5 Steps to a Great Backyard Design

October 27, 2022 FieldTurf Landscape
Is your backyard due for a makeover? Whether you’ve just moved in or you’re trying to spruce up the yard you’ve lived with for years,...

Is your backyard due for a makeover? Whether you’ve just moved in or you’re trying to spruce up the yard you’ve lived with for years, you can still create a backyard that perfectly suits you and your lifestyle. While landscaping can be complicated, a few simple design considerations can make it much more approachable for home gardeners of any level.

We talked with the expert landscape designers at Tilly to get the scoop on what they’ve learned through thousands of landscape designs. Tilly is an entirely online landscape design company that matches homeowners with certified landscape designers and landscape architects who understand their style and their climate. After one-on-one video calls and walkthroughs of the space with the client, their designer delivers a full landscaping plan that’s ready to be handed off to a local contractor or boldly DIY-ed.

No matter your style, region, or budget, these five design principles from Tilly can help guide your renovation and get the backyard design ideas flowing!

#1. Consider How You’ll Use the Space

Everyone uses their backyard differently, and your outdoor space should be just as unique as you are. Think about who will be using your yard and all the things they’ll be using it for.

You might be dreaming of the perfect patio space to host outdoor happy hours while your kids want an obstacle course where they can run wild. Maybe your partner wants a vegetable garden, and your dog would love a space where they can run off-leash.

Congrats! After considering this, you’ve started your wish list of backyard landscaping ideas!

#2. Prioritize What’s Most Important

Chances are that once you write down everything you’d love to have in your backyard, your wish list will include more than can actually fit in your space. The next step is to look over your wish list with a critical eye and think about what features will get the most valuable and consistent use.

If you’re someone who loves outdoor entertaining for your whole crew, a large patio area would probably be important for you! A large seating area near an outdoor kitchen would take your weekly dinner parties to the next level. On the other hand, if you prefer to keep things intimate with just you and your family, a small patio with a fire pit and a couple of adirondack chairs might be all you need to relax under the stars on the weekends.

The key is to not devote too much backyard space to things that won’t actually serve your family. Prioritize what will get the most use and be the most impactful, and include those top features first when you create your final backyard landscape design.

#3. Landscape Sustainably

Thinking about sustainability when you plan your backyard design can help reduce its impact on both the environment and your weekend backyard maintenance. Some of our top tips of things to consider when planning low-maintenance, sustainable landscapes include:

  • Minimize real grass. Grass lawns cover over 40 million acres of the U.S., guzzling up water, requiring fertilizers and chemicals, needing gas for mowers, and offering no ecological benefits. Switching to a grass alternative like artificial turf like FieldTurf Landscape products can save both water and your hard work on lawn maintenance. 
  • Use native plants. Plants that are already specialized to your soil and climate will need less water, fertilizer, pesticides, and general maintenance while also adding natural sources of food and shelter for wildlife into your outdoor space.
  • Consider drought-tolerant landscaping. If you live anywhere with limited rain (or you’d just like a lower water bill), drought-tolerant plants and landscaping techniques will keep wasted water to an absolute minimum.

If you want to take your commitment to sustainability even further, you can consider designing your backyard to be a Certified Wildlife Habitat® that benefits your whole local ecosystem!

#4. Find Your Style

Once you know what features you want, you can choose what they look like! We always recommend looking through landscape photos for inspiration and saving your favorites. Having a mood board of images can be helpful whether you’re hiring a designer or creating your plan yourself. A landscape designer will be able to use them to understand your taste and aesthetic, while you can use them to break down the traits you really like in a garden.

For example, you might have figured out that you like a modern landscaping style, but how does that translate into actual materials? By looking at inspirational photos, you can pick out your favorite elements, like square concrete pavers and sleek metal planters, that will help you bring that style to life in your own backyard.

#5. Make a Master Plan

After considering your priorities, how you will use your space, and your sustainability needs, you can start to draft a plan. Within this, you can include the materials you want to use and plants you plan to use to create your ideal design. It’s important that your space has a logical flow and that your plants will have seasonality and layers and work for your sun and shade requirements. 

If you aren’t sure you want to tackle this alone, you can partner with an experienced landscape designer who knows exactly how to make the most of your space and understands which plants can be used in your space. 

The best part about having a master plan for your backyard design is that you can install it in phases without having to backtrack. There’s nothing worse than reaching phase two of your installation and having to dig up a bunch of plants because they no longer work for your plan! Pre-planning lets you move at your own pace and make the renovation process as stress-free as possible.

When all these pieces come together, the end result is a beautiful backyard that is made just for you.

Guest Author – Tilly Design

Benefits of Switching from Natural Grass to Fake Grass

Are you looking for a low-maintenance, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to keep your backyard looking great all year round? Fake grass is a perfect solution! FieldTurf Landscape has years of experience helping people make the change. Below, we will explore the many benefits of fake grass for the backyard, from cost savings and maintenance...

Why Use Artificial Turf for Backyard Putting Greens?

Your backyard is the ultimate place to build a putting green and work on your short game. Using traditional grass takes time to grow and to build the perfect green, so use artificial turf for the backyard instead. Use Turf for the Backyard for Longevity If you want your putting green to last longer than...

5 Steps to a Great Backyard Design

Is your backyard due for a makeover? Whether you’ve just moved in or you’re trying to spruce up the yard you’ve lived with for years, you can still create a backyard that perfectly suits you and your lifestyle. While landscaping can be complicated, a few simple design considerations can make it much more approachable for...

Guide to A Beautiful Spring Home

Spring is around the corner! It’s time to create that beautiful spring home garden and artificial grass lawn with this home gardening guide. Install an artificial grass lawn with FieldTurf Landscape that will look beautiful year-round. The warming weather of Spring will often wreak havoc on real grass lawns by causing dry, yellow patches and...

10 Tips to Create an Environmentally Friendly Landscape

Environmentally-friendly landscaping is easy to achieve, more than you might think! However, one pain point for homeowners who live in hot, dry climates is the landscaping required to maintain natural grass and shrubbery. Grass and other greenery require large amounts of water and maintenance, which can be wasteful in these arid environments. Keep reading for...

What Every Homeowner Needs to Know Before Purchasing Artificial Grass

Any home transformation project is a sizable investment of both time and money, so it’s important to be an informed consumer before making any big decisions. Committing to artificial turf in particular can feel like a daunting task since the market is flooded with different products and companies, all of whom offer varying levels of...

The Real Difference Between Artificial Grass and Organic Sod

When contemplating a home upgrade or change to your yard, it’s tempting to think that natural sod grass is the best possible solution. Sure, we often think of “organic” as being better when researching a purchase. The fact is, there are countless benefits to choosing artificial turf for your home landscape. In fact, when weighing...

The Real Cost of a Natural Lawn

Maintaining a lawn, especially in warmer regions, is almost like having a part-time landscaping job! Having a natural sod lawn means Saturday mornings are full of mowing, trimming, putting down fertilizer or pesticides, watering, and more backbreaking tasks. With hours of work gone under the hot sun - it’s easy to lose sight of how...

Here's Why Artificial Grass By FieldTurf Landscape Is Best For Your Pets

Rain, snow, and sleet have nothing on Ultimate Pet! Ultimate Pet is our durable, resilient, and carefully made artificial grass for dogs (or cats!), manufactured with global components right here in the United States.  Let’s dive into why Ultimate Pet is the ideal synthetic grass choice for your pets: Superior Craftsmanship The ultra-soft polymer yarn...

How Artificial Turf Helps You Style Your Backyard

The benefits of installing artificial turf in your backyard don’t have to be purely practical!  High-quality artificial grass looks natural, lush, and soft. An attractive addition to any backyard, artificial turf is virtually maintenance-free and is sure to make your backyard the envy of barbeque season! The design possibilities are endless. Whether you want an...

What To Consider When Buying Artificial Turf For Your Pets

 Those dry, hot southern summers have caused homeowners to despair over their brown lawns for decades. Prickly and dehydrated grass is no more fun to look at than it is for your pet to play on! For this reason, many homeowners turn to artificial grass for their dogs and, of course, for aesthetic reasons.  Bonus,...

How Artificial Turf Keeps Your Kids Safe

We know that artificial grass has many benefits, but one we love most is that it’s a safe, clean surface for your children to play on.  If you’re looking to install artificial turf in your backyard and you’re wondering if artificial grass is safe for your kids - rest assured that it’s a worthy investment....

8 Reasons to Install an Artificial Putting Green

Golf is a tedious game that requires hours of practice. Avid golfers never tire of improving their game and actually enjoy practicing their putting and chipping. But this usually requires trips to their local course. Imagine the advantage you’d have if you could practice every day on your very own customized putting green. Well, with...

The Benefits of Artificial Grass for Pool Areas

When it comes to backyard pools, the goal is to maximize relaxation and beauty while minimizing maintenance. The simple solution to that problem is installing artificial turf around your pool area. While you may be tempted to go with concrete or another poolside surface, the benefits of synthetic grass will exceed your expectations. Artificial grass...

What to Consider When Installing a Personal Putting Green

So you’ve made the wise decision to invest in a personal putting green. Not only will you save money on visits to the golf course, but you’ll also ensure that you can get the leg up on your golf buddies by practicing as often as you want. Still, before you get your custom artificial turf...

Learn the Benefits of Artificial Turf For Dogs

It’s no secret - dogs love to play in the yard. They enjoy running around, using the washroom, digging, and doing other messy activities. While it might be fun to watch your dog enjoy themselves and play, cleaning up your lawn after isn’t so fun. Plus, there’s the inevitable paw marks on your floor and...

Why You Should Choose FieldTurf Landscape for Your Pool Area

The general consensus is that artificial turf is the best choice for the foundation of your swimming pool area. But when it comes time to install, the world of artificial turf is vast and at times overwhelming. Fortunately, FieldTurf Landscape has made it incredibly easy to insure the best possible product for your pool area. ...

Budget-Friendly Landscaping Ideas: Artificial Grass

Artificial turf is a big project, but it reaps big rewards too!  Yet, big projects mean big investments. For many homeowners, it isn't feasible to replace their entire lawn space with artificial turf. Many homeowners have plenty of land, and even with the amount you could save on your energy bill by installing artificial grass,...

6 Ways to Style a Small Backyard

A small backyard doesn’t necessarily mean a boring backyard! There are plenty of ways to breathe life into your small space that incorporates both function and style. When you utilize every square inch, a small backyard transforms into a cozy and inviting space for all occasions! Need inspiration? Look no further. We’ve compiled some landscaping...

Benefits of Switching from Natural Grass to Fake Grass

Are you looking for a low-maintenance, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to keep your backyard looking great all year round? Fake grass is a perfect...

Keep in touch

If you’d like more FieldTurf Landscape tips and updates, sign up for our email list. It’s super low-maintenance, just like our turf.