While a large expanse of land can be desirable, it can also be intimidating. Large spaces are not always conducive to intimate gatherings or relaxing moments. Fortunately, in our more than 45 years of manufacturing pavers and walls that are innovative, beautiful, and highly functional, we’ve found many strategies that can bring much-needed definition to large landscapes.
Create a Focal Point
Drawing the eye to a focal point can help make a large space seem less overwhelming. The focal point you decide upon can combine function with beauty, such as an outdoor fireplace or fire pit, gazebo, or an intimate seating area, or it can be purely aesthetic like a dramatic paver pattern or water feature. Each focal point is an opportunity for different types of interactions: eating, conversing, relaxing, or playing games.
A fire pit, such as this one constructed of Unilock Rivercrest Wall, is a great conversation starter that will keep guests warm on chilly nights. Note the matching seating wall behind the Adirondack chairs. Seating walls let you create an even more intimate space while providing additional seating for large gatherings.
Designate Areas for Specific Purposes
Consider dividing up your expansive outdoor space into distinct areas for distinct purposes. In an open-concept design, it’s clear, through furniture placement, lighting, and accessories, how each space is intended to be used. For your landscape, you can create open-concept outdoor “rooms” through the use of low seating walls, plantings, outdoor structures, or varying styles and patterns of beautiful pavers. Distinct areas could also be developed through the use of high walls or dense plantings, or the joining of each area could occur with meandering walkways to give people a sense of being in nature as they move from one outdoor room to another.
Define Spaces with Different Pavers
Mixing up paver styles and colors can provide more definition between your outdoor rooms. Consider dark tones to create a cozier, more intimate feel. Pavers in contrasting colors can direct people to where they should go or help them transition from one area of your outdoor living space to the next.
Furnish to Scale
Be sure to choose outdoor furniture that is scaled to each outdoor room. A tiny bistro table might look out of place on a massive patio, while more substantial furniture plays to the scale of your outdoor space. At the same time, furniture that is too large and cumbersome interferes with flow and makes a space feel cluttered. A built-in seating arrangement offers a space-defining solution. For a sloped yard, retaining walls that double as seating options can provide a stately feel while also keeping the space open and clutter-free.
Less Lawn, More Variety
While a large lawn can be beautiful, it can require a significant investment in maintenance to keep it looking great. Break it up with planted trees that provide shade, or look into creating xeriscape areas for visual interest. Such areas require very little irrigation or none at all. Define the space further with a visual barrier between the lawn and the outdoor living space, such as a seating wall, hedge, a border of crushed stone (in a contrasting color to your patio pavers), large terra cotta planters, a water feature, or a rock garden.
The patio is constructed of Unilock Umbriano pavers and features Unilock Ledgestone walls and Unilock Town Hall accents. Planters, careful furniture placement, shade, and a focal point make this patio welcoming and functional for both small and large gatherings.
Shade is often at a premium, and nowhere is it more noticeable than in a large outdoor space. To add shade and define space, consider either installing one or two shade structures such as pergolas to give an intimate feel to the outdoor kitchen and seating areas or opting for a temporary solution like shade sails and patio umbrellas.
Change the Levels
Elevation changes are another strategy to develop intimacy in a large landscape. Walking down a few steps to enter a “conversation den” results in an instant intimate feel. A sunken area can be enclosed with lush plantings, low walls, or water features. Go up a few steps to a gazebo or pavilion, and have raised beds installed to put fragrant flowers at eye- and nose-level for maximum enjoyment and to create a feeling of being in nature. Creating multi-level spaces helps you take advantage of views, define spaces, and visually break up vast expanses of pavers.
An elevated seating area around the fireplace adds sophistication to an outdoor living space featuring Umbriano with Brussels Dimensional System walls and pillars, and Brussels Fullnose steps.
Add a Splash of Color and Personality
A monochromatic color palette unifies a space, while the use of different colors helps break it up. Add personal touches through accessories like pillows, throw blankets, or colorful outdoor curtains. Bring in unique details with painted furniture or upcycled garden sculptures. Give a personal human-scale feel to large spaces by adding colorful flair, providing focal points, mixing up the elevations, enhancing the space with natural features like plantings and water, and expressing your personality through your outdoor decor.
Any of these ideas can be put into action with the guiding help of Unilock, your partner through the entire landscape design and build process. We can connect you with reliable, vetted Unilock Authorized Contractors, who can address any concerns and hopes for your landscape. Take a look at our wide range of beautiful, long-lasting, durable paver products and wall units, and reach out to us today.