Does your home have a back yard? If so, then you should make the most of it. There are plenty of landscaping tips you can find online to help you improve your outdoor space.

In this guide, we will go over 10 incredible Chicago backyard ideas to help you transform your space. Keep reading for more.

1. Embrace the Entries

There are different areas of a backyard that can be improved, and entrances are one of the places that often get forgotten. You can do things differently depending on how much space you have to work with.

One thing you can do is place plants on either side of the entrance to frame it. You can even run these plants along the foundation walls to help blend your home into the natural surroundings. If you have steps, you can run plants up the sides of these too – though you want to ensure there is still plenty of space for people to walk up and down.

The aesthetic you go for is up to you. You can create a diverse look by going with unmatched containers and a variety of plants. If you prefer, you can make things match better. You could also add some ornaments such as small stone sculptures to give the space even more character.

2. Install a Firepit

Firepits have become very popular additions to backyards. You can create a comfortable space that’s ideal for relaxing and entertaining guests.

There are all different style choices here. For example, you could go for an above-ground option, a tabletop model, or one that’s dug into a hole in the ground.

You can also choose from different fuel options including wood, gas, or electric firepits. Note that each fuel type has different benefits, so you should look into them to determine what’s best for you.

Chicago isn’t the warmest part of the country, especially outside of the summer. Having a firepit can provide a lot of additional warmth allowing you to make more use of your backyard in the evenings and the colder parts of the year.

3. Add a Living Wall

If you don’t have that much backyard space, there are creative ways that you can make the most out of it. A living wall is a great way to add more greenery without taking up more horizontal space.

You have a lot of freedom in terms of structures and maintenance, so there will always be a suitable way to do this in any backyard. A simple trellis can be installed on a wall, creating a suitable spot for a variety of plants to grow. Vines can intertwine through a trellis – you just want to make sure you keep them well-pruned to stop them from overgrowing.

Hanging baskets can also be added to walls for plants that can’t grow vertically. Living walls can be a good focal point in your backyard and will give a more welcoming and natural feel.

4. Layer Beds

When planting flower beds, the layout you go with will make a very noticeable difference. You may want to limit the colors of plants so that things aren’t too overwhelming. It’s also a good idea to plant deeper rows rather than just shallow ones.

You should go from front to back with plants that will top out at different heights. This way, the smaller ones will grow at the front and the tallest ones at the back so you can easily see everything.

On top of making things look better, this also makes maintenance easier. You can reach the plants at the back more easily if they’re taller so you can deadhead them with ease. Dense planting will also help reduce the chances of roots growing there.

Primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) can work very well together. Consider the sizes of flowers too so that you don’t end up with some that distract too much from the others.

5. Implement Different Textures and Features

Having a variety of textures present in your backyard can help create a sense of a larger space, so this is great for smaller backyards. There are various ways you can add texture.

One way is with different planting choices. Varied types of plants in different types of pots are ideal for this.

You can add texture with different furniture. While some people will want everything to match, you might prefer to have everything look a bit different. Doing this will also make your backyard more unique.

Small accessories can also add different elements. Things like ornaments, wind chimes, and water features can all add some variety to your backyard.

6. Add Bespoke Garden Furniture

Outdoor furniture is one of the most useful additions if you want to create an outdoor living space. When entertaining guests or just relaxing, you want to be able to sit somewhere other than the grass.

There are plenty of options for outdoor furniture, so you should always be able to find something you like. If you want to create the perfect space, you can even get bespoke furniture made. Bespoke furniture is custom-made furniture that is made to your requirements.

This can include things like benches that run against walls and fit perfectly among other features in your garden. Tables are also a good idea if you want people to be able to enjoy meals in your yard.

Depending on the space you have to work with, you could create a full dining area. This is great for summertime BBQs and other events.

7. Lose the Lawn

Lawns are very common in backyards – but do you need one? Having a lawn is ideal for kids and pets, but there are various advantages to doing things differently.

You can use sophisticated planting to create a more interesting atmosphere than a standard lawn. You can add more variety, and this can be even more impactful in a narrow backyard.

On top of making your yard more interesting, this can be better for the wildlife there. Insects and small animals will thrive better with a variety of plants. Pollinators will enjoy it, and urban areas are often lacking in such environments.

8. Zone Your Backyard

If you have a bit more space in your yard, you will have more options. When carrying out a backyard makeover, you can create different areas with different purposes.

You can create an outdoor kitchen area with a grill and seating. You can then use the same area, or even a different one, as a spot to enjoy your morning coffee.

If you do want to add a firepit, you can have this in a separate area too. This kind of space can be perfect for relaxing in the evening with the addition of some surrounding seating.

Zoning can also be great in a long narrow garden. People will need to walk through each section to see what’s next, creating a sense of intrigue.

9. Add a Pergola for Privacy

One thing that is a concern for many people is privacy in their backyard. Depending on your yard, and the surrounding properties, it could be easy for people to see into your yard at any time.

A pergola is a fairly simple addition that can help you create more privacy. You can have a pergola as it is with clean lines – this works as a good design feature.

Alternatively, you can have plants growing up a pergola similar to a trellis. This will give a more natural feel, and offer more privacy.

10. Use Garden Lighting

If you want to use your garden in the evening, lighting is essential. Fortunately, depending on what sort of lighting you want to go with, this can often be a simple addition.

There are plenty of options for simple solar lights that can be hung up, sat on tables, spikes placed in a lawn, and more. You can also go for more permanent lighting fixtures if you have a larger budget and want something more stable.

Lights are ideal for illuminating paths and steps so that people won’t trip when it’s dark. They can also work well around seating areas or fixed to walls. You can even place them at specific angles to highlight certain focal points in your yard.

Chicago Backyard Ideas for Your Home

There are plenty more Chicago backyard ideas you can use for inspiration for your backyard. You can mix up different landscaping ideas to create an outdoor space that is perfect for you.

Martin John Company provides comprehensive landscaping services throughout Chicagoland. We have over 20 years of experience, so whatever you need, we’ll be able to make it happen. Take a look at our services page today to learn more about how we can help transform your backyard.