<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=558159424791449&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">
Posted by Todd Thomasson on Aug 14, 2023 12:11:01 PM

A big backyard is on almost everyone’s dream list these days. But sometimes having a large yard can also be daunting.

When it comes to design ideas for large backyards, homeowners sometimes feel like they have no idea where to start. Having such a huge “blank slate” can feel like a significant challenge.

At Rock Water Farm, we work with a lot of sprawling properties and have come up with many large backyard design ideas that our clients have loved.

At the end of the day, what’s right for your Northern Virginia property should be based on the precise specifics of your space along with your preferences and personal design ideas. But here are some thoughts to get you started.

Design Ideas for Large Backyards

Use This Helpful Guide to Plan Your Landscape Design

#1: Break it Up into Multiple “Areas”

One of the first things that we like to tell people with big backyards is that they don’t have to have just one big space plunked in the middle of their yard. 

They can have multiple “rooms” that make up a complete space. And these can be spread out across the property depending on what you’re trying to achieve and what kind of space you have to work with.

This often makes the property feel usable for various occasions. 

outdoor kitchen and firepit on flagstone patio

You might have a main patio where you have your outdoor meals but you have another spot where you have a fire pit and a smaller patio for late-night hang-outs…or for the kids in the household. 

As you start to create different “rooms” around the yard, it really does make the entire space come to life in a much more functional way. And it looks much more attractive than just having one big space that tries to do it all. 

A key is to make sure that these spaces are well-connected with walkways and steps. How you transition from one space to another will make a huge difference.

#2: Invest in a Large Patio

One of the mistakes that we see people make with large backyards is choosing a patio design that is way too small for their space. If you have a large, sprawling backyard and you choose a teeny-tiny patio, it’s just going to look out of place.

By no means are we saying you need to hardscape your entire backyard. But there is something to be said for a patio that “fits” the space.

aerial photo of outdoor fireplace and patio

When you do break up your outdoor living area into rooms, it does allow you to have smaller patios that are connected. But you probably still want your main patio to be on the larger side if you have a large backyard. 

The main patio does become the “hub” of the entire space and you’re really never going to come back and say you wish it was smaller. If anything, you’re likely to regret a patio that is too small.

#3: Be Strategic About How Plants and Other Softscaping Elements Fit Into Your Space

As far as large backyard landscape design ideas go, you also want to consider the softscaping as the trees, shrubs, and flowers installed in your space will make a big difference in the finished look.

Just like you don’t want to go too small on the patio in a large yard…you also don’t want to go too small on the landscaping. If you have the room for some really big plant beds and you install some teeny tiny flowers, it’s just not going to look right.

plantings near patio and firepit

Spatial considerations are huge when it comes to landscape design and you’ll want to work with a professional who can help you select trees and shrubs that fit your space appropriately.

You might also have specific purposes in mind for your plants, such as screening capabilities. But if you have a really large yard, privacy screening can be challenging. This is why it’s so important to work with a pro who can help you make wise decisions. With strategic placement as well as the right plant selection, you can achieve your landscaping goals.

#4: Add Outdoor Lighting for Maximum Use of Your Space

When you incorporate landscape lighting around your outdoor living area, you are able to use that space even after the sun goes down. That’s a huge value-add when your goal is likely to spend as much time outside as possible. 

With a large backyard, there might be a lot of areas that need to be well-lit. If your space is divided into multiple areas, a landscape designer can help you create the right lighting scheme to light those individual spaces. These will make them so much more usable. After all, as you know, in a large and sprawling backyard, it can get really dark. 

firepit and wall with landscape lighting

But you want to be able to use your whole backyard.

Looking beyond functionality, outdoor lighting is also valuable for the aesthetic appeal it can offer. These days, landscape lighting has come incredibly far. You can take your party to a whole new level with fully automated lighting that can be controlled through an app on your smartphone.
That means you can change lighting setups including brightness and even color! If you’re having a special celebration or event you can create theme lighting that would enhance the entire experience. This might include school colors for a graduation party or even team colors to celebrate a win! The possibilities are endless.

#5: Add a Shade Structure Like a Pergola or a Pavilion

One of the benefits of having a large yard is that you’re able to add large structures without overwhelming the space. If you don’t have a lot of trees on your property, then shade might be a problem. But you certainly would have the space to add a shade structure like a pergola or a pavilion.

These additions also give you a hang-out space for your friends and family to gather. 

outdoor kitchen with pizza oven and pavilion

A pergola or a pavilion can be an excellent addition to your patio area, making it much more functional. After all, while a patio is a great idea, if it doesn’t have the right features and amenities, you aren’t going to maximize your time there. It’s usually the added features that keep homeowners spending more time outside.

Working with Professional Landscape Design and Installation in Northern Virginia

Hopefully, these design ideas for large backyards have gotten you dreaming. But you might already have some specific ideas in mind for how you want to use your space.

With the right landscape designer and builder as your partner, you’ll be guided to making wise choices that will mean your outdoor living area ends up just the way you want. While a lot of landscaping companies talk about building patios or swimming pools, many do not go to the great length necessary to ensure your satisfaction in the end. 

This is particularly critical when you have a large space. Everything needs to come together just right. Even if you have your landscape design spread out over multiple areas, you want them to all function well together. 

At Rock Water Farm, we believe there is no room for error when it comes to investing your hard-earned money into an amazing outdoor living area. Whatever your specific goals were, by creating a spectacular backyard you are now getting prolonged use out of the space. 

But even more important, you’re spending meaningful time with friends and family. By bringing people together with activities to enjoy doing collectively, you are creating memories—and that’s priceless.

Are you ready to have a property that you are proud of at your Haymarket, Gainesville, or Bristow, VA home? If so, talk to an expert, choose a solution that rocks, and get ready to see your dreams begin to take shape!

New Call-to-action

Request a Consultation

Get Started Today

About The Author

Todd Thomasson
Todd Thomasson

Todd Thomasson, founded Rock Water Farm Landscapes & Hardscapes in 2005. Having grown up with hard working parent role models and a strong work ethic, Todd put his Landscape & Turf Management degree from Virginia Tech into action as the lead stone mason and landscape designer for the new company. Over the years, the responsibility and opportunity of running this company has been shared with other members of the Rock Water Farm team, launching one of the leading property maintenance companies in Loudoun County. Todd is still rooted in his passion for design/build projects and continues to run the company, working with clients to design, build and maintain perfect outdoor spaces with his team.