The term “hardscape” refers any non-organic landscape element that is deliberately planned and constructed. It gets its name from the nature of the materials used to build the many forms that constitute this family of landscaping elements. Most construction materials used in these projects are very hard, and create lasting, durable, and resilient fixed that serve special purposes and add beauty and aesthetic impact to the yard.

Hardscape structures are almost always the first forms built when the time comes to actually implement a residential landscaping design project. This is due to the powerful visual impact they carry which lends itself so well to the establishment of order and system throughout the property. Though non-organic themselves, these structures are crucial to the proper showcasing of vibrant colors of garden design and the lush shades of green of a well-manicured lawn.

The types of hardscape structures that can be added to a yard are truly many and varied. Elements such as paved sidewalks, stepping stone pathways, brick walkways, atriums, courtyards, and custom patios are just a few examples. Many people also like to have more elaborate and sophisticated structures built, such as outdoor fireplaces, custom fountains, sports courts, stairways and steps, and garden pergolas.

There are also structures such as retaining walls and masonry planters that serve a vital practical purpose as well as adding vertical impact to the flat Houston landscape.

Any material that provides a firm, durable surface can be used to create a hardscape. Preferably, this material should be decorative as well as functional. Stone is still the most popular material after thousands of years. It looks natural and can be used to compliment any landscape design theme. Another popular material is concrete. It can be colored and stained to mimic stone, or it can be made to stand out as a unique, decorative statement all its own. Wood and brick are two other materials that have been around for centuries and show no sign of going away in the years to come.

In terms of practicality and aesthetics, the benefits that hardscapes add to landscaping are almost too numerous to count. Some of the more notable of these advantages are discussed as follows:

  • Pathways and walkways create transition by providing clear, recognizable transit areas through which traffic moves from one point of interest to another.
  • Paths can also create zones of interest and make a yard look bigger by altering the perspective and depth of the scene.
  • Architectural walls can create borders around vegetation and activity zones, magnifying the impact of the vegetation in the process.
  • Retaining walls can be used to change the grade of the Houston landscape.
  • Courtyard walls create enclosed spaces for privacy and conversation.
  • Garden pergolas, with their lattice walls, can screen the view with such elements as lattice walls or raftered ceilings partly open to the stars
  • Custom patios establish entertainment and seating areas, such as swimming pool patios, luxury spas, and outdoor fireplaces
  • Stairways and steps leading to and from outdoor buildings create drama and a sense of grand entrance.
  • Arbors create shade and comfort in the hot, Houston summer sun.
  • Masonry constructs add vertical impact that lifts the property above the aesthetic norm.
  • Front yard walkways and custom driveways add curb appeal to the edifice of the home.

In all of these examples, we can see how equally important the aesthetic element of hardscape is to its functional element. Ideally, there should always be a purposed served by a structure in a way that also pleases the eye. Some forms, however, are for all intents and purpose pure decoration and nothing more.

An excellent example of such would be outdoor water features such as custom fountains. Very small architectural walls around patios and morning gardens also do little to create enclosure or true privacy per se, but lend themselves very well to the sense of special place that is set apart visually and distinctively from the rest of the yard.

Custom Deck Designs Makes Outdoor Living Peaceful

Perhaps one of the most popular deck designs that instantly generate a sense of total relaxation is the pool deck. Because the shape of the deck can be built to follow the linear movement of the wall of the house, it can offer you a tremendous amount of surface area that aesthetically links the house to the water and gives you plenty of room to tan, read, or sit outside

Deck Designs for Outdoor Entertainment

Exterior Worlds specializes in custom deck designs that make home outdoor entertainment safe, enjoyable, and comfortable. Everything from roofs, insect screens, and climate-controlled areas can be built into a deck to make it a veritable outdoor living room for special occasions. The following are just a few examples of how deck designs for different parts of the house can be used to create unique realms of entertainment for your loved

Deck Design Landscaping

The intention of deck design landscaping is to extend the things you most enjoy indoors into the outdoor realm beyond the walls of your house. As an add-on room of sorts, the square footage of your deck cannot be taxed as home property. However, the improvement to your home curb appeal builds lasting resale value and protects your investment in problematic times. Many people may wonder why Exterior Worlds builds

Custom Pool Deck Plan

Exterior Worlds typically designs pool deck plans as part of a new swimming pool design or a swimming pool remodel. We normally treat the deck as an element in relationship to the home and other elements, and not just a single element that can be added to a yard without any further modifications. Integrating custom deck building into the larger picture of a Houston landscaping master plan better enhances the

Wood Decks

Most people prefer wood decks because they blend so beautifully with trees, gardens, and shrubs. When built by professional landscaping architects, these decks can also work to better blend the architecture of the home with surrounding Houston landscaping design. Professional landscape contractors will also build the deck using the highest quality woods treated to resist the elements for years. It is imperative that the wood used in decks look attractive.

Deck Plans

Adding a deck to your home will increase its curb appeal and expand the feeling of indoor comfort into outdoor space. Deck plans by Exterior Worlds are developed to combine the best in form and function in a manner that adds powerful attraction factor to your entire Houston landscaping design. This way, regardless of whether or not you are actually sitting on your deck, it will appear as a powerful

How to plan a deck for outdoor Living.

Exterior Worlds helps Houston landscaping clients with all aspects of deck planning. We help our clients visualize the deck as an integral link between the house and the yard. We plan the structure to support activities that occur on its surface. We also tie the design to other activities that will occur throughout the entirety of the yard. Access, location, size, and geometry are all factors that play into the

How Custom Decks Support Quality Time

Deck design is the key to creating a truly family-oriented outdoor lifestyle. This is because decks are easy to customize to any style of home or landscape. Not only that, but they can also be any size you need them to be, and they can be tailored in such a way as to create multiple areas of interest that will appeal to every age group represented in your family circle.

Stamped Colored Concrete

One thing Houston landscaping clients should seriously consider for their next home project is stamped colored concrete. Concrete, as we all know, is an enduring substance that often lasts longer than houses themselves. However, its rather drab appearance can often be the one spot on a landscape that looks like it needs work. By adding color and design to its surface, landscaping professionals can transform it into something completely different

Colored Concrete Patios

A highly effective and cost effective way to add color and style to your home is to have one or more colored concrete patios built in various places in your yard. Unless you have a purist’s attachment to exclusively natural materials like fine cut stone, concrete can be just as effective, ornament, and enduring for any number of Houston landscape design themes. If you have a smaller property, for