9 Trending and Totally Fun Backyard Ideas to Enhance Your Space

How about a plunge pool or a treehouse?

A great backyard isn't just gorgeous to look at—it's a place where you want to spend a lot of your free time. And it's those outdoor spaces where a lot of people have been spending their time and energy revamping over the past few years, and have become a top priority of both homeowners and home buyers.


Courtesy of Yardzen

"Backyards have long been sanctuaries for homeowners, but the past few years really changed the way people interact with their outdoor spaces," says Kendra Poppy, trends expert and head of brand at Yardzen. "There’s a shifting mindset that outdoor spaces deserve the same personality, function and style as interiors. Couple that with a new generation of millennial homeowners, and remote workers in severe need of a digital detox, and the backyard is now getting a glow up!"

But people are moving beyond just upgrading the grill, adding new landscaping, and buying cozy lounge furniture to find some really unique and entertaining ways to utilize their backyard spaces. Check out some of the biggest trends in backyard enhancements, according to the experts at Yardzen.

01 of 09

Plunge Pools

Plunge Pool


Bigger isn't necessarily better when it comes to swimming pools—and these days, smaller plunge pools have gained in popularity. "Plunge pools have been our most popular style—especially in small yards," Poppy says. "Their small footprint allows space for other backyard amenities like a corresponding sauna, a fire pit seating area, or a pergola and dining area."

Plunge pools can also be easier on the planet, and the budget. "Plunge pools require a lot less water and less upkeep, perfect for someone who wants a quick way to relax or cool off without using heaps of water."

02 of 09


Cedar Sauna Backyard


As more people look to turn their backyards into a wellness zone, saunas have become extremely popular. Yardzen has logged a 45 percent increase in sauna requests in the last year alone.

03 of 09

Accessory Spaces

Creative Accessory Dwelling Units


Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) have become big during the pandemic, as homeowners look to create a little sanctuary or even a work-from-yard office. And the trend has continued, with a 33 percent increase in requests for sheds, ADUs, and other storage units over the past year.

Even in the smallest of sheds, people are able to carve out a special space. "We've gotten many requests for offices, studio or creative spaces, yoga and fitness rooms, greenhouse-style sheds with seating, and more," Poppy says. "Our own design director even built a soundproof drum studio in his shed."

04 of 09

Tree Houses and Play Structures

Tree Houses


Kids are getting their own outdoor sanctuaries in many backyards. Tree house requests are up 14 percent, and play structures up 28 percent.

Poppy says the increase in outdoor dwellings may be tied to the tough housing market and higher interest rates. "It's made it challenging for people to move or size up, so many homeowners are finding ways to embrace their existing space," she says. "We see that playing out through these backyard features that are all about promoting happiness, wellness and really, every day enjoyment outside."

05 of 09

Outdoor Bars

Outdoor Bar by Yardzen


With outdoor entertaining on the rise, it's only natural that an outdoor bar is a must have. And many homeowners are moving beyond the outdoor bar cart to request full bar structures for their backyards. Yardzen has seen a 69 percent increase in requests for outdoor bar setups.

06 of 09

Hot Tubs

Cedar Hot Tub


Honestly, who wouldn't want a hot tub in their backyard? With chic new styles available, it's no wonder that requests for hot tubs are up by 34 percent.

07 of 09

Pizza Ovens

Pizza Oven


Grills aren't the only way to cook outdoors. Even if you don't want to build a full-on outdoor kitchen, a pizza oven can be a great way to add to your backyard culinary options.

In fact, there's been a 65 percent increase in requests for pizza ovens over the past year, according to Yardzen.

08 of 09

Fire Pits or Fireplaces

Outdoor Living Area with Fireplace


As a source of warmth, light, and well-roasted marshmallows, there's no beating a cozy outdoor fire. While fire pits have been an outdoor favorite for years, more people are upgrading to an outdoor fireplace that turns their patio into more of a formal living space.

More than half of all Yardzen clients include firepits in their backyard designs, and requests for outdoor fireplaces are up 40 percent.

09 of 09


Natural Slide


For parents of young kids, adding a slide to the backyard (as opposed to a full swing set) offers an opportunity for fun without taking up too much of the yard—especially when it can be integrated into the backyard design. Yardzen has noted an 85 percent increase in requests for slides.

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