Your outdoor space is an extension of the interior of your home. A beautiful landscape provides you with a peaceful, comfortable place to sit and relax or to entertain guests. Plus, a beautiful yard adds value and curb appeal to your home. When landscaping your yard, don’t forget to incorporate hardscapes into your design for visual interest and balance.
Hardscapes are those non-living elements including all types of practical and decorative structures. They create a sense of permanence as they remain unchanged over the years. A driveway, sidewalk, patio, outdoor kitchen, and retaining wall are all examples of hardscapes. It’s a critical part of landscape design providing structure and form. Together with plants and landscape lighting, hardscape elements help delineate and define your yard.
When considering which hardscape feature would best enhance your property and your lifestyle, think of your needs as well as the size and layout of your yard. Perhaps you want a water feature like a fountain or pond. Or maybe a fire feature like an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Whichever hardscaping elements you decide upon, remember to keep them balanced with a focal point. Work with colors and textures already incorporated in your home for a fluid transition from house to yard.
Choose materials that complement your home for a unifying look. Wood, brick, stone, or pavers are all suitable materials to use for hardscape elements. Your budget, architectural style of your home, and durability of the hardscape material can help you choose. Keep in mind too, within each category there are different ways to add style and personality. Consider concrete, which many people think is plain and drab. Yet, you can stain concrete for added color. For added visual interest, you can also stamp concrete to replicate other materials such as flagstone or brick.