6 Hardscaping Techniques for a Sophisticated Backyard Design
Investing your money and effort in your landscape can boost the resale value and curb appeal of your home, while revolutionizing your backyard entertainment. The vertical hardscape elements that accompany your patio floor serve to energize your backyard by creating depth and different dimensions. Here are 6 hardscaping tips for achieving a sophisticated backyard design.
Retaining walls are convenient seating options
Retaining walls often double as seat walls, made comfortable and inviting by the addition of personalized accent cushions. These low walls can be topped with rounded coping such as Brussels Fullnose that does not damage clothing and creates a comfortable surface. Any fully-furnished patio can make use of extra seating when ordinary family gatherings are replaced by extravagant birthday parties. A pool, hot tub or elegant Brussels Dimensional Stone fire pit can be partially enclosed by a curved seat wall that serves a functional purpose in addition to segregating areas and contributing to aesthetic flair.
Embrace a dimensional landscape
Different levels within a landscape can define different groups of plants or separate outdoor ‘rooms’. Outdoor rooms are customized spaces with different functions and each may contain a different atmosphere. An area devoted to preparing food is usually more functional than the dining area, for example, which houses a warm and welcoming ambiance. If hollowing out different areas or installing platforms is out of the question, the different spaces within a flat landscape can still be defined using stone pillars and decorative low walls.
Steps are excellent additions to untamed slopes
Building steps within a sloping landscape can make steep inclines easier to navigate and can link the architecture of the home to the surrounding landscape. Concrete is durable, versatile and requires little maintenance, making it an ideal material for your outdoor stairway. Concrete steps can be shaped in endless ways to suit the layout of your backyard, giving you the opportunity to incorporate the environment into your design. Finely textured concrete steps can add a sleek, modern appeal to your slope while natural stone enveloped in low-lying shrubs can create a whimsical path that flows seamlessly into the surrounding landscape.
Retaining walls can act as focal points
Unilock offers a wide variety of natural and man-made stone that can be combined to create unique, eye-catching retaining walls. Using wallstone or pavers of different sizes or irregularly shaped natural stone can increase the depth of your hardscape design. Consider muting your retaining walls with capstones of a similar shade, allowing colorful vegetation to draw attention instead, or create striking contrast to highlight your retaining walls as a central feature. Retaining walls can be used to frame patios and stairways and tend to create romantic areas when curved, as they accentuate the soft lines within any surrounding nature.
Pillars add interest to flat patios and landscapes
Pillars add beauty to your patio and providing a pleasing finish to the ends of retaining walls, seat walls and low walls. Once you have chosen the optimum size and shape for your pillars based on their structural capabilities, they can be customized further to complement the architectural style of your home. Upgrade the plain patio poles supporting your roof by framing them in short stone columns and using seat walls to span the spaces between them. Pillars and low walls are often paired, as a long stretch of retaining wall can be broken by a pillar holding a lighting fixture or planter.
The importance of lighting
Landscape lighting is far more than a tool which prolongs your outdoor activities after dark. Modern outdoor living designs exhibit carefully positioned lighting fixtures that create ambience and draw attention to specific landscape features. Well lights, for example, can be used to accentuate low-lying shrubs and colorful plant beds along a pathway. Path lights allow the safe navigation of your landscape while riser lights incorporated into stairways contribute the elegance and sophistication of their sleek designs to your hardscape. Environmentally-conscious homeowners might consider incorporating solar-powered, energy-efficient LED lights into their outdoor lighting. Various landscape lighting techniques can be used to emphasize key hardscape features, such as highlighting and moonlighting. Highlighting refers to the use of a spotlight placed at the base of a feature, while moonlighting involves fitting a lighting fixture in a high position and bathing an area in soft light.