Does Your Hardscaping Need More Structure?
Is your current patio a mess of outdoor rooms, merging into one another with no clear distinction between them? Perhaps you find that there isn’t a natural flow from one part of your patio to another and that guests often find themselves wandering aimlessly through the space, looking for a spot to settle down. You can bring order and structure to your patio through the addition of vertical structures that separate areas with different functions and atmospheres. Furthermore, connecting those rooms with small, interesting walkways can create a flow throughout your hardscape. Here are a few homeowners who achieved optimal order and functionality in their hardscapes without compromising on style.
A classic – Estate Wall
This is a simple example of how low walls can be used to separate different outdoor rooms. This homeowner wanted their grill island to be distinguishable from their warm fireside area. This is important because an outdoor kitchen often has a bustling atmosphere, while people cuddling beside the fire tend to be more relaxed and focussed on chatting. Drawing the line between these vastly different environments enables a guest to decide which atmosphere they would rather experience.
This low wall has been constructed using Estate Wall in the creamy Sierra color variation. These large and unrefined block-like units have an aged appearance, yet they still pair well with the shiny metal elements and polished granite countertops found in outdoor kitchens.
Related Read: 5 Landscaping Ideas that Merge the Old with the New
An eco-friendly alternative
There are many ways, other than low walls, with which you can separate different outdoor rooms. Plant beds can be created in strips, interrupting the paved surface and creating borders between different areas. The geometric way in which these plant beds were designed reflects the modern aesthetic of the patio. The Rivercrest Wall fireplace also serves as a boundary between this patio’s dining area and the lounging space.
Despite all the concrete and contemporary design techniques incorporated into this hardscape, it is an environmentally conscious creation. The Thornbury pavers underfoot are permeable, which means they return any moisture or rainwater to the underlying ecosystem. This water would otherwise build up on the patio surface, eventually run into stormwater drains and be wasted. These Thornbury pavers also have pleasant surface textures that grant them the timeless beauty and elegance of natural stone.
Walkways that tie the hardscape together
If you have a large backyard, your outdoor rooms may be scattered throughout the space, creating the impression that they are not part of the same hardscape. In order to create a cohesive hardscape that is visually unified, use similar pavers throughout all your outdoor rooms. Another way to bring the hardscape together is by using walkways to connect your outdoor rooms. This Thornbury walkway is adorned with colorful plants and a charming wooden pergola. This allows the walkway to serve as a destination on its own – a similar effect can be achieved by adding water features and benches along your walkways.
A majestic pergola
This outdoor kitchen and small bistro dining table are clearly defined by the presence of a pergola overhead. Pergolas can also be constructed from wood and often have slits in the ceiling to allow sunlight to filter through. The style of your pergola can be customized to suit the style of your home and hardscape. For example, the roof tiles on this pergola match those on the home and the arching sides mirror the classic rounded windows of the home.
The Copthorne pavers underneath are the perfect choice for this romantic hardscape design as they have the classic rustic appeal of brick and are available in an array of deep reds and browns. Once again, the paver selection echoes materials used in the construction of the home.
Platforms, steps and borders
The beautiful Copthorne kitchen above also stands out as a separate outdoor room because it rests upon a raised platform. Constructing your patio on different levels will not only result in an interesting and unique design, but will also help to make the boundaries between different areas clear.
For example, the boundary between this dining area and fire pit is made more obvious by the curved step. Unilock offers a variety of concrete and natural stone coping with which steps like this one can be constructed. Borders are often used to accentuate the edge of each step and can further separate two areas. If constructing vertical features is not in the cards for your hardscape renovation, consider borders as an effective way to outline different outdoor rooms.