Shape was probably invented to make the world particularly beautiful. Rectangular, square, triangle, and circle are all used by (landscape) architects to shape the world, to give texture, to create space. Curves came along to lure, impress, create flow.
Now, when it comes to backyards, they are usually square or rectangular. The question is whether you can take advantage of a backyard makeover to reshape the space, given that it’s dull and boring.
Can you reshape the backyard?
Yes. That’s if you want a one-word answer. Of course, to what extent you can reshape the backyard depends on the landscape’s size and your budget. To give you an idea. Your backyard may already have a weird shape. For instance, it may be rectangular but particularly narrow. In such cases, the concern is not primarily how to make it aesthetically more pleasing but how to make it more convenient. In this case, you need to take advantage of the backyard’s longitude to create different areas of activities and that’s how you also make the outdoor space interesting too. You create small oases that will flow one after the other, leaving traffic space, but will have an appeal due to the texture. For example, you can grow some greenery around the seating or dining area, secluding this part of the backyard.
Ways to give shape to your backyard
To return to our original question, this is how – more or less, you reshape a backyard. You “break” the square layout that has no interest with a wooden gazebo or by creating hardscape areas – hence, pathways too. Let’s see some ideas.
• A patio hardscape may follow a route from your house all the way to the rear of the backyard through a pathway. Or, you can simply create a small oasis at some part of the landscape, secluded with greenery or not.
• How about an outdoor decking? And we are not talking about the deck found right outside your home but a platform deck that can be easily made and placed in some part of the backyard. This way, you create one more seating area and interrupt the dull landscape.
• Create a seating area having as the focal point an outdoor fire pit. It won’t only add personality to your backyard but it will heat it up too.
• Walkways are great ways to “break” a boring lawn and, at the same time, create a pathway to all directions in the backyard so that you won’t have to step on the lawn. At some points, you can even decorate with arches. Or, place a wooden pergola.
• Build an outdoor kitchen on deck a bit farther from the building to create a special space for your family and give some character to the backyard.
Making the backyard interesting – understanding the shapes
Creativity sees no borders but must be based on functionality and rationale. Yes, you can place a sculpture at the center of the backyard and you can create a small water source or install an outdoor fireplace. But if they stand on their own, they have no meaning and may give some texture but that would be all. Target your choices always based on your habits and needs, and in relation to the size and current shape of the backyard. What you need is destinations.
One more thing you can do is play with the shapes of the lawn, deck, patio – all things in the backyard, even that of the pool and the kitchen. For example, the patio may be rectangular and the lawn may be circular – or, vice versa. Of course, the lawn may follow a free route, flowing around the outdoor patio kitchen, the platform deck, the pool area.
And then, the patio may be of any shape, with or without stairs, with or without a pergola. Imagine something similar for the deck. It can go around the house, reserved only for the backyard, surround the pool, have stairs.
All shapes are interesting and all shapes can easily become boring. They become boring when they are flat, with nothing standing out, with nothing attracting the eye. Overall, rectangular and square shapes are bold and show some austerity compared to the appealing curves of circles, while triangles due to their rarity impress and underline both order and energy. That’s how we interpret shapes but you need to remember that even the best of things – shapes included, need some extra texture to become interesting.