Designers across the globe are united in certain principles. From interior designers to artists to landscape designers, certain ideas ring true across applications. You can apply the universal design principles listed below to create a more sophisticated, appealing landscape design.
Achieve Unity through Consistency and Repetition
The human eye delights in familiarity. If you echo similar textures, colors, plant types and vertical heights throughout your landscape design, guests and family members will be more attracted to your garden.
Landscape designers recommend using a theme to tie everything together in your landscape design. For instance, if you love fluttering winged insects, you might choose to create a butterfly garden,with all the flowers that butterflies adore – e.g. liatris, phlox, bee balm, purple cone flowers, etc. Other possible themes include: soothing Zen, traditional English garden, or tropical. Choose a theme that resonates with your own tastes and interests. Once you have a theme in mind, it’s easier to find accessories, plants and other elements that will bring unity to your landscape design.
Keep it Simple
As American aeronautical engineer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson said, “Keep it simple, stupid!” Now, we don’t mean to imply that you’re unintelligent. Rather, like Mr. Johnson, we landscape designers simply hope to remind you that good design is usually simple. If you try to accomplish too much at once, you’ll probably create a cluttered, distracting space. Remember, you can always add more later. Avoid creating a crazy-quilt landscape.
One way to keep it simple is to choose two or three colors to repeat across your landscape.
Another approach is to use the same materials throughout your landscape design. For instance, hardscaping elements such as pavers and rock borders are a simple way to delineate different areas of your garden.
Focus on Transitions
Avoid abrupt shifts in your landscape design. Instead, landscape designers recommend gradually shifting the feel of the space using plant size, foliage textures, and colors, among other elements. For instance, when moving from the more public front yard area to a serene backyard oasis, you could establish a strong transition by first featuring bright reds and yellows and then shifting to calming purples and blues closer to the backyard area.
If you hope to calm viewers, choose curvy lines. Sharp, straight lines, in contrast, are great for moving visitors quickly from one space to another. Straight lines are also excellent in more formal landscape designs.
Poor proportion is jarring. A strong landscape design features proportionally sized plants and accessories. For instance, a seven-foot-tall reproduction of Michelangelo’s David statue would definitely feel out of place in a small courtyard garden. Such large, bold statuary would be better suited to a broad expanse. Aim to match the size of your species and ornamentation to the available space in your landscape.
Symmetry and Asymmetry
You probably have some appreciation for how symmetry can add delight to any landscape design. Repeating similar plants on either side of a walkway is an example of how landscape designers might use symmetry. But asymmetry can also be an effective landscape design method. For instance, you might choose to feature shade plants on one side of your front yard, and sun-loving varieties on the other side. Asymmetry is more difficult to apply in a masterful way, so it may be best to contract with professional landscape designers to achieve it in your space.