This post is all about mid century modern backyard ideas.
Mid century modern design is a timeless design style that is still popular to this day. Born out of the 50’s and 60’s, mid century modern design revolves around clean lines, a sensibility around high quality materials, and overall a focus on nature. Mid century modern design is about getting rid of unnecessary ornament and getting to the root of functional yet beautiful design.
While mid century modern design is best known for interior spaces, this style easily translates to outdoors as well. When thinking of this style outdoors, bright colors and patterns and a focus on nature and general materiality is what remains a focal point.
Indoor-outdoor living is a major theme in mid century homes. Because there is such a large focus on nature in this era of design, it makes sense that backyard spaces are very prominent as they are seen as large extensions of living space. Pools, fire pits and gardens are all important mid century modern landscaping ideas that are in harmony with nature and make for a relaxing outdoor oasis.
If you’re in need of mid century modern backyard inspiration, look at these 14 fun ideas.
Mid Century Modern Backyard Ideas:
1. Fire Pits
Gathering spaces are a staple in mid century backyards, and there is no better way to create one than to gather chairs around a fire pit. Outdoor fire pits are such a beautiful feature that ground outdoor living spaces and make a space feel cozy and inviting at night. Vintage-looking fire pits like the metal chiminea one above are super retro and have made such a comeback in recent years.
If you have the money to spend, look into purchasing this super high quality and luxury fire pit from the brand ModFire.
2. Breeze Blocks / Statement wall
Breeze blocks like these are such a pinnacle of smart mid century design. Named after their decorative holes that allow for a cooling cross-breeze, these statement bricks are great at creatively hiding backyard eyesores like garages, tool sheds while keeping the backyard cool. These kinds of walls made of colorful breeze blocks are such a fun way to add a pop of color to your backyard.
3. Brightly Colored Outdoor Furniture
Brightly-colored lounge furniture is a need-to-have for a mid century modern backyard. Pops of color accentuate an otherwise natural backyard so well. Bright oranges, reds or greens draw the eye in! Metal chairs or even boho woven- style chairs pair so well in a mid century modern space.
4. MCM Pool Design
Just like homeowners today, back then, private pools were seen as the height of luxury living and nearly everyone coveted them for their own backyard. Pools come in all shapes and sizes, but the style most recognized by mid century style are rectangular ones with clean lines and follow the geometry of the home.
5. Paper Lanterns
Just as Noguchi-style paper lanterns are popular indoors in mid century modern decorating, they can also be used outside as well. Paper lanterns hung from the trees create such a beautiful and fun look. Try brightly-colored ones for your next party or event to make a great decorative statement.
6. Clean Landscaping that is in Harmony with Nature
One of the biggest proponents of mid century backyards is that the backyard feels in tune with nature, and not rid of it. Far too often backyards are over-manicured, making the backyard feel stripped and bare.
The trick to landscaping harmoniously with nature is to keep wild plants and build out areas for lounging without too many man-made materials. Utilizing natural elements like large stones, gravel or wood to create benches, paths and retaining walls is key. The best part of mid century modern landscaping ideas are that it will look great without too much effort - AKA a lot less lawn-mowing and weeding.
7. Paved Step Paths
Another mid century modern landscaping idea is to use paved step paths. Large stones or concrete slabs feel more natural and in harmony with nature. Placing paved step paths between grass and greenery feels simple and balanced.
8. Raised Garden Beds
Raised garden beds are perfect for planting statement flowers or beautiful home-grown vegetables. Adding in more spaces for greenery or plants is always a good idea in mid century modern garden design. If you’re creative enough, you can even use them to surround seating areas like in the above backyard.
9. Keep it Sustainable
Sustainability is a major tenant of mid century modern design. In many ways, this design style was born out of the assertion that this style was going to be the lifestyle of the future. Thus this design style often interests environmentally-conscious design. There are lots of ways to practice sustainability in your MCM backyard. Planting native or drought-tolerant plants are some best examples of creating a mid century modern garden design.
Pergolas or covered patios are architectural structures that are both functional and beautiful to look at. Pergolas provide shade so you can enjoy your outdoor space during the heat of the summer. Mid century modern backyards often have pergolas with plants with vines growing on them to further keep your backyard shaded.
11. Create Levels
Do you have a very hilly or sloped backyard? Tackle that unused space by creating levels with small retaining walls. Paired with concrete steps, this can be the perfect footpath nestled between a garden bed, some natural grasses or other flower bushes.
12. Outdoor Rugs
Just as you would style our living room, your backyard lounge or dining area also needs a rug to tie the space together. Choose a rug that is made for the outdoors. Ideally a vibrant, geometrical color is best for mid century modern style as it will act as a contrast to the greenery surrounding you.
13. Outdoor Art
Art doesn’t just have to be an indoor feature! Art along a wall in your backyard is such an unsuspecting detail that further accentuates the fact your backyard is a further living extension of your home. Adding in some bold, mid century art will make your space feel even more elevated.
14. Water Fountain
Water fountains or water features in a backyard are so peaceful and calming. They are not only gorgeous to look at, but they can add such tranquil sounds to your outdoor living space. Mid century backyard design is all about natural features such as these. Water fountains that are modern or reference asian design would perfectly match the mid century aesthetic.
15. Colorful Tilework
Adding colorful tiles in a geometric pattern is such a fun accent to add to a backyard. Tiles can be used everywhere from a pool, to a table, or even to accentuate a walkway. Tiling is such a fun DIY project that can transform your backyard.
Mid century backyards are sought after because they are easy to maintain, beautiful and in tune with nature. Try out these mid century modern backyard ideas the next time you want to upgrade your backyard.
This article showed you stylish mid century modern backyard ideas.
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