What’s your design style? Have you thought much about it? Chances are you thought a lot about it when you were building your house: the shingles, the shutters, the columns and details, the pitch of your roof, and everything inside from staircases to cabinetry. But the quickest way to express your personal design style is in your outdoor spaces. Whether passing in cars from the street or enjoying a cocktail right on the patio, people won’t be able to mistake the feel you’re going for — if you’ve executed your design well. Want to replicate your personal design style outdoors? Start with your hardscaping. Choosing the right paving and stone materials will instantly punch up your outdoor spaces — front yard or back — to create a perfectly unmistakable flair of the style you love. Here are a few ideas.
Hardscaping Design Style #1: Spanish
Spanish design is ornate and relaxed all at once: think trickling fountains, rich blue and warm terra cotta, wrought iron, urns and trailing plants dangling lazily from pergolas. To imitate Spanish design in your hardscaping, choose natural stone in warm reds and browns, beautiful colored tile trim and decorative carved-stone accents.
Hardscaping Design Style #2: Victorian
Ahh, romance! If your home has an older, more ornate and romantic feel, Victorian may be your style of choice. Wooden latticework is a must here, with fragrant wisteria and huge clumps of hydrangea. Classic red brick and other simple hardscaping will create a cozy patio and help bring out all those romantic touches. Carved wood and wicker are perfect for patio furniture. And definitely add a gazebo or white painted pergola in the backyard, for a finishing touch of classic Victorian shade.
Hardscaping Design Style #3: Colonial
Colonial design harks back to America’s heritage: nothing too fancy, but with strong pride for the home and hearth. Rough-hewn surfaces, including custom, hand-laid stone retaining walls and natural stone patios and walkways paved with materials native to New York and Connecticut are a great start here. To add a little polish, consider a simple arbor entry to the backyard — or a white picket fence at the edge of your property.
Hardscaping Design Style #4: Modern
Sleek, streamlined and minimalist define the modern aesthetic. If this is your design preference, prepare to wow your guests with an outdoor living space that’s equal parts welcoming and smoothly elegant. Cement and other smooth stone are great starter surfaces, but the modern look really comes together with metal accents and slightly industrial touches. In-ground fire pits, vanishing-edge water features and teak or polished-metal furniture cap off the look.
Hardscaping Design Style #5: Tuscan
Similar to the Spanish style, Tuscan designs evoke relaxed afternoons in the sun with a glass of wine straight from a nearby vineyard. Add some Ionic columns and other well-placed romantic touches, and you’ve got a hardscape straight out of Italy. For this clean, polished look, try surfaces of travertine and other smooth natural stone. Mosaics and wall fountains in similar natural stones — gray color is best — are beautiful touches in moderation!
To finish it off, add some sleek stone containers with structured plantings, like Italian cypress or a well-pruned shrub.
Need some help expressing your design style in your outdoor space? Get in touch with the experts at Neave Masonry to get started. We’ve got a great eye for design — and it’s our job to put that eye to good use for our customers. Call us at (845) 463-0592, or fill out the simple web form to the right. We’ll contact you!
Image credit (top): Landscaping Network, other images property of Neave Group Outdoor Solutions