Hardscaping the constructed, non-living features of a landscape presents abundant opportunities to take your outdoor space from ordinary to extraordinary. Advances in materials, technology, and design concepts are expanding possibilities for creative hardscaping.
Fire delivers drama, warmth, and irresistible ambiance to outdoor settings. Innovative new fire feature designs allow you to customize the mood and function. Contemporary styles like suspended fire bowls, elongated fire tables, corten steel burners, and water-fire combinations add a modern edge. For foodies, make the fire feature an adjustable-height grill, pizza oven, wok, or smoker. Portable units create flexibility. Integrated lighting, media systems, and furniture maximize enjoyment. Materials now range from sleek stainless to hand-laid stone. Fire features make alluring focal points for gathering and entertaining.
The sound and sparkle of water instantly enhance outdoor relaxation and privacy. Creative water features include recirculating fountains, curtain falls, vanishing edges, ritzy infinity-edge spas, and ponds. Contemporary designs incorporate water walls, rain chains, glass tile mosaics, and water-resistant flame jets. Customize the ambiance with integrated LED lighting, misting, and high-tech control systems. Underground grey water recycling systems add eco-friendly benefits. Planted ponds filter water naturally and attract wildlife. Pool/pond combinations maximize possibilities.
Today’s options shatter tired notions of boring, boxy patios. New shapes include curves, angles, cutouts, and cantilevers. Patterned or artisan inlays elevate the underfoot style. Sunken seating nooks, concealable pop-ups, adjustable screens, and automated weather covers increase usable hours. Overhead structures range from sleek tension canopies to industrial pipe trellises. Portable heaters, fans, and lighting for patios increase flexibility. Outdoor TV/media systems and WiFi transforms patios into al fresco entertainment rooms. For pet-friendly spaces, add plumbing and drainage for easy bathing and cleaning.
Tired of cracking, dull expanses of asphalt? New driveway materials like artistic stained/stamped concrete, colorful aggregate inlays, permeable pavers, and textural gravel offer curb appeal. Radiant heating systems prevent snow accumulation in colder climates. Photovoltaic solar panels double as carports, generating power as you park. For a tech-forward approach, integrate charging stations for electric vehicles. Custom racing stripes, company logos, or family names make driveways a personalized space.
Well-designed hardscape lighting safely illuminates while creating ambiance after dark. Today’s fixtures employ soft LEDs to minimize light pollution. Options range from path lighting; spotlighting or floodlighting architectural features; silhouette and moon lighting in trees; integrated stair, wall, and railing lights; glowing water features, and fire features; to stunning laser projections on surfaces. Smart home systems automate and control lighting schemes. Power sources range from long-life solar to in-ground wiring.
Eco-conscious Verdant Landscaping incorporates recycled, renewable, and responsibly sourced materials. Permeable concrete, pavers, gravel, and decks allow water absorption. Solar-powered features and LED lighting reduce energy consumption. Greywater systems recirculate water from fountains, spas, and pools. Salvaged wood, metal, and stone give new purpose. Organic-free pest barriers divert harmful runoff. Plants for edible gardens and wildlife habitats bring nature home.
Tired of the same old hardscape materials? Look beyond basic concrete and wood. Options like multi-coloured resin-bound aggregate surfacing, luminescent tiles, mirror-polished stainless panels, textural gabion walls, and digitally printed veneers take surfaces to the next level. Using bolder materials in thoughtful accent applications prevents overwhelming a landscape. Match these innovative materials with more naturalistic finishes for a balanced appeal.