Sheltering-in-place can feel more like a sentence than a precaution, if you don’t have access to nature. Today, more than ever, people are recognizing how vital fresh air and sunshine are to the human psyche. Having an attractive and usable landscape can make all the difference. Here’s what COVID-19 has taught us about the importance of landscape design in Mechanicsburg, PA.
Landscape design is more complex than “front yard” and “backyard” because it’s designing a living space that’s as beautiful and functional as the interior of your home. It considers the activities that you want to enjoy; the size and shape of the available space; the home’s design, size and shape; design aesthetics; budget; materials; and a pleasing balance between hardscapes and softscapes. It also factors in vertical elements: how they fit into the landscape, balance each other, and either enhance or block views.
If your landscape doesn't inspire you to go outside, here are some upgrades that can make all the difference.
A Balance of Sun and Shade
A sunny patio may be just the ticket in cooler weather, but it can feel a bit like the Sahara in the heat of August. A chic and permanent solution is a pergola. A pergola can completely transform your patio into a stylish retreat. The simple and clean rectangular or square design pairs well with any architectural style. You can add privacy with outdoor curtains or trellises. A pergola can be any size you want: just enough to shade an outdoor kitchen, or large enough to cover a spacious sitting area. Pergolas are ideal for south- or west-facing backyards. Their open roof structure lets heat escape while providing shade and letting breezes circulate.
A Balance of Activities
Divide your outdoor space into activity zones so that everyone’s needs are accommodated.
If you have kids then safety, and thoughtful placement of kid-friendly play areas that can grow with the kids are prime considerations. For example, once the kids outgrow a jungle gym, you can turn the space into a perfect teen hideaway with a privacy fence, a couple of hammock stands, and some string lights; and when the kids go off to college, that space can easily transform into a little zen garden for mom and dad.
All patios should be divided according to carefully placed activity zones. You don’t want there to be constant traffic through a sitting area that’s between the house and an outdoor kitchen because that interferes with the serenity of a relaxing afternoon… and makes an outdoor kitchen less user-friendly because of the obstacles in the way.
Before starting your outdoor living design, make note of who will be doing what; and then, think of your design somewhat like a wheel: the hub of activity is the outdoor cooking/dining area, which should have easy access from the home. “Spokes” in the wheel can point toward quieter areas like a fire pit area, lounge, or meditation corner.
Plantings play a big role as well, in creating the feel you want, whether you love the look of a manicured lawn or want something more carefree and rustic. You want your softscape and hardscape to harmonize and contribute to the overall feel.
Taking the time to consider traffic flow and items on your wishlist is the first step toward designing a landscape you’ll want to spend all summer in! Our designers can help you create a backyard oasis that will feel like a magical getaway from all the chaos going on in the world!