43 Hardscaping Ideas to Structure Your Outdoor Space

By KRISTIN HOHENADEL
Kristin Hohenadel
43 Hardscaping Ideas to Structure Your Outdoor Space

Hardscaping refers to any built structure that helps to give your outdoor space function and definition, with landscaping softening the edges and integrating it into the surroundings. Adding hardscaping in the way of a patio, drivewayretaining wall, walkway, water feature, path, fence, deck, outdoor kitchen, pergola, arbor, gazebo, or other structure will give your outdoor space purpose and help you to maximize your al fresco square footage no matter your yard size, budget, or how often the climate in your region allows you to get outside.

Check out these hardscaping ideas in a range of sizes, styles, budgets, and settings that will inspire you to upgrade your own little outdoor corner of the planet for you and yours to enjoy.

  • 01 of 43

    Side Walkway

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Hub of the House Studio / Jim Bartsch Photographer

    An L-shaped side walkway lined with paver stones, low retaining walls, and stylized landscaping adds curb appeal and texture to this home from Hub of the House Studio. Keeping everything low to the ground allows the landscaping around the periphery to stand out and keeps sightlines open. The side walkway blends seamlessly into the walkway leading to the front door.

     
  • 02 of 43

    Interior Courtyard

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Kern & Co.

    A central courtyard paved with staggered stones and edged with plants and purple and white flowers gives this outdoor space from Kern & Co. a classic and timeless feel. Styled here with a simple table as a pass-through space, it could easily house a dining area with the addition of chairs.

     
  • 03 of 43

    Poolside Patio

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Handsome Salt / Photo by Jenny Siegwart

    Interior designer Sara Simon of Handsome Salt built a small flagstone and gravel patio with a U-shaped banquette on one end of this above-ground pool in Southern California. The patio is integrated into the pool with seat backs that are the same height as the pool to create a seamless. A large daybed on the other side of the pool adds balance.

     
  • 04 of 43

    Fire Pit Area and Gates

    hardscaping ideas

    Michelle Boudreau Design

    This Palm Springs fire pit conversation area from Michelle Boudreau Design is set on a dedicated concrete cut-out patio in a spacious and multifunctional courtyard. A high wall and built-in black gating give the space a private and enclosed feel.

     
  • 05 of 43

    Stone Patio and Bench

    hardscaping ideas

    Fantastic Frank

    This Mediterranean stone patio from Fantastic Frank looks like it’s part of the natural landscape, with a rustic corner bench, retaining wall, and mix of sculptural landscaping that ties it all together.

     
  • 06 of 43

    Gravel Patio

    hardscaping ideas

    Kate Marker Interiors

    Kate Marker Interiors created an outdoor living room on a gravel patio just outside the French doors at the back of this home. This space adds structure and functionality to the large backyard, with twin sofas facing one another giving the seating area a slightly formal feel.

     
  • 07 of 43

    Wood Deck

    hardscaping ideas

    Tyler Karu Design + Interiors

    Tyler Karu Design + Interiors added a spacious deck to maximize outdoor entertaining space on this historic waterfront home renovation in Maine. The modern hardscaping doesn’t try to compete with the original structure, but complements it instead, adding modern functionality and a sleek entertaining space.

     
  • 08 of 43

    Asymmetrical Edge Driveway

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Cathie Hong Interiors / Margaret Austin Photo

    This driveway from Cathie Hong Interiors has asymmetrical edges that are filled in with landscaping to add a bit of interest to the front yard. A wood slat garage door adds warmth and echoes the front door cladding and adjacent fencing.

     
  • 09 of 43

    Brick Paver Patio

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Kate Marker Interiors / Photo by Margaret Rajic

    A brick paver patio creates space for an outdoor table and chairs in this lakeside cottage property from Kate Marker Interiors. A vintage-style bistro table and chairs give the space a timeless feel.

     
  • 10 of 43

    Wood Walkway and Front Deck

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Handsome Salt / Photo by Jenny Siegwart

    Wide, pale wood walkway steps lead to an open patio-style deck that gives this modern home from Handsome Salt a sense of cohesion. Stationary wood awnings match the hardscaping, adding symmetry to the facade.

     
  • 11 of 43

    Stone Patio and Fireplace

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Marie Flanigan Interiors / Photo by Julie Soefer

    A rustic stone patio complete with a half-circle wall, a monumental outdoor fireplace, and overgrown hedging gives this outdoor dining space from Marie Flanigan Interiors an inviting feel.

     
  • 12 of 43

    Underlit Steps

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Handsome Salt / Photo by Jenny Siegwart

    LED under-lighting makes the chunky staggered wood steps leading up to this modern home from Handsome Salt feel like they are floating above the desert-friendly drought-resistant landscaping.

     
  • 13 of 43

    Concrete Pool Patio

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Gaia Inspired / Photo by Jenny Siegwart

    This backyard space from Gaia Inspired mixes warm wood fencing with a concrete pool patio that includes massive built-in concrete planters that surround the bases of the property’s soaring palm trees.

     
  • 14 of 43

    Cobblestone Patio

    hardscaping ideas

    deVOL Kitchens

    This converted United Kingdom carriage house from deVOL Kitchens is accessed by a gray cobblestone patio that adds character and complements the brick siding on the main house.

     
  • 15 of 43

    Front Wall and Fence

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Gaia Inspired / Photo by Jenny Siegwart

    A textured concrete wall with large graphic house numbers juxtaposed with honey-stained wood fencing, a cactus, and a rock garden add curb appeal to this modern Southern California home from Gaia Inspired.

     
  • 16 of 43

    Outdoor Kitchen Patio

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Thomas Guy Interiors / Photo by Haylei Smith

    This spacious patio from interior designer Lance Thomas, of Thomas Guy Interiors, includes an outdoor kitchen and lounge space that minimizes the need for a large lawn, while concrete pavers create a pathway to the pool area.

     
  • 17 of 43

    Driveway and Sidewalk

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Gaia Inspired / Photo by Jenny Siegwart

    A mix of hardscaping and landscaping extends from the front gate to the sidewalk in this Southern California home from Gaia Inspired, making the home feel integrated with the pavement and the street.

     
  • 18 of 43

    Midcentury Water Feature

    hardscaping ideas

    Kendall Wilkinson Design

    Kendall Wilkinson Design used hardscaping from the concrete entryway to the retaining wall and water fountain to give this midcentury modern home an indoor-outdoor feel. The cool concrete surfaces add contrast with the warm woods inside, complemented by a covered metal and glass pergola and front entrance.

     
  • 19 of 43

    Stepped Retaining Wall

    hardscaping ideas

    Home Consultant

    A stepped concrete retaining wall landscaped with plants and flowers helps to structure and optimize this Southern California home from Home Consultant, making the most of a steep lot in a dense neighborhood. Lashes of purple, orange, and yellow flowers add color and contrast with the white house and create a bridge to the colorful house just up the hill.

     
  • 20 of 43

    Sunken Fire Pit Area

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Kibler & Kirch / Photo by Audrey Hall

    This backyard patio from Kibler & Kirch features a back patio with a circular sunken fire pit conversation area that is accessed by curved steps and anchored by a stone wall planted with landscaping to soften it up. An adjacent wood pergola adds partial shade and contrast with all the stone and concrete finishes.

     
  • 21 of 43

    Brick Patio Bar

    hardscaping ideas

    My 100 Year Old Home

    Blogger Leslie Saeta, from My 100 Year Old Home, expands her outdoor cooking station by adding a brick island — which includes a built-in sink, cold storage, and prep space — and bar seating. This setup is a seamless addition to her brick patio. Weathered wood bar stools and a concrete top on the bar add contrast.

     
  • 22 of 43

    Front Walkway

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Cathie Hong Interiors / Margaret Austin Photo

    A staggered concrete paver walkway leads to a wood-clad entry in front of this home from Cathie Hong Interiors, softened with landscaping that looks natural and helps the facade feel welcoming.

     
  • 23 of 43

    Built-In Grilling Station

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Living With Lolo / Photo by Life Created

    This poolside patio from Living With Lolo features a built-in grilling station that is clad in black tiles, features a pastel pink grill, and has waterfall edging for a seamless look.

     
  • 24 of 43

    Paver Pathway

    hardscaping ideas

    Kate Marker Interiors / Stoffer Photography

    Hardscaping can create transitions between outdoor spaces, like this small paver and gravel walkway from Kate Marker Interiors that leads from the yard to a covered porch.

     
  • 25 of 43

    Outdoor Kitchen and Deck

    hardscaping ideas

    Fantastic Frank

    A freestanding outdoor kitchen with a roof, open sides, integrated ceiling lights, wood decking, and a built-in bar functions like its own private bar and grill in this outdoor space from Fantastic Frank.

     
  • 26 of 43

    Poolside Jacuzzi

    hardscaping ideas

    A Beautiful Mess

    This backyard pool patio from A Beautiful Mess includes a jacuzzi space that is carved out at the kidney-shaped pool’s far end. The pool is surrounded by a stone enclosure and landscaped with a privacy hedge, patch of stones, and planting that helps to integrate it with the large patio.

     
  • 27 of 43

    Paver Patio and Pergola

    hardscaping ideas

    Home Consultant

    The main event in this outdoor kitchen from Home Consultant is a brick pizza oven painted in a warm shade of gray along the side wall of a spacious Los Angeles patio. The patio, lined with concrete pavers, also includes a dining area that is partially shaded with a dark wood-stained pergola.

     
  • 28 of 43

    Midcentury Water Feature

    hardscaping ideas

    Michelle Boudreau Design

    This midcentury modern home from Michelle Boudreau Design has a gated front courtyard entrance that is partly shaded by a pergola and includes a concrete water feature, walkway, and decorative anchor wall.

     
  • 29 of 43

    Built-In Stucco Banquette

    hardscaping ideas

    Blanco Bungalow

    Blanco Bungalow built an L-shaped stucco banquette seating area on a gravel patio in the corner of this Los Angeles backyard, the perfect setting for a fire pit conversation space. The white stucco complements the adjacent brick wall and Spanish bungalow style of the home and is softened with shady oversized plants.

     
  • 30 of 43

    Flagstone Patio

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Tessa Neustadt

    A large flagstone patio with a built-in banquette off the back of this home from Leanne Ford Interiors is built right into the hillside and doubles as a retaining wall for planting between the patio and backyard fence.

     
  • 31 of 43

    Pool Patio and Cabana

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Cathie Hong Interiors / Margaret Austin Photo

    This backyard pool patio from Cathie Hong Interiors includes hardscaping around the pool, gravel beds planted with trees, and a pool cabana that provides partial shade for lounging.

     
  • 32 of 43

    Front Walkway and Fountain

    hardscaping ideas

    Kendall Wilkinson Design

    This Northern California home from Kendall Wilkinson Design has a broad-tiered concrete front entry with a stepped walkway that has an integrated water feature running along one side. The feature adds structure and pleasing water sounds for visitors approaching the front door and the retaining walls accommodate the minimal landscaping.

     
  • 33 of 43

    Patio and Garden Path

    hardscaping ideas

    Fantastic Frank

    A patio and stone walkway add structure to this Mediterranean property from Fantastic Frank, while the minimalist landscaping is planted on a gravel-covered backyard and edged with stones and weathered wood.

     
  • 34 of 43

    Wooden Deck and Patio

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Cathie Hong Interiors / Margaret Austin Photo

    A spacious and minimalist wood deck and adjacent concrete patio on the back of this home from Cathie Hong Interiors provide space for entertaining. The L-shaped corner bench adds definition and creates a transition to the lawn with a small Japanese-style garden.

     
  • 35 of 43

    Gravel Fire Pit Area

    hardscaping ideas

    Kate Marker Interiors / Emily Kennedy Photo

    A detached gravel patio creates a comfortable spot for an outdoor living room in this backyard from Kate Marker Interiors, complete with a fire pit that can be covered up by day to create a coffee table.

     
  • 36 of 43

    Backyard Pathway

    backyard hardscaping ideas

    Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    A flagstone and sand garden pathway leading to the backyard play area of this home from Emily Henderson Design has an asymmetrical and organic feel, with natural and mixed plants along the edges that make it feel playful and effortless.

     
  • 37 of 43

    Poolside Patio

    pool patio hardscaping ideas

    Bartone Interiors / Lissa Gotwals Photography

    For this poolside patio from Bartone Interiors, a mix of materials from concrete pavers to natural stones to mosaic tiles adds textural interest while creating zones for swimming, lounging, and landscaping.

     
  • 38 of 43

    Front Walkway and Steps

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Hub of the House Studio / Jim Bartsch Photographer

    A wide staggered cement paver walkway, steps, and front entrance to this home from Hub of the House Studio make the front yard feel more expansive while landscaping around the periphery of the hardscaping softens everything.

     
  • 39 of 43

    Fire Pit Patio Extension

    hardscaping ideas

    Maite Granda

    Interior designer Maite Granda added hardscaping to create a focal point in this Florida backyard by extending the patio via a walkway to a central fire pit conversation area.

     
  • 40 of 43

    Fountain Water Feature

    hardscaping ideas

    Matthew Carter Interiors

    The manicured grounds of this elegant home from Matthew Carter Interiors feature hardscaping worthy of a European chateau, from the water feature to the fountain to the large central sculpture at the far end.

     
  • 41 of 43

    Backyard Fountain

    hardscaping ideas

    Design by Crisp Architects / Photo by Rob Karosis

    This backyard fountain from Crisp Architects is centered on a stone and gravel patio and surrounded by well-manicured bushes and bright red flowers.

     
  • 42 of 43

    Gazebo and Stone Walkway

    hardscaping ideas

    Fantastic Frank

    A tempered glass and metal all-weather enclosed gazebo on a stone walkway and patio serves as a communal dining room in this shared outdoor space from Fantastic Frank.

     
  • 43 of 43

    Garden Walkway

    hardscaping ideas

    Finding Lovely / Ruth Eileen Photography

    A curving pathway is the connective tissue between backyard spaces on this property from Finding Lovely which includes a fenced-in area planted with raised garden beds.

What is the least expensive hardscape?

Concrete and gravel are the least expensive hardscape materials, often used to build affordable retaining walls, patios, driveways, and other outdoor structures.

What are examples of hardscapes?

Hardscapes can be any built structure in your backyard or outdoor space, such as a patio, drivewayretaining wall, walkway, water feature, path, fence, deck, outdoor kitchen, pergola, arbor, or gazebo. Hardscaping helps to structure an outdoor space and complement the landscaping.

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