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Design 101 - Setting Plans In Stone: Tips from A Hardscape Designer

James Stephenson The Artist Garden Hardscape Design at Home Infatuation BlogJames Stephenson - The Artist Garden

Interested in installing a new patio, a modern fence or a brick walkway? As hardscape design grows in popularity, there are lots of choices for homeowners. From pavers and  paths to patios, hardscapes are the manmade features of the landscape and can change the way you look at and use you outdoor space.  

Just as you carefully design your interior, a fluid hardscape design requires just as much attention to detail.  Landscape designer James Stephenson says whether you are building an urban rooftop garden or a rural backyard, envisioning the entire project is the key to a successful design.  He offers the following tips:

Arterra Landscape Architects Hardscape Design at Home Infatuation BlogArterra Landscape ArchitectsPlan ahead. Go through magazines to find your look and then create and follow design goals. The hardscape should be the first phase of your landscaping project.  Include in your planning the drainage requirements and lighting.

Find a trained professional. When hiring a contractor such as an interior designer or a landscaper, understands their different roles. Keep costs down by selecting an expert with an aesthetic sense who can implement your design vision and do the work.

Art Luna Garden Hardscape Design at Home Infatuation BlogArt Luna GardenHow will you use your space?  Analyze your area and understand its different functions.  Do you entertain a great deal? What’s your personal style? How many members of your household will share the space?

Find the best surface material for your landscape. Different hardscaping materials may have varying impacts on the way you use your space.  Irregular slate, bluestone, colored concrete, pavers and limestone are just some of the materials to choose from. There are lots of surprising specifics. If you have a hankering for bluestone, you can choose from several different types, sizes and patterns.

Susan Heeger and Jason Schmidt for Martha Stewart Living Hardscape Materials at Home Infatuation BlogSusan Heeger for Martha Stewart Living
Deborah Needleman for House and Garden Hardscape Materials at Home Infatuation BlogDeborah Needleman for House & Garden

Keep it simple. You will need to create a balance between your hardscape and softscape. Your hardscape should blend into the existing space, so don’t use too many different materials. Feature complementary colors and textures so that every element of your garden works together. If your home is brick, you may want to use brick for your patio, or add a type of bluestone with natural colors that will blend in with the brick.


Read more about Blog Contributor James Stephenson.

Photo Sources´╗┐
The Artist Garden - James Stephenson
Arterra Landscape Architects
Art Luna Garden
Jason Schmidt

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