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Arbors Increase Shade and add Human Scaling to Houston Homes

Some homes are very large. They almost dwarf the rest of the landscape, making both the dwelling itself and the surrounding yard look overwhelming to guests. Part of Houston landscaping design is to break a large estate into smaller zones of interest that appear more intimately inviting. People feel more comfortable in areas that have been deliberately proportioned for human activities. A custom arbor is such a structure that can be added to a house, increasing the shade on outdoor patios while simultaneously adding human scaling to the house.

There are technically many different types of arbors. The good thing about each one of these types is that it can be adapted to outdoor patio design. Pathway arbors can be built near a place where a path connects the house to a nearby garden. Building the structure on a garden patio will keep most of the patio in the shade throughout the day. This will allow you to enjoy comfortable seating both inside the arbor and outside of its structure.

Aesthetically, this adds human scaling to the home by linking the intimate setting of the garden to the architecture of the house. The relatively small size of many custom gardens, which would otherwise appear to be dwarfed by a large house, appear linked to its architecture through the medium of a custom arbor.


There are also custom arbors known as focal point arbors. Outdoor patios are level with the grade of the land. While intricately formed, they need something that will draw the eye to their location so that the viewer focuses on their design. A wooden arbor or wrought iron arbor is an excellent way to create this attention riveting effect without overpowering the element in question. It also maintains the effect of human scaling we mentioned, because arbors are built to act as seating areas for people and are by nature proportioned to accommodate the human form.

Another very important type of custom arbor can be described as a transitional arbor. This type of structure is used to help unify separate zones of interest with the architecture of an exceptionally large home. Transitional arbors are used in entry gardens to link the front yard with the back yard. People enter through a narrow gate into an open courtyard with an outdoor patio.

Typically there are seats arranged around a lighted fountain or garden. A wrought iron or wooden arbor adds human scaling to the scene. Because the eye is drawn to the arbor, and then to the smaller elements of the garden, the side of the house will feel more like a wall in an outdoor room than an edifice looming overhead.

It is important to understand that human scaling is something that has to be maintained throughout a large property by keeping each zone of interest in proportion to specific human activities. A custom arbor can be built more in the design of an outdoor room than what we typically consider only a two-person structure. Such a structure would not only shade an outdoor patio, but actually act as a center point of a much larger courtyard structure where outdoor gatherings could be held.