Established in 1999

Serving Arizona and North Texas

Fundamentals of Contemporary Landscaping

Contemporary landscaping is an ever-growing trend. Small yards, water installations, and easy-care plant-life is all the rage. More homeowners are turning to contemporary styles every year to take advantage of creative input.
Contemporary landscapes are filled with wood, concrete and stone hardscape, and can be far more in-depth than many homeowners, yard enthusiasts and design-lovers know. If you’re interested in exploring a contemporary landscape design, you should know a few things first.

The Difference Between Contemporary and Modern Designs

While “contemporary” and “modern” are used interchangeably, they’re quite different words. In general, modern styles follow strict formats, whereas contemporary installations have a lot of variation—especially on patios and near pool areas.
In modern exterior decorating, neutral and natural colors are preferred. Contemporary displays, meanwhile, stretch to a color scales far ends. While modern styles favor strong lines, contemporary installations are often curved. That said, both favor uncluttered, “simple” spaces with artistic flair and clean lines. Knowing the difference can help you and your landscape designer get on the same page.

The Outdoor Contemporary Design

If you’re choosing a contemporary landscape design, you should know the inner workings of exterior contemporary style, in general. You’ll get to work with a lot of wood accents and natural materials. You may also get to play with a few eclectic ideas. Primarily, you’ll be working with what’s already there. You’ll want to view your landscape’s predefined boundaries.
Similarly, take note of your yard’s native trees. Look at your area’s hardscapes, too. Once you’ve streamlined your yard’s more permanent areas, you will be ready to focus on surrounding design. Remember: In contemporary styling, less is more. It’s imperative to “build off of” your landscapes hardscape and trees.

Touching Up Contemporary Aspects

Combine your landscape’s straight-line wood elements and shapely rocks. Again, you should be targeting curvier additions. Any plant-life should be inserted strategically—placed within your yard’s borders and within well hardscaped beds.
Rocks and gravel can also be used. If possible, shoot for larger rocks—as the inclusion of round, earthy elements will shift any lingering modern aspects into contemporary waters. Check out winding path options, and consider tile or wood spacers. Many contemporary landscape design aesthetics are both forgiving and family friendly, so you’ll have a lot of wiggle room around play sets, swimming pools and patios. 

Incorporating the Plant Life

Contemporary gardens, again, have a high focus on hardscaping. Your plant life can be encased within a wood, concrete or stone hardscape area. Bold architecture including water features, containers and sculptures can be beautiful ways to incorporate plant life without cluttering the overall design.
If your contemporary garden is styled successfully, it’ll draw out a plant’s lighter attributes without competing against them. The goal, here, is to bring attention to each flower’s coloration, height and detail without being overbearing. Popular contemporary plant life usually consists of agaves, cordylines, phormiums, and bamboo. You can also select several containerized trees, bringing out the contemporary hardscape, to surround your garden. Popular contemporary trees include the Golden Spirit Smoke Tree, the Majestic Beauty Fruitless Olive and the Crimson Pointe Flowering Plum.
Contemporary styles are very bold, but they’re not overbearing. Fortunately, your contemporary landscaping has a lot of flexibility. If you’re feeling creative, dive into a little modernism. Contemporary landscaping does pull from other design eras, so you can play around with a few options. If you stray into modern waters, it won’t be the end of the world. You should, however, try to avoid rigidity as much as possible. While contemporary and modern styles overlap in some areas, your contemporary landscaping will be far better off with curves, winding paths and rounded hardscaping. Contact our team at Blooming Desert to help you get started with your contemporary landscape vision!