Category Archives: Home Improvement

Exterior Home Improvement Through Hardscape Design

Hardscaping has become a popular trend in recent years for folks looking to beautify the outside of their home. While landscape design deals with things like your trees, lawn and garden, hardscape design covers all the non-living stuff like your rocks, concrete, pathways, etc.

Homeowners who undertake a hardscape design project will usually end up with an exterior they will greatly enjoy, as well as enhance the value of their home. There are a few areas to focus on to make the hardscaping a success.

First, let’s take a look at the sculptures and planters. It is important here to look for the proper balance. Flower plants in your yard and garden are great, but you need to be careful not to overdo it. If you have too many of these things, it will start to take over your yard, and it will be difficult to highlight any of the other features. See to it that you strike the right balance of planters with flowers, and well as sculptures, for the size and shape of your yard.

Retaining walls are another hardscaping element that can do wonders for your yard. The main purpose of an exterior retaining wall is to hold back the soil from erosion and keep the landscaped areas in place. Retaining walls can also be useful as a border to divide one are of the yard from another. When you have areas of your yard that are unattractive, retaining walls can be strategically placed to cover them up so visitors don’t see them and they don’t become a hindrance when it comes time to sell your home.

Pavers or bricks are another element of hardscaping that can greatly enhance the look and attractiveness of the home’s exterior. Many homeowners these days build walkways or even patios out of bricks or pavers. There are several potential advantages to using these materials instead of traditional concrete. First, bricks and pavers come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. For whatever style you are trying to achieve, there is usually a design available that will make a perfect match for your home.

Another reason using brick or paver is popular is that many homeowners can install it themselves without the need for a professional. Of course, you need to know what you’re doing and have a general idea of how you want the finished product to look. But if you have all that, then hardscaping a walkway or even a patio without the help of a professional can be accomplished.

Overall, hardscape design is an increasingly popular way to create the home exterior of your dreams. It goes hand in hand with traditional landscaping of the plants, trees, garden, etc. create a design that will be aesthetically pleasing and significantly increase the value of your home.

How to Do Yard Landscaping in an Easy Way

It is part of everyone’s goal to have a front yard that does not require too much work to maintain.

You can have a professional to make your yard easy to manage or you can just do it by yourself. In both ways you can have a facade yard that will take less work to maintain its fantastic look throughout the year.

Make sure that this goal of having a wonderful front house yard landscape with a little maintenance is discussed carefully with a professional if you are going to hire one.

Cutting grasses out every time they grow will take too much time and effort just to keep the grasses from ruining the design of your landscaping design.

Fewer grasses would mean less effort and time to spend on your garden.

If you are a busy career person, it is best to discuss with an expert about the alternative ways to maintain the good look of your front garden even if you have a small lawn while exerting the minimum effort to keep your yard at its best structure.

Clover will actually do better than grass and most people find it a good idea because it will save your time and money. It does not require mowing as often as grasses do. Clover lawn will also do well in areas where droughts often occur.

They look good almost everywhere and the best part about the clover is you can have fun on your yard with you and your family without bugs ruining the moment because bugs hate clovers.

Your yard will also need watering and doing so might take a lot of your time and money. But now people are putting automatic irrigation systems as part of their front yard landscape design.

It will be easier for you to keep your plants on their best condition even during hot days of the year as this system will automatically water your plants.

Another good thing is that you do not have to do watering by yourself like dragging the host to your yard or having a sprinkler to water your garden front.

You should hire a professional to install the automatic irrigation system in your front yard landscape to avoid leakages causing flood and excessive water to yard.

Landscape Design Ideas For Unique Terrains

Not all landscape design ideas are suited for every type of yard. In fact, some yards will require a great deal of planning and adjusting to get just the right look from a landscape design. Whether you’re working with limited space or difficult grades, there are a variety of landscaping tips and ideas that can help you make the most of your outdoor space.

Garden Wall Design

Walls can be used for privacy, protection, seating, or simply for beauty. Varying heights, depending on the wall’s purpose, and angles or curves to suit your garden style make these hardscape features a great addition to any type of landscape design. Bricks, stones, or other materials that complement the rest of your outdoor space is a great way to blend your landscape with your home.

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are a unique type of garden wall, designed to offset slopes and enhance curb appeal. Like most hardscape designs, planning and constructing a retaining wall requires special attention to accuracy. Drainage, erosion, and other issues must be addressed as well. Landscape designers can typically create and build a retaining wall that works well with your yard.

Landscape Design for Slopes and Grades

Retaining walls are just one technique for landscaping hillside garden areas. Slopes and grades can become beautiful parts of your outdoor space with the right landscaping. Appropriate drainage and irrigation systems are recommended to maintain all of the following ideas for hillside landscaping:

  • Rock gardens
  • Functional decks
  • Wild flower gardens
  • Natural areas with unique ground covers.

Landscape Design Ideas for Terraces

From secluded sitting areas near the master suite to expansive patios for entertaining, garden terraces are beautiful landscaping techniques that create harmony between your outdoor and indoor living space. Use patterns, colors, and materials that complement your overall design. You can add more functionality to your terrace and patio by integrating covered areas, railing, and other custom touches.

Landscape Design Tips for Small Yards

Limited outdoor space does not mean you are limited with design ideas. Small yards have become quite common and there are plenty of ways to create a beautiful garden with a tiny amount of space.

  • Integrate proportionate outdoor accessories. A large garden pond, for instance, would overpower a small yard and leave little room for living.
  • Plant small trees, including fruit trees and ornamentals, rather than large shade trees.
  • Choose colors that make your yard appear larger.
  • Certain textures can create a feeling of openness as well.
  • Opt for slender fencing that adds to the open feeling.
  • Plants that grow vertically, like vines and climbers, can also add more dimension to a small yard.

No matter what obstacles you may face because of the natural characteristics of your yard, a beautiful outdoor space is never impossible. A landscape contractor can ensure a design that complements your home and reflects your personal tastes, but there are a number of simple landscape design ideas that you can create on your own.

The Best Designs for Your Yard

Modern homes require modern yard designs, and the possibilities for achieving this are unlimited. It is rather hard to decide which one of the multitude of landscape designs are the best designs for your yard, but certainly, there is no way not to find something magnificent for any type of home.

If the front yard is the one that needs improvement, the bushes are the first to start with. Forget about the classic small short trimmed bushes. Taller and beautifully shaped bushes are the best appearance in your front yard. If you do not want the bushes to be replaced, you can just allow it to grow until your wanted size, and then have them trimmed in oval shapes, with fantastic curves, this way you give a very futuristic landscape designs to your yard. When it comes to choosing a shape over the monotonous classic shape, there are a lot of designs to decide on. You can even keep the small size of your bushes, but trim them into a totally new way.

The placement of the bushes is also important, so for the best design for your yard, make sure that these are properly placed. Generally, the bushes are used in landscape design to create the delimitation between the front yard and the side walk. But you can use them for something else. Being so easy to trim, you can place bushes trimmed in a tree shape next to your flower garden. But make sure that both plants have enough minerals or your flowers will dry, Bushes tend to absorb most of the nutrition from the soil.

The small “trees” and the flower garden would look great. However do not place more that 4 bushes in a large garden, and just one for a small garden.

Thinking of rearranging the backyard? You can try to cover it up with grass or other materials. It is preferable for the backyard to be covered with grass if you have small children. If you choose a strong material, the child can hurt himself by falling.

All the designs that you want to use have to be not only practical, but also good looking, resistant and easy to maintain. For instance, it would not be such a good idea to buy chairs with a small design like wood sculptures, because these would take forever to clean, and the very next day, the dust will be back on them!

Yard Landscaping Pointers For Beginners

Landscape designing is no different in designing the interior of your house. Whenever or whatever you put something together yourself, you are engaged in designing.
Yard landscaping is an art. The art of landscaping sees the aesthetic balance between the elements of your garden or backyard.

Planning for a
backyard landscaping or
front yard landscaping for the first time, you don’t need to hire landscaping companies if it only requires nominal work. But if it does, you can contact your local landscaping company.

However, if your are on a budget but still wanting to achieve an incredible outdoor scenery on your property, here are some ideas to get you started.

The basic elements of landscape design are SCALE, COLOR, FORM and TEXTURE, and LINE and FOCAL POINT. These elements should be considered in designing both the softscape (gardens, lawns, shrubs, trees) and hardscape (sidewalks, drainage, etc.) of your property.

You may wonder why these terms have to do with your backyard or front yard; as mentioned, landscape designing is an art. And just any other art forms like painting you will treat your property as your canvass.
What is the scale of your property? Is the blueprint of your house bigger than your yard’s land size? Measuring the scale of your landscape will determine which other elements you will incorporate.

The color element is, in fact, your theme. If you feel like doing a spring or summer theme, it does not matter. The objective of color element in landscape design is to create a unifying family of colors that are perfect for your family’s preference but still aesthetic. Some families’ preference is verdant, others niche it with flowers, and others – specifically the uptown neighborhood – have boast it by landscaping it with bridges, water fountains, or mini ponds. These hardscape structures cannot be considered a color element but a form and texture element.

The objective of any landscape design is to bring those colors that are complimenting to the architecture. This is where the form and the texture elements come in. The forms and texture that I emphasize on this matter are the plants, the lawn, your housing architecture, and your fencing. If you are to put forms and textures in your landscape, make it a point to not overdo it. You don’t want to turn your house into a rainforest, right — or not unless you intend to? Your landscape should complement your house and create a focal point to do so.

Line and focal point pertains to the eye level and the flow it goes through governed by the arrangement of your softscape or hardscape. Eye movement is unconsciously influenced by the way plant groupings fit or flow together, both on the horizontal and vertical planes. The focal point is the center of visual attention, often different from the physical center of the work. You can make a fountain your focal point or other hardscape forms, which is essentially the trend in gardening industry.

The key in doing landscapes for the first time is to customize it according to your pleasure. Yard landscaping is a depiction of scenery you want to have in your own property. In doing so, it requires proper planning, designing and managing.

To make landscape designing more at ease, make sure to take a picture of your property before the main landscaping. As a tip: develop it in a local photo station. Doing this, you can assess the types of plants or flowers you want to buy or if you can plant a tree in your property, or add hardscapes. On your photo, at the back of it, write the scale of your property to keep a measuring guide so your yard elements won’t overshadow other elements.