When one hears the word hardscape, what comes to mind? In the earlier 1980’s it meant linear concrete paths or walkways leading up to the front door or rather symmetrical paths leading to a backyard pool. With modern homes though, creativity is at an all-time high for creative design. Whether you already have a design in mind or you give a blank stare at the area knowing something needs to be changed but are not sure what, Cutting Edge can make it happen.
If you are the artistic type or at least have an open-mind to out-of-the-box design ideas, the modern hardscape world is at your fingertips. There are several opportunities to change up levels and patterns. When developing the scenic view, think about the direction you and your guests will be facing; a south or west-facing area receives the most sun from dawn to dusk.
Privacy can be of concern too. Think of using taller or fuller bushes matched together with walkways to create a more private feel. Remember though, no one may be able to see in, but you will not be able to see out either. For a more intimate feeling, add swings or built-in seating around the outer edges. Pergolas and arbors, according to Better Homes and Garden, help create an aura of intimacy and style. Adding flowers and/or vines can up your level of privacy when placed accurately.
To block out unwanted noises, think about adding a water feature. There are plenty to choose from in a vast amount of price ranges, according to your budget. The natural flow of water is a soothing healer for stress, so it automatically becomes an environment to relax. According to HGTV, water can also create a dividing line between the seating area and the landscape. Think about a pond or a water fountain with different sized rocks to create a soothing and private atmosphere.
Another idea is to add trellis or fence in different heights to create privacy in high traffic areas, and to create scenic views in other areas. Trellis screens are another creative idea to add flair to your landscape. Trellis comes in a variety of colors so you can add serene colors to soothe or bright colors to make a statement. If you use lattice, think about adding flowers and greenery in some areas of the piece for a non-traditional creative additive.
With walkways, it is important to think about a variety of stones to line the path. Using pebble rock mixed with a variety of walkway stones or flat rock will create a mood-enhancing focal point when guests enter your area. For those pesky hillsides, think about hefty granite boulders lined up along the terraced staircase. These hardscapes form the perfect spot for displaying plants, according to HGTV.com. Adding soft greenery or lightly colored plants and flowers to the edges help form the directed path.
According to DIY Network, garden paths are used to lead the eye to a focal point and to create interest, or they can be purely for access. Your choice will influence your design—a decorative path might take a winding route, while an access route is more likely to follow a straight line. You can use a single material to create paths or mix different surfaces. Consider laying slabs or pavers in different patterns. Also using bricks instead of, or alongside, pavers are a modern solution that add excitement.
Another idea for creativity is to mix the landscape material when building decks and gates. For example, add a wrought-iron gate to wooden fencing, or vice versa. Adding color to the deck isn’t always just for the accessories it holds; brightly-colored posts or stairs add a splash of colored detail to your haven.
Whatever ideas you choose, feel free to make it your own. Whether you have your own ideas or need our creative expertise, Cutting Edge would love to work as a team with you. A relaxing change, no matter how subtle, is only a call away.