Plants provide a soft texture against the vast amount of hardscape materials. On the large brick wall to the right, an espaliered vine creates a unique focal point and helps emphasize the overall formal and traditional design of this poolscape.
For a successful outdoor design, it's important to strike a balance between the hardscape and softscape. Here, the custom stacked stone fireplace is flanked with large flower-filled urns. Hedges and a lush lawn also soften the space.
The curving glass walls of this Lugano, Switzerland, home showcase a view of sleek, whitewashed interiors and custom, modern furnishings. The house, designed by architect Milan Jacopo Mascheroni, comprises a U-shaped glass pavilion on a terraced floor. The surrounding hardscape echoes its curves.
A beautifully designed hardscape includes a full-sized outdoor kitchen with additional built-in seating flanking a cascading fountain adjacent to a dramatic raised pool area. The accompaniment of the expansive green lawn makes this a perfect yard for entertaining families, which includes an in-ground trampoline.
A custom-designed stone paver patio is the perfect place to showcase a formal water fountain in this two level garden. The small planting area next to the patio is filled with colorful annuals and provides a break between the hardscape areas, helping to lead the eye around the landscape.
The homeowners wanted a backyard design that would blend into the desert surroundings rather than compete with it, so designers chose native plants like gray-green cacti and natural colored hardscape such as warm, caramel stones and pale, sun-bleached wood that would reflect the warm, desert tones to create the look.
This backyard deck features a large pergola and plenty of seating. An outdoor sectional, complete with plump yellow cushions, invites guests to linger in the shade of the rustic hardscape. The rooftop design features tropical hardwood decking, reclaimed timber, glass panels, louvered slat screening, custom fire pit, sectional and lounge chair.
The welcoming cottage garden in front of a cape-style home uses a successful mix of colorful plants in a variety of heights and textures. The homes edges are softened with the use of climbing plants, and weathered wood features are continued through the garden to continue the hardscape palette throughout and create a cohesive design.
For her own front yard, designer Margie Grace of Grace Design Associates Inc. matched the hardscape to her home's architectural syle for a cozy cottage garden. To keep the yard low maintenance she laid a large patio using Arizona flagstones, then filled the rest of the space with lush flower beds. A reclaimed concrete bowl is transformed into a water feature that brings the sound of rain to the garden.
Designer Mary DeWalt selected a color scheme for this home--blue, green and brown--that she brought outdoors for masterful effect. As seen here at dusk, the soft beige hardscape surrounding the turquoise blue pool displays a serene aura against the blue sky and verdant landscaping, the same feeling that is imbued indoors.
Two pergolas flank the pool house and create outdoor rooms. One pergola forms a casual living room, complete with informal fire feature on an irregular bluestone patio. The other pergola design includes a swinging bed hanging from the perlins. Raised planting areas create a protected ambience and foster privacy in the pool zone. Sod ribbons on the raised bed stairs soften the hardscape.