20 No-Grass Backyard Ideas That Are Still Lush

poolside backyard design

Maite Granda

While many people picture a backyard and imagine a large, green space, maybe with a swing set and a small patio, not all backyards fall within this category. If you're faced with a no-grass backyard of your own and are struggling with how to make the most of your outdoor space, you'll want to keep reading.

Below, we're sharing 20 of our favorite no-grass backyards that are sure to provide you with inspiration, whether you're designing a poolside lounge area or living somewhere in the countryside.

  • 01 of 20

    Combine Concrete and Gravel

    backyard with gravel and concrete

    Brana Designs

    This backyard combines the best of several worlds—a gravel area adds textural flair and elegance, while a patio easily accommodates seating of all kinds. If your backyard allows, carving out a bar area can add an extra festive, hotel-like touch. The grass running through the concrete looks ultra luxe, too.

  • 02 of 20

    Install a Grill Area for Entertaining Galore

    no grass backyard with grill area

    Sketch Design Studio

    This no-grass backyard is made for entertaining thanks to its large grill area, which is just begging for the party to get started. So what are you waiting for? Invite everyone over for burgers and hot dogs followed by a jump in the lake, and you're guaranteed to be the most popular family in the neighborhood all summer long—we promise.

  • 03 of 20

    Grab a Seat by the Fire

    backyard fireplace

    Design: Amanda Barnes Interiors / Photo: Alyssa Rosenheck

    Come night time, everyone will want to cozy up by the fire pit in this spacious no-grass backyard. When the sun is shining, the seating area is perfect for reading and even working.

  • 04 of 20

    Make Room for a Covered Dining Area

    pool area

    Sketch Design Studio

    This pool area backs right up onto a lake, making for a super serene view. A covered area allows for outdoor dining without the presence of too much sun during the hot parts of the day.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    Set Out Plenty of Chairs for Lounging

    pool area with furniture

    MMB Studio

    Pull up a chair! This backyard allows for plenty of space to kick back by the pool. Lounge chairs are excellent for sunning and reading, while a bench and coffee table are ideal during mealtimes.

  • 06 of 20

    Brighten Your Space With Lots of Lights

    backyard with pool and gravel

    Design: Forest Studio; Photo: Molly Rose Photo

    This tiered backyard offers poolside lounging as well as an upper area for socializing. Be sure to brighten things up with a few lanterns or some string lights so that you can enjoy your outdoor space after the sun goes down.

  • 07 of 20

    Get Comfy by the Water

    backyard with dock

    Design: Maverick Design; Photo: Molly Rose Photo

    Make the most of life at the lake by purchasing comfy outdoor furniture and cushions. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the peaceful view.

  • 08 of 20

    Grab Some Umbrellas for Maximum Comfort

    backyard pool area

    Design: Pratt Guys; Photo: Muriel Silva Photo

    Don't forget the umbrellas! Bring a beach resort feel to your own home by outfitting your backyard with all the essentials—stylish lounge chairs, outdoor pillows, and yes, something to protect you from the sun's rays.

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    Embrace a Darling Country Look

    gravel backyard

    Shani Core Interiors

    Not all no-grass backyards are by the pool or lake, though. This one has a quaint, countryside feel, thanks to the gravel and stone pathway and classic wrought iron furniture. We can imagine sitting out here for a cute afternoon tea party.

  • 10 of 20

    Create the Perfect Patio With These Essential Pieces

    patio in backyard

    Design: Richardson & Associates Landscape Architecture / Photo: Stacy Zarin Goldberg 

    If your backyard is solely a patio area, you can still make the most of it with the right combination of furnishings. A dining table, bench, side table, and fire pit are all you truly need.

  • 11 of 20

    Say Yes to Yellow

    patio with furniture

    Kendall Wilkinson Design

    Funky curved furniture isn't just for inside the house. Add a little personality to your backyard by opting for a curved sofa, for example. Then, don't forget to add pops of color in the form of pillows and throw blankets. Why not think outside the box a bit with a bold yellow?

  • 12 of 20

    Make It Minimal Yet Practical

    backyard with gravel and stone

    Almost Makes Perfect

    Fun egg chairs shine in this minimalist yet welcoming no-grass backyard. The yard features different zones for eating and relaxing and feels quite spacious due to its thoughtful layout.

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    Don't Forget to Design With Plants

    terra cotta stone

    Plants are the ultimate backyard accessory. If your no-grass backyard is feeling a bit sparse, it's easy to jazz up your surroundings with a few green friends—or a ton. Use plant pots as centerpieces or scatter some succulents around your space.

  • 14 of 20

    Design a Private Oasis

    flagstone backyard patio

    Design: K Interiors / Photo: Brad Knipstein

    You can also use plants and tall trees to make your backyard feel more lush and secluded. It's easy to carve out your own little private slice of paradise.

  • 15 of 20

    Set Up the Ultimate Outdoor Lounge Space

    pool backyard

    Design: LH Designs / Photo: Lauren Taylor

    Jump in the pool, then hop out and warm up by the fire pit...ahh, bliss! There's no better way to spend a summer night at home, if you ask us.

  • 16 of 20

    Arrange Some Poufs

    patio with bench and gravel

    Design: Studio Munroe / Photo: Thomas Kuoh

    A curved sofa fits perfectly in this outdoor space and can accommodate the whole crew. Poufs serve as an additional form of seating, but you can also turn them into side tables as needed—simply place a tray on top. They're lightweight and easy to move around the yard as you need, too.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    Install a Safety Gate Around the Pool

    pool deck

    @harperwilliamdesigns / Instagram

    If you have young ones running around, you'll want to keep your pool area gated off for safety purposes. This allows the rest of your no-grass backyard to serve as a family-friendly area for lounging.

  • 18 of 20

    Try This Acrylic Version for Maximum Style

    pool and patio backyard

    Maite Granda

    Not crazy about the look of metal? An acrylic barrier like this one is a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to a standard pool gate. It's barely there visually yet ultra functional at the same time.

  • 19 of 20

    Get Ready for Fun

    pool and play area

    Maite Granda

    If you have older children and do not need a gate around the pool, a setup like this one is tons of fun. If your backyard has a small patch of grass—or even sand—install a play area complete with a slide and swings.

  • 20 of 20

    Create a Cozy Escape

    Cozy backyard with string lights

    @herzenstimme / Instagram

    All types of seating, moody candles and string lights, and plush accents prove that no-grass backyards can be ultra cozy. You could even set up a projector out here to watch movies as the sun goes down.