Gone are the days when luxury landscaping centered around showing off acres of seamless lawns. Today’s homeowners instead are making the most of their yards by focusing on features and spaces that are functional, sustainable, and inviting. What’s more, they’re not afraid to put their signature style on the outdoor aesthetic of their homes.
While a vast and well-manicured lawn is a beautiful sight to behold, unless you’re planning to hold soccer tournaments in your backyard, you are wasting money to water, feed, cut, weed, and otherwise maintain expansive areas of grass just to show off the fact that you have ample acreage. Instead, put that money to use building spaces that show off your style, bring the inside outside, and emphasize comfort and practicality over grandeur.
Regardless of how much yard they have to work with, today’s savvy homeowners marry beauty with functionality when they design their outdoor living areas. Here are just a few guidelines to keep in mind as you dream up the perfect out-of-doors environments for your home.
Break It Up
Create inviting and varied venues in your landscaping. Build separate areas to enjoy. Start by making a list of the things you would love to experience: a pool area, a breakfast bistro, a hideaway reading spot, an outdoor kitchen, a quiet hammock lounge, a game or exercise arena, a greenhouse, a putting green, a vista point, or an herb, flower, or vegetable garden. Then prioritize and narrow down your list depending on how much land you have to work with.
Feast the Senses with Texture
Plan to break up your selected areas by placing them at different heights—going a few steps up to one venue and down to the next. Separate them with a variety of eye-pleasing textures—like wood, stone, water, and foliage—as well as functional or stylish features, such as paving stones, water fountains, bench seating, fire pits, retaining walls, faux barriers, shade structures, and sculpture.
Make It Inviting
Whether your aim is to create spaces that are inviting for you to use on a daily basis or inviting for others to come and be entertained—or both—you want to center your designs on the idea that your yard is more than just a thing to look at. It should be a place to enjoy, be comfortable, and find both beauty and purpose. Make the design of your outdoor spaces an extension of the style, comfort, and creativity you’ve poured into your indoor living. Your home should be a place to be enjoyed, a place of rest and security, a place of belonging.
There are literally thousands of ways to make your out-of-doors space into a restful retreat, an inviting oasis, or a hub of activity and entertainment. From flowers to fountains, pools to pergolas, and gardens to gazebos, this helpful guide is a good place to start. Grab some landscaping magazines, solicit the help of friends, or visit a nearby botanical garden, park, or museum known for its beautiful grounds in order to gain some inspiration. Sketch out a rough map of what you’re thinking and then run it by a professional landscaper for a consultation or estimate.
Extend your home by making the outdoors just as appealing and delightful as the inside! What are you waiting for?