When it comes to designing their outdoor spaces, many homeowners are left feeling overwhelmed by choices. However, the same rules you used to design your home’s interior can be applied to the outdoors as well.
The best way to focus on your exterior spaces is by creating a design plan. Whether you just need a few new plants or a complete outdoor transformation, these five tips will help you create a landscaping plan that is beautiful and reflects your style.
1. Make a list of wants and needs
Do you want an organic vegetable garden? Do your kids need a place to play? Do you hate mowing grass? Your wants and needs are an important part of designing your outdoor spaces. By prioritizing your wants and needs first, you can design your yard around the outdoor spaces your family will use most.
2. Pay attention to sun and wind
Study the sun and wind patterns around your home before committing to a design. For example, a backyard patio might give you extra space to entertain – unless you would spend the afternoon being baked by the summer sun. Likewise, wind whipping around trees might extinguish a fire pit. Pay attention to the sun and wind and take into account how it will affect your spaces at different times of the day or throughout the year.
3. Create a focal point
Just like your home’s interior, outdoor spaces can benefit from a focal point. Whether it’s a row of shrubs, a tree, a fountain, or a sculpture, a focal point draws the eye while creating visual interest.“The point is to draw your eye and move it through the landscape," says Marianne Lipanovich, author of the Big Book of Garden Design.
4. Don’t jump into a design
If you move into a new home, you may want to immediately reconfigure the outdoor spaces. However, this might lead to choices that don’t work for your family in the long run. Instead, take the time to live with the spaces and thoughtfully consider your potential designs before committing to a landscaping plan.
5. Start small
While the remodeling shows on TV might be able to make over a yard in a weekend, most homeowners don’t have the same kind of manpower. To avoid getting in over your head, start small; working on a single flowerbed at a time can keep you from feeling overwhelmed and rushing to finish the project. This also allows you to develop and change your landscaping plan as needed as you live with the changes.