Hardscape design, the landscaping term that typically refers to outdoor landscaping other than plants and greenery, has become increasingly more popular with homeowners. In the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) top remodeling trends, outdoor living areas ranked number four. What are consumers looking for? Here's a list of seven features homeowners are building in their backyards.
1. Retaining Walls. Retaining walls were first used for the simple and necessary task of holding back earth. Erosion is a natural process, but when it means soil being washed off a property or worse, accumulating against the side of the home, a retaining wall can be an essential part of the landscaping. These walls are not only functional, though. A garden wall is a retaining wall meant for purely aesthetic uses, allowing a hill to be made to enclose a garden. Any of these walls can offer more usable surface area in a landscape design and are a terrific component to a home landscape.
2. Walkways and Steps. Beautiful steps and walkways leading up to your front door offer both a utilitarian and aesthetic value and add a look and feel of authenticity to any home. They can also be added as a transition between any areas in your property. Adding a garden design can completely rejuvenate a front yard or entryway.
3. Patios. Different types of design can work to make your home more appealing and look larger. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape. Some considerations to take into account are the space to work with, shapes, multiple levels, drainage and privacy screening.
4. Sitting Benches. Benches provide a nice physical place to sit and view your gardens or yard area. They permit a person to take it easy, unwind and savor a view.
5. Waterfalls and Ponds. Garden waterfalls and ponds come in all sizes and shapes, depending on the landscape on which they are being built. For waterfalls, certain design elements are taken into consideration, such as the size of the area, the height of the waterfall, and placement in the yard. There are two types of garden ponds: water garden ponds and koi ponds. Water garden ponds typically include aquatic life, such as goldfish and plants, while a koi pond limits the amount of aquatic plants around it (koi tends to devour plants).
6. Outdoor Kitchens. When it comes to outdoor kitchen designs, pretty much anything goes. There is no such thing as a standard design, but if you had to say what most people consider a basic outdoor kitchen it would be include some arrangement of a grill, refrigerator, prep area and sink. To add to the entertaining value, a sitting bar with stools is a nice addition.
7. Fire Pits. The popularity of fire pits and the fire effects they produce in the garden is one of fastest growing trends in outdoor design. The allure of sitting around a fire ring has been around since the beginning of mankind. Fire provides warmth, light, a cooking source and, of course relaxation.