Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (2023)

A beautifully-done landscape design can help improve the curb appeal of your home and ultimately make you feel better whenever you step outside.

Let’s review the top 20 residential landscapes designed by pros with many years of experience in landscape architecture.

Cherry Hills landscape design

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (1)

Image via Designscapes Colorado

Born out of the owner’s dream of sipping tea in a gazebo by an outdoor fireplace, this landscape shows how important lighting is for setting the mood.

From the moment you enter the yard at dusk, the light invites you to discover the beautiful details of the landscape.

The brick walls of the fireplace (you can see it to the right side of the picture) create a cozy and rustic environment. The plants were chosen to look warm and colorful when light shines on them.

In daylight, the landscape is dominated by a powerful green color that suggests vitality and tranquility at the same time. The cushion covered seats in the gazebo offer you the perfect place to admire the view.

Woodland garden with forest floor

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (2)

Image via Garden Design

This landscape was designed to mimic a deep forest glen. You can see both larger trees that make shade as well as smaller ones, such as Japanese maples, eastern redbuds, rhododendrons and ferns.

The oval stones create a path that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere but it makes you think of fairytales where characters start amazing journeys by following a road just like this one.

The bench is there for when you want to just sit and admire the sky, the greens that surround you and to enjoy the quiet of this small piece of heaven.

The place will always be cool even when the “outside world” will simmer under the hot sun and you have to thank the tall trees for providing the shade. 😉

Resort style landscape in the Sierra foothills

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (3)

Image via Garden Design

This design incorporates a 3-season kitchen with a Kalamazoo grill, a drink bar and custom-made concrete countertops. It’s basically the social hub of the pool area where people stand around the grill or sit at the bar talking and enjoying a cold drink.

The utilities of the kitchen were integrated with the ones of the pool, so it wasn’t a challenge to install them.

The outdoor kitchen was designed to be self-contained, meaning that you won’t have to make frequent trips to the house when cooking.

The 65-ft long infinity pool is surrounded by terraced planters with Spanish lavender and Santa Barbara daisies that grow perfectly in California’s climate with refreshing cool breezes. The chaiselongues invite you to lie down and relax under the sun, thus complying with the owners’ desire of making their backyard feel like a resort.

Greenbuilt adobe in the mountains

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (4)

Image via Designscapes Colorado

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The orange building you see to the right is the solar powered adobe style house for which this green landscape was created. The style is in harmony with the environment.

Natural stone is the main material used for this design: the fireplace, the seating around it, the patio and there are actually are big stones lying around with no other purpose than to add aesthetic value to the design. They also used stones to make a terraced waterfall.

Wood is another natural element used extensively in this landscape. It makes up the small benches around the fire, the pergola you see in the far right side of the photo, the handrail near the stairs and of course all the young trees planted around the house.

South Hills residence

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (5)

Image via Eisler Landscapes

The purpose of the outdoor patio and fireplace was to add extra entertainment space to the residence.

This landscape looks like an outdoor living room with seating furniture pointed at the fireplace.

The furniture was created for outdoor use since it’s made of synthetic resin that withstands humid conditions. It’s aesthetically pleasing, comfortable and easy to arrange because it’s lightweight.

The stone fireplace is the main piece of the design, it’s massive and meant to tower over the patio. The surrounding walls match with the fireplace but the delicacy of the beautiful flowers on top softens the roughness of the stone.

Waterfall house

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (6)

Image via Eisler Landscapes

Initially, the house had only a deck and a patio, but the owners desired to make the property more interesting. A covered porch was built after the existing deck was removed and the brick piers were necessary to support a new trex deck and the roof of the porch.

Still, the best part of the landscape is the terraced waterfall with its small pond. The perennial plants that surround the house soften the hardscape and makes the entire design look more alive.

A simple table with chairs were added on the patio and a fire pit was built to create a cozier environment for late night talks. While the umbrella might protect you from the sun above, it won’t do much if it starts raining considering it looks like it’s made from some sort of textile material.

Chatswood residence

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (7)

Image via Rolling Stone Landscapes

Designed to meet the owners’ desire to have a garden with Asian influences, this landscape creates a peaceful atmosphere by using basic elements like stone, water and timber.

The seating area is located on the deck next to the big stone-water assembly, thus allowing you to relax while enjoying the sound of pouring water.

The plants played a significant role in creating the whole Eastern feel. They have bamboos, Japanese maples and of course, mondo grass that requires little to no maintenance. The buxus emphasizes the already present green color. All in all, this is a modern yard that spreads a certain level of tranquility and harmony.

Gordon residence

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (8)

Image via Rolling Stone Landscapes

The main element in this picture is the seating area with a big comfortable bench pointed toward a fireplace. Still, the design itself is divided in multiple sections. You can also see the outdoor kitchen to the left and the dining area to the right.

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The landscape was created on two levels so that the lounge section is sunken, a trend seen even in interior design where people create an entertainment and/or conversation pit in the middle of the living room.

While the dining and kitchen areas are covered, the lounge is left open which makes you wonder how they protect the bench from the rain. Also, it leaves this zone unusable when the sun shines right on it.

Landscape design with fire pit

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (9)

Image via Hoerr Schaudt

This is a simple yet very functional design with a patio centered by a fire pit and surrounded by vegetation. If the estate is big enough, you could also build the low lying curving stone wall you see in the distance to add something special to the otherwise boring grass.

A great advantage of the landscape is the privacy it confers to this residential property thanks to the many natural midwestern plants.

The fire pit makes the design modern and it also has a functional purpose: it warms up the area on colder nights when you want to spend times outdoors.

Besides, nobody stops you from telling a few horror stories around the fire when your kid has a few friends over. You don’t even have to take them camping since you have all this natural space on your own property.

The K. residence

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (10)

Image via Virginia BURT Designs

There is a small patch of grass that matches the shape of the pool and some vegetation on the side next to the chaiselongues.

Other than that however, there aren’t many natural elements. The landscape is built around the pool that seems to be the main point of interest. You have to admit that the lighting makes the design much more attractive.

To the left side of the picture, you can see the corner of a pergola. One can safely assume there’s some patio furniture underneath, maybe a table and a few chairs so that people can sit and talk over dinner.

Country Estate

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (11)

Images via Virginia BURT Designs

At a first sight, it looks like this oasis of relaxation is built in the middle of the forest and you might be right but you can easily create this effect by planting trees in a big yard with tall stone walls. The residence in the pictures is actually a hunting lodge built a long time ago in 1927.

It has multiple gardens, the one with the statue and low lying curved walls being perfect for morning walks.

The patio sofas and chairs surrounding the fire pit create a cozy and relaxed atmosphere. This is doubled by the fresh air and extra oxygen from all the vegetation, so you are bound to recharge your batteries in no time by staying at this lodge.

The front yard (3rd picture) is basically made of a patio for people to walk on among all the beautiful and colored garden flowered that flank the path.

Orange County California landscape design

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (14)

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Image via Lee Ann Marienthal Gardens

The owners enjoy a small waterfall in their yard. The boulders and the natural stone used to create the pond make you feel like in the middle of the nature and not in a man made place.

The feeling that you are relaxing next to a real waterfall is the best advantage of the landscape. Japanese maples and all sorts of other small plants blend with the hardscape.

The pond was designed to be a real turtle habitat, so that’s a plus for those who want to keep these animals in their own yard.

Staker residence

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (15)

Image via Berry Outdoor Living Construction

This spacious yard that used to be a plain grass field was turned into an entertainment center for both adults and children. The in-ground pool added value to the property and brought a lot of fun to the owners. The covered outdoor kitchen with a small dining area is perfect for grill parties.

Vegetation is quite scarce as opposed to the other landscapes we saw above but you could improve the quality of the air you breathe by planting large trees that will also maintain shade.

Still, it’s important to arrange the trees so that the pool and the chaiselongues do not fall under their shade.

Buckingham Road residence

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (16)

Image via Harmony Design Group Landscape

The main piece of the design is an in-ground pool next to a patio area with a few chairs and chaiselongues. The patio is surrounded by freshly cut grass that softens the rough edges of the rectangular pool.

The second patio is positioned perfectly to supervise the kids without getting wet or standing directly in the heat of the sun.

The privacy is ensured by a “wall” of vegetation that contrasts to the small plants near the patio. It can’t be seen from this angle, but the stone wall you see to the right is part of the outdoor grill area.

Glenwood Road residence

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (17)

Image via Harmony Design Group Landscape

The house was built on a sloped lot which made it possible to implement a raised deck design. The deck has clear simple lines and offers plenty of space for get-togethers.

The dining area is located on the deck and so are the two comfortable armchairs with green cushions. The selection of plants is limited and not very interesting though.

Sonoma Coast, CA residence

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (18)

Image via Shades of Green Landscape Architecture

In the place where the hills of California meet the Pacific Ocean, this house was built. The landscape has multiple levels, the infinity pool being the lowest one.

There is a wooden deck next to it and a concrete sitting area centered around a fire pit. The stairs go upward to the first level where small plants live near the concrete path that leads to the house, looking as if they have always belonged there.

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San Francisco, CA residence

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (19)

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (20)

Images via Shades of Green Landscape Architecture

The most interesting feature of the design is the patio that was turned into a chess board with life-size pieces.

However, the landscape also has a cozy seating area with a fire table that catches the eye of visitors. Next to the table, there is a grill up against a wall (visible in the 2nd photo). The vegetation offers vitality to this concrete dominated design.

Eco-friendly home

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (21)

Image via In Harmony

The owners wanted to turn a simple small yard into an eco-friendly garden with Asian influences.

The flagstone patio is basically surrounded by plants. This garden collects the water from the roof and channels it into a decorative stream bed toward a bowl-shaped space where the water finally goes into the ground.

Landscape design with pond

Top 20 Landscape Design Ideas (22)

Image via In Harmony

Wanting to turn their backyard into an entertainment center for both children and adults, the homeowners built a covered area with a fireplace and an actual pond with fish.

The waterfall was meant to screen out the car noise from the nearby street. The plants provide a natural habitat for birds and the hardscape is made of recycled concrete gravel.

Flowery residential landscape

Image via Green Meadows Inc.

This is a simple landscape meant to add some color to an otherwise dull front yard. The flowers are the best feature of the design because they are so colored and give life to the garden.

The steps are a better choice than a plain path that would have made the landscape less interesting. Besides, the raised patches of earth that flank the steps look nicer than flat ground.

Take-home tip: always ask for several quotes before settling for a contractor.

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