Contemporary Landscape Design: A Modern Approach

Contemporary Landscape Design: A Modern Approach

Definition: Con·tem·po·rary: “Following modern ideas in style or design.

When contemplating a contemporary landscape design, whether for your home or a client’s property, it’s important to be mindful of the existing structure’s architecture, the style and expression sought by the property owner, along with the emotional and spiritual atmosphere intended for the end result. In its form and structure, a modern approach to the outdoors combines architecture with its surroundings, or in the alternative, brings into play the juxtaposition between the two.  Beauty vs. function?  These elements don’t have to be mutually exclusive in a contemporary landscape design – both can live together harmoniously by integrating nature seamlessly into our daily lives.

Below are a few of the current and most popular elements to consider when developing a modern landscaping project.  Theses red-hot details can improve the quality of outdoor living while also improving the quality of life in general: Try them, you just might like them…

Green Roofs

Perfect for condominium rooftop gardens deep in the urban jungle or as a state-of-the-art twist to a suburban ranch, a living roof is a stunning solution for creating a growing surface in an unconventional way.  Green roofs incorporate layers of vegetation together with plants to create a natural habitat for native wildlife while providing eco-friendly insulation to boot! Take an overlooked space and make it useful, productive and beautiful.

Succulent Plants for the Contemporary Garden

Drought Tolerant: succulents - alternative

Not your Grandmother’s cactus garden, succulents have recently become hot, hot, hot as a choice for creating the simple, clean lines of a contemporary landscape design.  Succulents come in a myriad of varieties, are hardy and drought resistant.  Adding ornamental grasses, ground moss and herbs to succulent beds can be a great way to include texture and interest to your succulent palettes.

Thoroughly Modern

Admittedly, a contemporary landscape design is not for everyone, but if you are willing to think a little outside the box, the modern approach in designing landscapes can yield immeasurable rewards; i.e., a spectacular environment that delights and inspires.  Beauty, in whatever form or mode, is good for the soul.

The Layered Design

FiveSTAR-Zen-Garden-Sacramento

The layered garden: Asian garden designers have been using this technique to create their tiny mystical worlds for centuries.  There are so many ideas that can be utilized alone, for a more stark contemporary landscape design, or in combination with many other elements (like pathways, bridges, rocks and ponds) to create a lovely outdoor oasis.   Keeping it simple doesn’t necessarily mean “boring”.  By layering plants (from tall to short) and mixing in grasses, trees, and shrubs at different heights you can create spaces of interest, whether you have a postage stamp-sized yard or acreage to work with.  Use your imagination – that’s what it’s for.

Fire Pits and Fireplaces

Elements for Landscape Design

Typically a yard is enjoyed in the late spring, summer and early fall…but winter?  Why not?  Fire pits and fireplaces built into your contemporary landscape design can be a perfect way to encourage your guests into hanging around just a while longer. Roasting marshmallows?  Maybe not, but fire pits or fireplaces can be used not only for warmth and to create glowing atmosphere, they also add another outdoor cooking surface to your entertainment area.  The material choices are almost unlimited, but concrete, slate, iron and granite, in particular, blend well into the modern style. Also, Wrought Iron makes for an elegant modern touch on your landscape design. There are plenty of local iron contractors in the Sacramento who specialize in wrought iron gates, iron railings and ornamental iron decor.

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