10 Inspiring Side Yard Ideas

Don't let your side yard be a forgotten, muddy eyesore. Make the space something special, inspired by these gorgeous side yard ideas from Instagram.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

1 / 10

Fire Pit Seating Area Jasonosterbergerdesigns Instagram
Courtesy @jasonosterbergerdesigns/instagram

Fire Pit Sitting Area

A few cozy outdoor chairs and a fire pit are the centerpieces of this cheerful side yard by @jasonosterbergerdesigns. The surrounding lush landscaping and overhead lights help make this space feel special. The finished look of the gray pebble rock helps define the fire pit area.

2 / 10

Side Yard Vegetable Garden Via Fredricksonlandscapeinc Instagram
Courtesy @fredricksonlandscapinginc/instagram

Side Yard Vegetable Garden

If your unused side yard gets enough sunlight, it’s the perfect spot to start that vegetable garden you’ve always dreamed about. This garden by @fredricksonlandscapeinc features raised garden boxes┬ápainted black for a more modern look. A DIY-friendly path makes it easy to access your bounty when it’s time to harvest.

3 / 10

Hammock Side Yard Via Coastal Pacificlandscapes Instagram
courtesy @coastalpacificlandscapes/instagram

Relaxing Hammock Area

Even the smallest side yards are full of potential. A simple hanging hammock transforms this secluded side yard by @coastalpacificlandscapes into a relaxing getaway. And you don’t even need trees!

Two wooden posts were installed so the hammock would fit perfectly in this tight space. Flagstone stepping stones and low-growing succulents complete the zen-like area, ready for nap time.

4 / 10

Low Maintenance Turf Ecomm Via Turfrocks Instagram
Courtesy @turfrocks/Instagram

Low Maintenance Turf

According to the artificial grass experts from @turfrocks, side yards are often full of patchy grass, moss and mud due to the less-than-ideal conditions. Low sunlight and drainage issues caused by easements between homes can make it hard to grow healthy grass and plants.

If this sounds like your side yard, consider artificial turf instead! This side yard looks neat and tidy, stays green year-round and never needs mowing.

5 / 10

Drought Tolerant Landscaping Via Crestviewlandscape Instagram
Courtesy @crestviewlandscape/instagram

Drought-Tolerant Landscaping

Plants that don’t need much water are great for a side yard because that out-of-sight, out-of-mind space often doesn’t receive as much attention as the rest of the yard.

This side yard by @crestviewlandscape features several Westringia shrubs or “coast rosemary” that only require once-a-week watering. Check your local plant nursery for the best drought-tolerant plants for your climate.

6 / 10

Vertical Planter Via Mrs Caragay Instagram
Courtesy @mrs.caragay/instagram

Vertical Planter

A vertical planter or flower wall not only beautifies your side yard but helps cover less attractive home essentials, like an air conditioner unit or utility box.

In this side yard by @mrs.caragay, white planters with easy hooks hang from a white vinyl plank wall. The plants can be rearranged or added to as needed. Here’s a similar option.

7 / 10

Slate Walkway Via Amyailian Instagram
Courtesy @amyailian/Instagram

Slate Walkway

This side yard by @amyailian is so narrow that a walkway is all that would fit. So why not make that walkway as beautiful as possible?

Slate tile, gravel and a planter filled with lavender make the small space special. The concrete orbs give it a simple, chic something extra.

8 / 10

Playhouse Via Makingthisfeelhomey Instagram
Courtesy @makingthisfeelhomey/instagram

Play House

Utilize your side yard for a play house so your kids have their own happy hideaway. That’s what Kris from @makingthisfeelhomey did, and the project was a labor of love. They flattened the area, built the play house, made a short retaining wall with a bench and installed artificial turf, all in a couple of weeks!

If you don’t have the time for the DIY option, check out this ready-made black and white play house. You can also use these DIY play house plans. Skip the scalloped trim on the roof edge and paint it white with black trim for a modern look.

9 / 10

Putting Green Side Yard Via Cebuildersaz Instagram.com
Courtesy @cebuildersaz/instagram

Putting Green

Why should the kids have all the fun? Instead of a kid play area, make one everyone will love.

This side yard by @cebuildersaz features an artificial turf putting green, so no lawn maintenance required. If golf isn’t your thing, set up another sport court that’s side yard friendly like bocce, horseshoes or shuffleboard.

10 / 10

Sleek Concrete Via Cedarspringlandscapes Instagram.com
Courtesy @cedarspringlandscapes/Instagram

Sleek Concrete

If family and friends enter your backyard through your side yard, it should be just as welcoming as the rest of your outdoor spaces. This modern side yard by @cedarspringslandscapes does just that with its gorgeous cedar fence, sleek concrete walkway and glowing landscape lighting.

A concrete walkway keeps maintenance to a minimum. For added visual interest, include a few plants along the border.

Photographer: @cameron.st.visual.storytelling

Erica Young
Erica Young is a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in home and lifestyle pieces. She loves writing about home decor, organization, relationships, and pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.