16 Best Modern Garden Design Ideas

Modern Garden - Outdoor Comfort

Designer: Harrington Porter

It’s always lovely to visit a beautiful modern garden, isn’t it? They’re so structured, neat, and peaceful. You find yourself gazing with envy at the home’s shade, placement of plants and trees, and swimming pool. A modern garden always makes you feel uplifted and inspired.

And then you come home to your own overgrown yard filled with weeds,  fallen branches, bits of timber, unfinished projects, and other clutter!

Whether you have the budget available now or you’re keen to start saving your pennies, we’ve put together the 16 best modern garden ideas to inspire you to create garden greatness! Many of them feature a completely grassless yard altogether, which is the perfect motivation to avoid having to undergo mowing ever again!

Weeding can also become a thing of the past, with unruly plants blocked by stone, tiles, timber floors, pebbles, and concrete. Those who’ve opted to keep their greenery will clearly need to be dedicated to more regular maintenance, but modern gardens will never get out of control like other suburban jungles. Having said this, the pools, steps, and outdoor furniture (including sofas with cushions) will definitely need to be looked after to survive outside in the elements. Hard work aside, no one will ever regret calling one of these beautiful, contemporary gardens their own. Ready to get inspired?

1. Grey Water Garden

Most of the yard area in this example has been covered in stones and a lovely footpath. Garden areas are in controlled corners and edges. These residents value water conservation. They even have a supplemental rainwater capture system, which saves them from having to waste water.

Modern Garden - Grey Water Garden

Photographer: Jeremy Levine

2. Italian-Style Modern Garden

This award-winning modern garden oozes peace and relaxation and cleverly combines classical Italian style with a modern edge. On this particular occasion, a rope fence was erected to prevent the many tourists (pictured) from trampling on the perfect grass and carefully sculpted plants.

Modern Garden - Chelsea Flower Show

Photographer: Karen Roe

3. Fantastic Functionality

The simplicity of this modern garden is designed to keep the viewer’s focus firmly on the architecture of the home, yet the greenery softens the hard lines of the design of the home. It also serves as a functional entertainment area.

Modern Garden - Beach House Design

Photographer: Shannon McGrath

4. Urban Oasis

This modern garden by designer My Landscapes looks more like a room without a ceiling. Decking and tiling on the ground replace the dirt and grass of traditional yards. The waterfall acts as a focal point, while cedar cladding adds privacy.  Tiled surfaces add an extra edge to the traditional understanding of ‘outside’. Bamboo, Japanese maple, Mexican lilies and Indian bean trees provide low maintenance greenery.

Modern Garden - Urban Oasis

Designer: Amir Schlezinger, My Landscapes

5. Hedge Haven

This modern garden features more steps and layers to add several dimensions within this small space. Yet this garden has just enough grass to sit or lie down on. When it comes to mowing, it’ll take you about 2 minutes, if that. Meanwhile, hedges bring life to the walls.

Modern Garden - Urban Hedges

Photographer: Michael Wee

6. Modern Garden Elegance

Plenty of sharp, unique lines combined with complementary, subtle colours from nature surround all areas of this COS Design modern garden.

Modern Garden - Modern Elegance

Designer: COS Design

7. Quaint Courtyard

A simple idea involving some paving, a small pond, some furniture, and a few cushions. Yet this design makes what might otherwise be a dingy little urban garden into a quaint resting area.

Modern Garden: Quiet Courtyard

Photographer: Sue Lowdnes

8. Alfresco Greenery

This stylish alfresco deck uses a fresh, contemporary colour palette that reflects the natural environment. Green and white plants match a green and white table setting. White washed timber blinds invite light and a spirit of joy and calm.

Modern Garden - Shadey Outdoors

Photographer: Felix Forest

9. Surf and Turf

This modern garden design has to find itself side by side with a river or sea. This garden neatly combines concrete, decking, steps, and some very precise rectangular areas of greenery for contemporary class.

Modern Garden - Patchwork Turf

Photographer: Tom Stringer

10. Family Friendly

Small spaces can contain a good balance of concrete, wood, and grass areas, but only in small doses! In this modern garden, there is plenty of play space for the kids as well as relaxing areas for the grown-ups. Impressive use of retaining walls adds to the creative charm of this Montreal Outdoor Living design.

Modern Garden - Layer Upon Layer

Design: Montreal Outdoor Living

11. Courtyard Deck

Don’t step on the nice grass! Stepping stones leading from one gorgeous timber deck area to another mean the grass will be maintained. You don’t need to be on a second storey to enjoy this stunning modern deck design by City Beautiful Carpentry.

Modern Garden - Garden Deck

Source: City Beautiful Carpentry

12. Futuristic Fantasy

This is certainly modern! One might even say it’s futuristic! This design takes the concept of building up and strategically places plants into the wall. What a great use of a small space!

Modern Garden - Garden Wall

Design: Morris Partnership; Photographers: Christopher Ott and Shania Shegedyn

13. Outdoor Wall Art

Why don’t we see more of this? Jazz up a potentially stark concrete fence wall with a piece of outdoor wall art. COS Designs knows how it’s done. Alternatively, choose an inspiring image from the Canvas Factory gallery of over $20 million images and create a metal print! A brushed aluminium print, suitable for outdoor areas, will look simply stunning.

Modern Garden - Creative Outdoor Solutions

Design: COS Designs

14. Horizon Beauty

With a huge fireplace, dining area, a full lounge area with couches, and a coffee table (not to mention the spa), this is indeed an outdoor living room.

Modern Garden: Patio Garden

Design: Prideaux Design

15. Simple Sophistication

A simple, yet sophisticated flat grassy yard from Harrington Porter, with neatly placed plants and furniture. Lots of open space with a comfortable cushioned bench seat, ideal for relaxing reading.

Modern Garden - Outdoor Comfort

Designer: Harrington Porter

16. New Wave Bali

This is Bali with all the function and none of the fuss. Some interesting levels here draw the eye and lead up to a comfortable shaded lounge area. Surrounded by jungle-like greenery, it provides a relaxed, outdoor relaxation area among nature while being easy to keep clean! A modern outdoor beauty from Landform Consultants.

Modern Garden - Bali Inspired

Design: Landform Consultants

Ready to contact a landscape architect or roll up your sleeves and get into it DIY style? Why not document the process? Take some photographs of the old, document along the way and then, once it’s complete, take some photos of the incredible result. To honour all that hard work, create a canvas collage to show the before and after. Creating something as beautiful as this is certainly something to take pride in.