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Mid Century Modern Landscape
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Mid Century Modern Landscaping Ideas

Mid century modern landscaping ideas came about due to cultural changes during the 1930s to the 1960s.
Society was tired of the formalities of Victorianism and was ready for fresh, bold new concepts. This shift in perceptions was reflected in both the architectural styles and landscaping designs that came to dominate the middle of the 20th Century. These new styles retained some of the formalities of the previous Victorian era, the most noticeable of which was the sense of order through clean lines and rectilinear shapes. However, a new sense of the abstract was also integrated into this formalism to allow for the development of completely new forms.

The most noticeable thing you will find about mid-century landscapes is their strong tendency to use the landscape itself as an extension of the home. We talk a lot on our website about the concepts of outdoor living and the construction of outdoor rooms. It is fair to say that both concepts had their origins during this recent period of our history. Keep this in mind when you brainstorm mid century modern landscaping ideas with your Exterior Worlds consultant. We want to create an outdoor experience where multiple viewpoints offer a vantage point of comfort and satisfaction from several interconnected, interrelated zones of interest.

Hardscapes feature prominently in these designs. Unlike the strictly formal hardscapes of the 19th Century that could only be constructed along very strict design principles, hardscapes in 20th century landscapes offer a great deal more creative freedom. Our team will confer with you at length to get a sense of the type of outdoor living experience you want your yard to offer. We will then develop mid century modern landscaping ideas that use hardscapes as foundational vantage points into other zones of interest.

Examples include gravel courtyards, patios, and atriums that provide multiple venues for a large group of people who will eventually want to separate into smaller groups. Each area will have something unique to offer its occupants without losing touch with surrounding zones of interest. This balance is achieved by building different hardscapes out of different materials, but building them with corresponding geometry that ties them all together. In most cases too, hardscape designs are extended throughout the property in a way that melds the front and back yard into a unified outdoor living environment.


Plant selection becomes a lot easier when hardscapes are constructed first in this manner
Much like a floor plan guides the construction of a home; hardscapes guide the organic aspects of mid century modern landscaping ideas. There are certain plants whose basic shape supports the geometric motifs of mid-20th century designs. Due to the style’s blend of formality and abstraction, it is important to select trees, shrubs, ground covers, and grasses that will maintain a neat appearance year round without having to be constantly trimmed. When possible, we recommend incorporating as many drought resistant plants as possible to preserve curb appeal year round with minimal maintenance costs.

While we encourage you to brainstorm mid century modern landscaping ideas with your Exterior Worlds consultant, we will be just as happy to recommend ideas of our own. You can also read the blog that corresponds with this article to see just how many plant choices you can have with this style. You can also see some examples of mid-century modern elements in many of the case studies in our online portfolio.