces at Home

Written by Jason Plett Published on May 16th, 2017

Terra Nova offers a wood like appearance, but it is actually concrete tile. Terra Nova is cast using 40 different cuts of wood.

Backyard Landscaping Ideas

The best backyards are multifunctional extensions of the home. They provide a space to unplug, entertain and play. Unfortunately, most backyards are woefully underutilized, especially when considering that the space allocated to yard space is often equal to the home itself. Like any room, a backyard needs to be decorated, furnished and cared for to reach its full potential. One of the best ways to do that is with concrete block, tile and retaining walls. When installed properly, hardscapes will last as long as the home itself. Here are some ideas to get you started.


1) Add Warmth

Good design encourages people to come together, and what better way to do that than around a cozy fire. You can create your own, or pick up one of Barkman’s prepackaged Quarry Stone Fireplaces or Firepits, which make things easy by including step-by-step instructions and all the pre-cut pieces you need. Depending on your style and the size of your space, there are a variety of different options to enhance your outdoor space.

Adding a fire feature has other advantages as well. Fire can be used to cook food, of course, but it can also act as a natural insect repellant. Better still, a fire extends the patio season by providing warmth on cool fall nights. Considering how brief Canadian summers are, getting an extra month or two out of your patio is a huge benefit.

Roman pavers with RomanPisa walls can frame an urban backyard garden with a rustic appeal. 

2) Think Green

No patio, walkway, or retaining wall, no matter how beautifully constructed, will ever look its best without plant life. Whether it’s a carefully plotted French garden, or something a little more informal, trees, shrubs and flowers bring a fresh, living element to any space that simply cannot be achieved any other way. If your backyard doesn’t have an existing garden, consider building in planter boxes out of retaining walls. GFRC or concrete planters are another great option and can even be purchased with a self-watering insert.

The space uses crushed charcoal granite between the Travertine tile, but grass or any roaming plant could also be used so that the plant life extends into the patio itself, making the space seem less segmented.

3) Create Lines with Walls and Paths

Texture and pattern are important elements of any good backyard design. By combining plants and pavers of various shapes and sizes, a sense of harmony and balance can be achieved. Different blocks allow for different patterns. A single size in a running-bond pattern will feel a lot more formal than an irregular pattern created using different block sizes.

Rosetta Dimensional Flagstone adds a beautiful, Mediterranean feel to this backyard pool.

4) Consider Colour

Choose blocks that will compliment your garden as well as your house. Avoid choosing a paver or wall that is a very similar tone to your house or garden space. Look for an accent, rather than a direct match. A block that strongly contrasts with the surrounding plant life or brickwork can also look quite striking. If your backyard features a pool, choose lighter shades that will heat up less in the sun. Cooler pavers mean happier feet.

Bridgewood Slabs have all the beauty of wood and the durability of concrete.

5) Think Big by Thinking Small

A great backyard doesn’t need a major investment to really shine. In a lot of cases, a simple footpath or a small patio installation can make all the difference. Ultimately, the goal is to create a peaceful space that allows you to enjoy your backyard after the hard work of the day has been completed.

Check out our Inspiration Page for more backyard ideas.

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