Just like interior design, landscape design can take on endless possibilities depending on the homeowner’s personal aesthetic. While every project is unique, simply being aware of the broader styles available can be helpful for homeowners who are planning an outdoor renovation. That’s why we’re starting a new monthly segment of “Style Profiles!” Each profile will help you get familiar with different landscaping styles, features, and terms so you can better articulate your vision to your designer.
What is Modern Landscape Design?
Modern landscape design is a term that describes a clean, organized approach to landscaping. The hallmarks of this include clean, straight lines, and the use of negative space and logical organization to guide the eye through the area. The result is a tidy, polished, and contemporary-looking yard that many people find very satisfying to look at. If you’re someone who feels most at ease in an uncluttered, minimalist space, a modern landscape design might be for you!
Elements of Modern Landscape Design
Modern landscape design tends to focus more on materials and hardscapes than on plantings; this style tends to use plants as ‘highlights’ within the space rather than as the focal feature. Concrete, metal, wood, and stone tend to appear frequently; often used to create visually interesting shapes that are both simple and bold.
Common features of a modern landscape include:
- Concrete hardscapes: Concrete may be the material most associated with this design style as it makes it easy to create large, uniform shapes with minimal detailing. Concrete is often used to create sidewalks, patios, steps, and even smaller features such as planters and seating.
- Stone or gravel beds: Loose rock, such as river rock, granite, or gravel, is often used to create ‘negative space’. Negative space refers to an area that is intended to look intentionally homogenous to reduce visual clutter and redirect attention to focal areas. You might find these beds surrounding a row of tidy shrubs or defining the borders of walkways.
- Wood and metal accents: Since many of the features of this style are very rigid and severe, materials like wood and metal are often used sparingly to add some warmth and texture to the space. For example, you might find a sleek concrete fire pit styled with seating made from wood and cast iron.
- Geometric shapes: Unlike other styles that use a lot of curves to create a flowing, organic-feeling space, a modern landscape is defined primarily with logical, geometric shapes. Rectangles and squares abound in walkways, garden beds, and patio spaces.
Modern vs. Modern Farmhouse Landscape Design
One of the biggest home design trends of the past decade is the ‘modern farmhouse,’ and while the term typically refers to interior design, there is also such a thing as modern farmhouse landscape design. However, while ‘modern’ and ‘modern farmhouse’ share a common term, the two landscape styles could not be more different!
Modern farmhouse landscape design refers to a style that blends contemporary styling with rustic, natural elements. This design style is meant to evoke the “country” lifestyle with a few sleek elements (such as a cool or neutral colour palette) that keep it looking polished and trendy.
Modern landscape design is a far cry from the farmhouse aesthetic. While modern farmhouse landscapes typically feature lush, cottage-style gardens and a lived-in aesthetic, the modern approach is meant to look clean, polished, and “zen” from one year to the next.
Case Study: Glenora
Curious how modern landscape design looks on an Edmonton home? Our 2019 case study on a design project in the community of Glenora profiles a great example of this style in action. The case study also explains how our team applied this design approach to problem-solving and adding privacy to the lot. Click here to read the case study!
Interested in Modern Landscape Design? If you think this style is the right one for you, the next step is to schedule a consultation with one of our landscape designers. Get in touch today and let our highly qualified team work with you to create the modern retreat you’ve always dreamed of!