Create a luxurious and beautiful backyard for year round enjoyment with these expert ideas

‘People are thinking outside the box in terms of what they want their backyards to deliver when it comes to outdoor living, and they are often not sure how to achieve this within a traditional design model,’ explains Kate Gould. ‘But people don’t need to choose between having functional spaces and a beautiful garden. It doesn’t need to be an either/or choice.’

decorative pergola and outdoor seating

‘Consider all the essential elements of a luxurious home and put outdoor equivalents,’ to add luxury to your backyard, explains Kate.

There are many elements you could add, but Kate mentions outdoor fireplace ideas for warmth, and planning an outdoor kitchen with a cooking island and a sink. Be sure to include comfortable, all weather furniture – there are many options for gardens of all styles from the best outdoor furniture stores, and if you have the space, a bioclimatic pergola idea to shelter under.


large corten steel planter and hanging seat in luxurious garden area

Don’t be afraid of being bold if you are wondering how to add luxury to your backyard. Statement planting will max the feeling of luxury in the space.

‘Large things in small spaces work far better than lots of little things and make the maintenance of the garden much easier. Statement planter box ideas or containers with bold evergreen plants add drama and can be lit at night to create beautiful living sculptures. If you can place them near a wall, you will also cast shadows to add a sense of magic and mystery to your scheme,’ says Kate.


Backyard landscaping ideas

The decisions you make when selecting materials for your backyard will set the tone for its overall luxurious effect.

‘There are many ways to look at luxury in a backyard: flagstone terraces surrounded by roses, lavender and scented plants have charm and elegance for a quintessential English garden idea,’ says Kate.

Whereas for a modern aesthetic with backyard landscaping ideas, ‘crisp cut sandstone or limestone slabs laid with an emphasis on clean lines and minimalism, surrounded by topiary and feature evergreens might need nothing more than a pair of sculptural loungers as accents. Design is all about how you want to live. That will drive the theme of the space you are creating,’ Kate adds.


garden swim spa recessed in wooden decking

Combine beautiful design and clever functionality. ‘If you want a swim spa for exercise and pampering, a space for yoga or meditation, or an outside shower, you don’t need to choose between having that and a beautiful garden. Have a swim spa, but make it chic,’ says Kate.

This show garden design (above) by Kate demonstrates clever garden zoning and features a swim spa as a pool idea for exercising, cleverly recessed within the gardens’ natural wood decking, climbing bars, spaces for seating and relaxation, a yoga/meditation space and shower, all elegantly situated among dramatic and exotic, tropical garden ideas. The overall look and feel is architectural, contemporary in its minimalism and high-end.

‘There is something about being in a space which feels luxurious which is safe and nurturing and I think we all need to feel that now,’ says Kate.


sleek water feature, pale paving and lit steps in a luxury garden desiign

To make your backyard design shine, add decorative elements that raise it onto another level.

‘Bold, sleek water feature ideas can look incredibly elegant and add movement in a space that is perhaps more hard landscaping than soft,’ says Kate. ‘Stepping stones floating over the surface create an illusion of walking on water – and although they appear deceptively simple are not something to be undertaken without expert help. Surround your water with bold marginal plants or simple clipped hedging for an element that reflects the sky and creates a beautiful effect all year round.’

The epitome of luxury, yard art ideas will also enhance a scheme. ‘This will have the ability to provide a sense of calm as well as drama, depending on the design ethos. Place the piece – or pieces – to draw the eye and be sure they have lighting to bring them to life at night,’ Kate adds.


palms and lush tropical planting beside stone seats and gravel and slab garden path

When considering how to add luxury to a backyard, carefully chosen planting can add immensely to the feel and overall look.

For flower bed ideas, ‘long, billowing herbaceous borders packed with summer perennials and accentuated with topiary are extremely elegant. They are high maintenance, though, so aren’t for those who are time pressured.

‘Swathes of lush, sculptural palms and tropicals can lend a garden an exotic, luxurious look,’ explains Kate. ‘For smaller spaces, such as a courtyard garden, larger statement plants work best visually,’ she adds.

In the design by Kate above, swathes of lush, tropical plants help create a sanctuary, their large branch span contributing to a garden’s hideaway feel.

Formal gardens are much more static in feel. Here it is all about evergreen form and texture. ‘These are gardens that tend to look best implemented at a mature size for impact. A predominantly green planting palette can be uplifting in every season, and choose plants which have different structures and shapes to add texture,’ says Kate.

If you have a hot, dry, sheltered site, consider statement architectural planting such as palm trees. ‘Here, you can create bold shapes with space between them to appreciate their beauty. Many of these plants have grey/ blue leaf coloring, which leans to a muted palette.’


lush tropical planting and lighting in a small courtyard garden

Outdoor lighting ideas are crucial for adding luxury to a backyard that can be enjoyed day and night.

‘Lighting doesn’t just have to be light. There are so many options to choose that are sculptural as well, from decorative pendants to bold ground mounted lights and playful approaches to lighting through airy planting schemes. Use warm white to create a soft and inviting glow,’ says Kate.


To build a luxury patio, you needn’t rely on very expensive materials, though a beautiful stone will make it feel more special. The key, though, to making it feel luxurious is to ensure that the planting around it is smart, elegant and well kept; that the seating or dining furniture you put on it is sleek and inviting, and that it is well-lit at night, with soft lighting around seating or dining areas, and uplighters to highlight architectural planting.

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