8 Backyard Trends That Will Make You Want to Spend Every Day Outdoors

From tenniscore to wooden cold plunge tubs

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In the olden days (as in, less than a year ago, which is nearly eternity by TikTok trend standards), you’d highlight your open kitchen and spa-like bathrooms—and, if you were so lucky—incredible views to sell a house. In 2024, you call out your backyard. Zillow has deemed them the “new luxury for homebuyers,” noting that they’re highlighted in one out of every five listings these days. “When the pandemic forced all entertaining outdoors, homeowners reclaimed their backyards from the kids or the dogs. Now they’re rethinking how that space could serve as an extension of their home in new, creative ways,” explains Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home trends expert.

So, what does that look like? It seems as if everything about this year’s backyard trends bridge our COVID-incited newstalgia obsession with the return to traditional design. Think: a slipcovered outdoor sectional that could hold its own in Ralph Lauren’s living room. Or a wooden cold plunge tub that looks like it’s straight out of an upstate spa. It’s about reimagining the heirloom, racquet club feel of the ‘90s with Princess Diana on the tennis court (if she were playing pickleball in lululemon shorts, that is). 

So below, eight emerging backyard trends, so you can outfit your great outdoors to be, well, even greater.

The Most Comfortable Patio Furniture of 2024, from Comfy Outdoor Chairs to Canopy Beds

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Baron's Cove

1. Country Club Chic

For the past few years, outdoor design has been largely dominated by sleek metal furnishings with clean, contemporary lines. In 2024, however, I’m seeing a noticeable shift toward classic, country club-inspired aesthetics that. Picture Ralph Lauren meets Baron's Cove in Sag Harbor circa 1991. “TikTok calls this tenniscore, and though it’s mainly a fashion trend, we’re incorporating the racquet club aesthetic into our interior styling,” says Shea McGee, founder of Studio McGee Interiors. “Tenniscore effortlessly mixes our long-establish love of athleisure with the throwback aesthetic of Princess Diana at the country club. In the closet, you’ll find this trend in cable knit sweaters, loafers, pleated skirts and tube socks. In interiors, you’ll find it in crisp whites, creams and playful greens, cabana stripes, rattan, chambray and pristine lawns.” 

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Serena & Lily

2. Squishy Seating

If this PureWow reader-beloved sofa from Serena and Lily tells us anything, it’s that people want to feel as comfortable on their patios as they do in their living rooms. That’s why I’m seeing an uptick of extra-cushy outdoor seating—particularly with slipcovered outdoor sofas, modular sectionals and beanbag loungers. While the top trending yard and patio item this year is the beanbag chair (according to Google), low-profile modular sectionals are also on the rise. Basically, these have the same, sink-into-me feel of a beanbag with the extra seating room of a sectional—they’re lightweight and easy to move around the yard and you can create endless seating arrangements, thanks to their modular design. As for the slipcovered outdoor sofas, these are investment-worthy pieces that use performance fabric: They’re specifically engineered to look like indoor sofas but they’re built with water-, fade-, mildew- and stain-resistant upholstery (watch this video if you don’t believe us).

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Lupaia Hotel

3. Maximalist Gardens

Neatly manicured lawns are nice and all—but they can be a little boring. Increasingly, the pros at custom landscape company Yardzen are seeing people lean toward the opposite end of the spectrum, opting for maximalist gardens full of flowers. “This style is all about volume, texture and a playful hand at planting,” explains CEO and cofounder Allison Messner. “It’s all about layering flowers and plants at different heights and with different textures…The maximalist garden has lots to feast your eyes on and little to fuss with.”

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Serena and Lily

4. Cabana Stripes

Perhaps you’re noticing a theme here: thick stripes, aka cabana stripes. As McGee mentioned above, they’re a microtrend to emerge from the tenniscore craze. However, they’re a bit more versatile than you might think; you can style the stripes to veer more classic country club or coastal European. If you’re looking to hit the latter category, the goal is to pick resort-worthy pieces with a whimsical garden vibe. Think: poolside loungers and umbrellas you’d see at Palazzo Avino in Italy or Hôtel Barrière in St. Barts. Plus, unlike pinstripes, which have ultra-thin vertical alignments, the cabana stripes I’m seeing are thicker with a statement-making attitude. You don’t have to squint to see the contrast of each line—and you won’t feel dizzy and nauseous if you stare for too long.

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5. Spa Features and Cold-Plunge Tubs

Why are people—particularly celebrities, including Kylie Jenner, Gwyneth Paltrow and Brooke Shields—replacing their hot tubs with cold-plunge tubs? Simply put, “homeowners are bringing the spa to their backyard,” Messner says, adding that Yardzen has seen more and more people request upgrades like saunas, day beds and yoga platforms. Cold-plunge tubs, in particular, have been popular. “We’ve seen a renewed interest in the Scandinavian-influenced practice of hot and cold therapy,” Messner explains. “It’s not just makeshift stock tank ice baths now, there are more and more companies building dedicated plunge tubs—either used on their own or paired with a heat source like an infrared sauna or dry heat barrel sauna.”

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6. Multi-Purpose Sport Courts

What better way to hop on the tenniscore look than by building your own personal court? If you have the space—and the budget—you may want to skip a pool or elaborate garden in favor of a space to get active. “Maybe blame the pickleball craze, but there’s a renewed interest in incorporating dedicated activity zones into the yard and doing it in a way that it feels integrated and cohesive with the overall design,” Messner says. Installing a court that complements the existing color palette of the yard, like the one shown in this French Airbnb, can help you achieve just that.

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Backyard Pod

7. Outdoor Gyms

Sticking with the theme of outdoor activity: Instead of converting the garage or basement into a gym, people are moving their workout spaces outdoors. It’s a trend Zillow noticed, and nobody’s more aware of it than the folks at Backyard Pod, which specializes in tiny houses—or pods—many of which are being turned into gyms with their own heating and cooling systems, luxury vinyl flooring and a private bathroom.

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Getty Images

8. Petscaping 2.0

Given the rise of “barkitecture” over the past year, it’s only fitting that an interest in creating pet-friendly spaces would extend to the great outdoors as well. The whole concept of “petscaping” is landscaping with your pet—most likely your dog—in mind, ideally so that you can create a safe space where your pup can freely romp and soak up the sun (or snow).That means adding fences, hedges or outdoor privacy screens that’ll prevent your dog from exploring areas he shouldn’t (because if he can, he will). It also involves ​​creating a garden free of pesticides, mulch and thorny/toxic plants, and zones for your pets to use the bathroom (rather than hiking on your dahlias), as well as dig pits for playing and pathways for exploring. Some people are taking this to the next level, with Pinterest reporting an 85 percent increase in searches for creating a “DIY dog pool.”

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