A home’s first impression is found in the exterior. Paint colors, front yard landscaping, and a welcome mat announce design style and great curb appeal.
This week botanical specialist and one of Decorilla’s online landscape designers, MaryAnn Rouseville, shares her top tips and tricks on ways to make the most of your exterior space including landscape design online.
1. Choose only 2-3 hardscape textures and colors
Hardscapes, the non-living elements in your yard, are as visually important as the plants. Texture and dimension are the most beneficial design features with hardscapes, but It’s crucial to not over do it. Finding the right balance is key by limiting your design to 2-3 hard textures that complement the surroundings. Once you decide your style, whether it modern or traditional, you can get creative with walkways, paths, terraces, pools areas, retaining walls and more. Some hardscape elements are water features, statuary, fences, stones, pebbles, bricks, pavers, concrete, and railroad ties. Make quick sketches and work these ideas out before you start building.
2. Try an online landscape designer
Like online interior design, landscape design online has simplified exterior design in way that is both affordable and accessible. Receiving professional landscape design service at your fingertips has made the stylizing of exteriors easy and fun!
In the above example, a recent client and homeowner wanted to make the exterior of their home more modern. Wanting multiple visual proposals, they enlisted the help of professional Decorilla designers to help with their online landscaping design project. The designers then used their design expertise and 3D software to create proposals on exterior door styles/colors, changes to the existing brick color and advice on landscaping. Just like with regular online interior design, the clients received all elements needed to implement the perfect landscape design including a shopping list, color palette, 3D model and layout. The result was a sleek facade with the perfect plant selection for the local climate to enhance the design.
3. Add wonderful smelling plants
An often overlooked benefit to having a garden! Let gentle summer or spring breezes bring delight by making fragrance a part of your garden. Besides being beautiful and giving off intoxicating smells, these plants also add dimension and texture.
- Lilac – this spring purple flowering shrub can get 6-8’ tall
- Scarlet Pineapple Sage – red flowers and foliage gives off the smell of ripe
- Lemon scented geraniums – varieties like ‘Prince Rupert’ or ‘Mabel Gray’
- Gardenia – white flowers give a heavy sweet-smelling scent
- Nicotiana – comes in many varieties
- Oriental Liles – ‘Star Gazer’ is very well known. Bloom mid to late summer
- Roses – Do a sniff test first before buying, not all roses smell.
- Sweet Pea- Gorgeous, intensely scented vining flowers. Lots of great
- Angel’s Trumpet – A woody shrub with dangling trumpet like flowers.
- Star Magnolia – citrusy sweet smelling spring flowering tree
- Angelwing Jasmine – Semi-evergreen vine with perfumed white starburst third year pineapple and come in pink, white, and yellow. colors and bicolors.
- ‘Charles Grimaldi’ is the most fragrant variety looking flowers
4. Use trellises
Trellises have many valuable decorative and functional purposes. They can be used to cover up an unattractive wall, act as a privacy divider, and define a border around your space. For small yards, terraces and balconies, plants grow up, instead of out, saving you space. They can be versatile depending on your needs, acting as a focal point or as a backdrop. They are super easy to install. You can also use trellis material to make decorative shapes like an arch, adding diversity to a space.
Plants that work well with trellises:
- Clematis (low maintenance, gorgeous flowers)
- Zepherine Drouhin Roses
- Bougainvillea (disease and past resistance)
- Wisteria (it’s beautiful, but can also become invasive. Doesn’t flower until
- Sweet peas (incredible smell)
- Moon Flower (can grow in part shade)
- Climbing Hydrangea (can grow up to 50 ft)
- Dutchman’s Pipe (unusual flower)
5. Don’t forget garden lighting
You’ve made a beautiful yard and now you want to be able to enjoy it after the sun goes down. Also, maybe show your beautiful design to the neighbors. When choosing garden lighting, first think about its purpose. Is it lighting a path or a dark corner? Is is lighting up your entertainment area or pool? Think about the mood do you want to create. Do you want to illuminate some features like a fountain or pond? Do you need any security? Then, you’ll need to decide how much of it you will want to do yourself or hire a professional to add electrical wiring.
Sketch out your backyard and start imagine where those lights will go. If you want soft light put them behind trees and shrubs, brighter lights can be beautiful lamps and outdoor chandeliers. The easiest way to go is with solar lighting, but sometimes the light they give off is not strong enough. Expect to have a combo of lights if you go that route.
Applying these tips is an excellent way to create the front yard landscape design of your dreams. For more professional help start your landscape design online today!