Look around for inspiration pictures that appeal to you.
Here's one with firepit seating area and spa pool:
Doing something like that, you could just put in the patio now and have dining table on it and later if money is available add the little pool.
I guess because of people's busy lives, contemporary landscaping often has a lot of paving and minimizes the planting areas. Low maintenance that way. But it can be beautiful.
this is really nice with the fence set ins and curved planting areas:
Here's a backyard with patio dining and cooking area and a little shady pergola in the back
here's some yards with vegetable gardens
just getting you inspired that there is so much more you can do with your backyard than put grass in it!