Hosting a cocktail party, enjoying the sunset and soaking up the rays are all lovely, but so is enjoying your beautiful garden. Whether you want to simply make a few refreshing changes or you want to completely redesign your garden for spring, we’ve created a list of our top 50 modern garden ideas to give you the inspiration you need to form your own outdoor oasis.

→ Check out our Top 15 Modern Garden Ideas For Spring [infographic]

These modern design trends have been the favourite of many interior stylists over the past few years, so we want to help you carry them out into your garden too. Browse each of our sections to find ideas to suit every and any garden need, or jump to the category that you’re looking for using the navigation below.

Find the garden that matches yours:

Small Garden Ideas 
Medium Garden Ideas
Large Garden Ideas
Urban Gardens Ideas
Ideas for Gardens with Overlooking Features
Balcony Garden Ideas
Front Garden Ideas
Roof Garden Ideas

Skip to a specific feature for ideas on how you can add a modern feel:

Garden Path Ideas
Gardening and Landscaping Ideas
Water Features
Patio and Decking Ideas
Garden Furniture Ideas
Greenhouse Ideas
Shed Ideas
Garden Decoration Ideas

Small Garden Ideas 

  1. Vertical planters

For smaller spaces, mount your plants vertically for a practical and beautiful solution. Create a live wall by planting your flora inside pouches that are then mounted to a wall or board. This frees up your floor space for walking and more practical features.

  1. A strip of lawn

Be economical with your garden ratios and cut back on the size of your lawn. Sacrifice the space and form a statement seating area on a miniature decking and use a narrow strip of grass to bring a touch of nature to your garden. If you’re really limited, you can even forego your grass altogether and focus entirely on larger garden features and structures like a small pond or your outdoor furniture. Use hedges and vertical plants to add some green.

  1. Create an illusion of depth

Make the most of your space by giving your garden depth, or at least create the illusion of it. The floating pathway that we mentioned previously is one the best ways to achieve this. Make a high impact by filling the area beneath your raised pavers with a shallow body of water for a serene water feature that doesn’t take up any additional space. Raising your patio or decking and having steps that lead down to the rest of your garden is also a good way to add depth.

Medium Garden Ideas 

  1. A focal point

For regular-sized gardens, having a focal point and supporting features is a safe way to use your space. Pick a water feature, a cluster of furniture or an artistic sculpture. You can then accessorize and fill the surrounding areas with smaller pieces.

  1. Layer in textures

Having more space to work with doesn’t mean that you have to find more items to fill your garden with. Instead, why not experiment with your textures instead? Contrast a sandy stone patio with a golden wood decking, connected together with a pebbled pathway. These features work together to bring carefully crafted character.

Large Garden Ideas 

  1. An orchard

Got space to fill? Plant saplings in your garden to create a lush natural landscape that future generations can enjoy. Silver birch, hawthorn and blackthorn trees are hardy species and visually stunning, while apple, apricot, cherry and pear trees bear delicious fruits. An orchard brings shade and diversity to your garden, and is an environmentally friendly effort to support the climate.

  1. A daybed

Is your lounger just not cutting it for you? Take comfort to new levels with a daybed. A luxury piece of furniture that’s the ideal spot for wiling away sunny afternoons, you can further upgrade by selecting a four poster daybed complete with a shady canopy.

  1. An outdoor kitchen

Become a champion of functional living by transforming your garden into an outdoor kitchen that’s equipped for cooking and entertaining. If you’re confused as to where to start, begin with a grill or barbeque and expand with an outdoor fireplace and a neat little seating area. 

Urban Garden Ideas 

  1. Living walls

Common challenges that many urban gardens face is a lack of space and a lack of colour. So how do you bring green to an overcrowded concrete jungle? Think tall. As we’ve mentioned before, utilise the wall space that you have by fixing planters vertically to your walls. Plants like bamboo, ivy and long grass are high achievers and work to fill your space upwards, rather than outwards.

  1. Practical pergolas

If there’s one item that you have to choose for your tropical cityscape, we strongly recommend a pergola. Simple, reliable and versatile, there’s limitless ways that you use this to turn your space into a luscious natural haven. Timber frames are great for achieving a traditional garden look, but opting for a metal frame may be better suited for a contemporary feel. Use the frame to hang planters and the space below for furniture, potted plants, shrubs and mini trees.

  1. Urban lighting

If you want to emphasise the urban feel of your garden, swap out your lighting for modern lighting fixtures. Choose box shaped lights and minimalist designs. Browse our full range of candle accessories for more ideas.

Ideas for Gardens with Overlooking Features

  1. Slim trees that bloom over your fence

If privacy away from curious eyes is what you’re looking for, add height to your fence by planting trees that have slender trunks but bloom over the top of any fencing. For example, lean white birch trees don’t take up much ground space and they don’t blossom out until above fence level. This creates a natural extension to your fence. Single-stem trees can be pruned to grow in this space.

  1. A leafy canopy above your dining area

The last thing you want when entertaining your guests is an audience, so create a secluded little dining spot for late night al fresco dining or lunchtime picnics. Install a basic arbor frame above your seating area, then add climbing plants to grow along the structure. This will create a sheltered and hidden area, that’s great for fending of nosy neighbours and strong midday sun.

  1. Embrace your fence

Some people might be bashful about trying to shield their garden from overlooking features, but we say to embrace your fencing. Create more seclusion by taking your fence higher. Or, for a more stylistic way to lengthen your fence, start by building a brickwork perimeter and top it up with painted wooden slats to extend its height. The painted slats can be matched to your garden furniture or flora to bring your garden together.

Balcony Garden Ideas

  1. Plants, plants and more plants

Plants make everything better, right? We think so anyway. Bring colour and character to your balcony by adding plenty of flora. Add plant species in different colours, sizes and shapes to create a diverse collection. In modern gardens, planting in uniform and matching style is key, however this effect can be too overpowering and simply boring when applied to a balcony. 

  1. Choose your plant pots carefully

To give your balcony a modern feel, select plant pots in monochrome shades and symmetrical shapes. Metal, natural weave and painted wooden styles are best. Let your flowers bring the colour.

  1. Minimalist furniture

If your balcony is large enough for furniture, select minimalist pieces that aren’t too loud and don’t cause a visual imbalance. Stick with a monochrome colour scheme and add subtle pops of colour through your soft furnishings. You don’t want your balcony furniture to overwhelm the rest of your space.

Front Garden Ideas

  1. Symmetrical style

If you have a patch of grass in your front garden, give it a contemporary rehaul by reshaping it into a square or rectangle and installing a white gravel border. Use grey brick as an edging between the grass and gravel for a modern feel. You can even plant a statement tree or shrub on each corner of your grass.

  1. Create a direct path to your front door

Set tile down in a straight path to your front door, using dark slabs in different sizes. Allow for space on either side of your path for gravel, and install solar-powered disc-shaped floor lights. For a splash of green, plant low hedges on the outer edge of the gravel. This creates three different parallel layers of textures that beautifully frame your front door. 

  1. Marble effect

Marble (or marble effect for a more affordable option) paving slabs give an instantly modern feel to any front garden. Elegant and luxurious looking, the only downside to installing real marble is that it is reactive to acidic substances. Make sure to apply a surface sealer after paving to prevent discolouration.

  1. Grow your own front garden wall

If you don’t have a front garden or driveway, you can still make the most of what space you do have. Line the front of your home with striking plants, bold blooms and vibrant flowers to create your own makeshift garden wall. If you live in a busy city near a main road, plant towering trees and shrubs to form your own privacy barrier.

Roof Garden Ideas

  1. Cinder block arrangements

Industrial, functional and perfectly fitting of modern design, cinder block flower arrangements bring a contemporary style to any roof garden or terrace. These concrete blocks usually have a hollow centre that’s ideal for filling with plants. Their compact and tessellating nature means that they make great pyramid or stacking arrangements.

  1. Light wood shades

Match your cinder blocks with a light wood colour scheme. Natural beech or oak complement grey tones to give a modern feel. Think sandy decking, benches and furniture.

  1. Create a diverse plantscape

As with balcony gardens, you can afford to pick a broader selection of plants for your roof garden. Unless you have a perfectly symmetrical garden, find plants that add depth, height and colour to your outdoor sanctuary. They don’t need to  be arranged in a meticulous formation, the more free the better. We would recommend planting towering trees and shrubs above your seating areas, however, to provide some much needed summer shade.

  1. Invest in quality flooring

Consider your surroundings, your climate and your own needs when selecting your flooring. There will naturally be less coverage on your roof terrace, so expect more exposure to the elements. Due to this, wooden decking may be the easiest to maintain and you may want to stay away from loose elements like gravel. Grass can also get water logged quickly as there is no natural drainage, so artificial grass might be a more suitable choice.

Garden Path Ideas

  1. Staggered paving slabs

While the modern design movement centres on the notion that “form follows function”, it doesn’t mean that you have to forego creativity. Keep your garden path as direct as possible, but stagger your paving slabs to form some visual interest. Offset the stones in a repeated pattern to retain your direction but allow for some creative freedom.

  1. Geometric paving slabs

Avoid overly straight lines and perfect angles by using square and rectangular pavers of varying sizes to form a graphic pattern for your path. Start by selecting larger pavers to give an easy footing, and then follow with a different sized slab to create a mosaic look.

  1. A floating pathway

For an elegant, walk-on-water form, floating your pavers gives a strong modern style that’s sure to impress. Create the illusion that your paving stones are floating by fixing a dark coloured base to the bottom of each of your steps, ensuring that the base is smaller than the step. The dark colour will cause the base to appear invisible. Fill the space underneath with a thin layer of small pebbles or gravel to add to the effect.

  1. A wooden walkway

Timber adds a rustic feel to any garden, so you may want to swap your paving stones for some wooden decking instead. For a more polished and minimalist look, opt for uniform decking in a straightforward layout, or bring a rustic quality to your garden by using different sized beams that are slightly offset. 

Gardening and Landscaping Ideas

  1. Avoid overcrowding your plants

In modern gardening design, aim for neat, organised lines and focus on emphasising strong structures. Plant large sculptural shrubs and bushes or statement trees in a symmetrical form. Don’t overcrowd them or you’ll risk losing your wow factor. 

  1. Choose the right plants

Complement the industrial colours of your paths, surfaces and furniture by selecting green, lush plants for your base colour scheme. The vibrancy of plants with bold, textured, green leaves are a perfect match for stone and concrete features. Add ornamental grass, rigid yucca plants, shapely succulents, ground-covering hosta and the statement swiss cheese plant to your garden for standout scenery.

  1. Add pockets of colour

To bring more life to your garden, colour coordinate your flowers. Plant flowers of a similar shade in a repeat formation to build up a colour pattern. This will give your garden an  overall concept.

Water Features

  1. A cascading waterfall feature

If you have a pond or a small body of water in your garden, a cascading waterfall feature is a great option. It takes up little space and provides a steady stream of flowing water that draws the eye, without being overpowering. This understated feature can become a centrepiece when several waterfalls are stacked on top of each other in a tiered formation. 

  1. Sphere water features

A stainless steel, sphere water feature perfectly captures the feel of modern design. These round, ball-like structures have a mirrored finish and sprout a gentle stream of water from the top of the sphere. They catch the daylight and are an impressive addition to any modern garden.

  1. A miniature reflecting pool

These shallow, often rectangular, bodies of water require no electric or mechanical motor to power them. They’re a still section of water that is undisturbed by jets to produce a mirror-like, reflective surface.  For maximum impact, these pools are best left alone, without fish, plants or fountains. Think of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. But much smaller, obviously. And in your garden!

Patio and Decking Ideas

  1. Exposed red brickwork

Not all modern design has to follow a monochromatic colour palette.  The earthy tones of exposed brickwork add an intricate and interesting pattern to your patio. It’s a more unusual choice for your outdoor space, but when paired with the right furniture, red brickwork is brilliant for giving your garden character.

  1. Bring your indoor furniture outdoors

If your home opens up on to your patio, develop a sense of continuity by blurring the boundaries between your indoors and outdoors. Create an extension of your kitchen or living area by selecting patio furniture that pairs with what you have inside. Cluster homely pieces like blankets and cushions on your outdoor lounger to form a seamless adjoining al fresco space.

  1. Wooden decking

Does your patio space connect to a separate decking area? Contrast textures by transforming your decking with hardwood. The smooth and polished look of timber aligns with a modern style and can be designed with built-in seats, quadrilateral-shaped water features and glass panelling.

Garden Furniture Ideas

  1. Sofas

Every garden, modern or not, needs a seating area. Wooden and metal benches are practical, but definitely not the most comfortable, so investing in a stylish sofa is a must. Wooden and wicker framed sofas with outdoor cushioning are great for adding a contemporary touch to outdoor spaces. A natural wood or black coloured frame with a grey seat perfectly complements a modern style.

  1. A fire pit focal point

Much like your living room should be decorated around a focal point, your garden follows a similar principle. Having a fire pit to centre your other furniture around is an easy way to create cohesion and balance out your garden.  A round, metal, bowl-like fire pit is a great place to start. Or if your furniture is laid out in an angular and structured form, a square or rectangular stone fire pit will add some contemporary charm.

  1. Statement chairs

When it comes to selecting chairs for your garden, stick closely to the “form follows function” rule. Select pieces that are made for comfort, like rounded wicker chairs for an ethereal look, or ergonomically shaped loungers. Bean bags and rattan hanging chairs are some more fun options to choose from. Stylish and comfy.

Greenhouse Ideas

  1. Basic structures

Modern-look greenhouses often stick to a similar style: basic structures with minimal black framework. They are made entirely from glass and metal, without a brick or wooden post in sight. The metal frames offer a simplistic style that are durable and don’t take away from the openness of the glass structure itself. Many contemporary greenhouses also take on an asymmetric design. The roof of these structures differ from traditional greenhouses in that they slant upwards all across the width of the building. Think of it as though you sliced a tradition greenhouse vertically in half, right at the apex of the roof. 

  1. Rustic accessories

If you’re looking to decorate an existing greenhouse, rustic-inspired accessories and furniture are the way to go. Think wooden benches and countertops, terracotta plant pots, natural stone pavings and simplistic plant stands. Opt for neutral design and colours to keep an air of minimalist style. Let your plants and vegetables be the focal point. 

Shed Ideas

  1.  Box sheds

Say goodbye to traditional shed structures of old. Contemporary gardens tend to have box-shaped sheds that act as an additional room to your home. Modern-inspired sheds also tend to have large or full-length glass doors and windows. These let in plenty of light and allow you to show off your stylish interior.

  1. Your shed’s own personal porch

Who says that your shed can’t have its own personal porch? When designing your modern shed, extend the roof to form a shelter that extends over a decking area. Use smooth timber and clean lines for a contemporary touch.

  1. Tailor your shed to you

Already have a shed structure that you love? No problem, why not spruce up your shed interior instead? Garden sheds aren’t just for lawnmowers, tools and the items that you haven’t found a home for yet, they can be whatever you want or need them to be. Turn your shed into a relaxing space that you can escape to, make it into your art studio or curate it into a quaint little home office. A shed-turned-music-studio is the perfect solution for keeping teens occupied, or store your workout equipment in there so you can exercise no matter the weather.

Garden Decoration Ideas

  1. Outdoor lanterns

Outdoor candle lanterns are a staple décor piece when it comes to adding to modern style. Clean lines, glass panelling and neutral tones pair well with the aesthetic of a contemporary garden, so look for lanterns that follow this criteria. They also add a soothing light when lit with a pillar candle for a beautiful illumination when dusk hits.

  1. Fiery points of light

Igniting your fire pit every evening single can feel like too much hassle, so layer in some additional points of light instead. Outdoor candle holders for your tealights and votive candles are perfect for smaller gardens. If you have a larger space to brighten, try our new Outdoor Fragrance Flame - a portable way to let light and fragrance into your backyard. With its simplistic metal and glass structure, the Fragrance Flame is a great match for modern-inspired spaces.

  1. Built-in lighting

Planning built-in lighting into your garden landscape is another decoration idea to consider. Underfloor lights, spotlights built into your decking, strip lights that line your steps or pathway and low level spotlights that beam upwards are excellent additions to any contemporary outdoor space. These offer a romantic and dreamy feel to any garden, perfect for candlelit dinners or casual barbeques. 

  1. Abstract sculptures

Aside from lighting, modern gardens tend to stick to a more basic colourway of grassy greens, industrial greys and shades of black and cream. So, your decorations should focus more on their shape rather than the colour that they bring. Abstract sculptures are ideal. Sculptures of stone or metal in their organic state make great works of outdoor art and add a quirky touch. If you have shrubs, you can even trim these into different shapes for a “living” sculpture. 

→ Check out our Top 15 Modern Garden Ideas For Spring [infographic]

For more inspiration, visit our blog to discover décor, styling and accessory ideas for every room of your home. Or shop PartyLite accessories on our online store today.

Imo Gee