Renovations 101

Landscape design for your home

31 December 2012 by

Create a stylish outdoor area with these tips

If you live in a landed home, chances are, you wouldn’t just have the interior design of your home to consider, but also the land surrounding the structure. Landscape design is a lot more important to the spatial experience than many would think. Unlike for an apartment, the experience now begins at the gate of the home as one walks past the landscaping before reaching the home.

Often, the landscape design can be used to imbue a seamless experience depending on the theme of the home. For example, to create impact for the experience of a minimalist or Japanese-style home, you would want a simple, streamlined landscape design. A chateau-style home, on the other hand, would benefit from lush landscaping with creepers that would be allowed to grow on the building façade over time. So imagine if the two interiors and landscape designs are switched? It would certainly create a sense of dissonance that would have marred the impact of the design intent.

First things first
The most important step before determining your landscape design is really to decide the design theme. This would help you determine the layout and types of plants to be used in the place.

Next, for practical reasons, understand the direction of the setting sun in your area. It’s important to orient the shade that the trees or plants will provide at the time of the day when it will be most needed. So, if your home encounters strong sunlight in the evening, make sure your plants are planted in the right area so as to provide you with the necessary shade before dusk comes.

Do you also need to block views from neighbouring homes? Then, the type of trees, as in how tall the trees will grow, is an all-important point. Bamboo, for example, is a great option for Japanese-style landscape design. There are over 1,200 varieties of bamboo, with varying trunk sizes. Of course, only some are available in your area. The right variety will ensure that the bamboo grows at the right height. Slender trunks will create a lighter ambience, as compared to thickset ones.

Direct the focus
If you are working on the front are of the premises, work on directing the eye accordingly, be it to the entrance of the house or, for privacy, away from the full-height glass walls. If you have a low porch, there’s little need to border the space with shrubs, unless you’re looking for privacy. An elevated porch, on the other hand, can benefit from some shrubs, which would hide any unsightly portion of the structure. Likewise, the size of the plants you adopt can be used to hide away unsightly objects, such as rubbish bins or water tanks. Create hedges or incorporate trellises to screen such objects.

Water features are a popular feature in landscape design, and they can come in a variety of styles. Contemporary designs with simple stone slabs are extremely in demand and also versatile. European-style water fountains featuring cherubs work well with an elaborate exterior. Hence, the water feature, in conjunction with the plants, also sets the tone for the style of the home.