Ultimately, outdoor living space design unifies home, outdoor rooms, and outdoor buildings into a singular, superb moment of sheer lifestyle experience. Professional outdoor living space design must be undertaken with a special consideration in mind. It must act to subdivide the yard into zones of activity and special interest. This creates within the landscape an outdoor equivalent to a house with many rooms inside. Without this process of subdivision and allocation, the yard will remain only a yard without the necessary structural complexity needed to support a dynamic, expressive personal lifestyle.
Such zones of interest are either based upon the creation of a specific, desired state of mind, or the creation of a landscape element that serves a specific purpose. Outdoor kitchens, for example, create a feeling of fine dining outdoors. They also serve a very practical function by making it possible to cook and enjoy an entire meal without ever once having to go inside. Play areas for children are another example. Play creates a feeling of fun for kids. A professionally designed play area can be built that gives them a place to practice for a sports team they may belong to, and it gives them a safer place to do it than simply playing in an open yard or a park without supervision.
Vegetation is literally the heart and soul of outdoor living space design. One might think of outdoor architecture and hardscape as constituting the body of living space, and the lawn, garden, and trees as being the spirit of life within that body. It is therefore essential that we develop these organic elements with as much care and deliberation as possible. The greater the feeling of life, the greater the sense of lifestyle and living space you will have.
There are many types of vegetation that can be used to breathe life into outdoor living space design.
- More colorful and vibrant grasses
- Creepers and vines that decorate iron and brick with living, dynamic emergence
- Shrubbery of all kinds, ranging from tiny boxwoods to man-sized topiaries
- Trees that range in size from the height of a child to towering oaks
- Plants that flower and add color to planters and patio edges
- Garden designs that range from the simple to the highly sophisticated
Gardens contribute to outdoor living space design by focusing perspective on geometric patterns created out of multiple shades of green and colors. These patterns are based on the geometry that compliments your home architecture and surrounding landscape elements. Gardens also enhance living space by attracting wildlife. Species from butterflies, birds, squirrels, and even wild rabbits will gravitate to these areas that give them food and shelter.
Trees play a major role in outdoor living space design by contributing two very important things. The first thing they do is to create curb appeal by creating vertical impact. Because the Houston landscape is so flat, it is necessary to add dimension to yards that creates a sense of scenery uplifted above its surroundings.
The other very important thing that trees contribute is shade. The summers in our part of the world are unbelievably hot. While we all love the sun during these times, we do not love its heat. Trees planted in the right locations will block out the sunlight so people can enjoy their patios, courtyards, and natural ponds.
During the winter, however, sunlight is something we want to feel when it’s chilly. One of the marks of a truly professional landscape developer is the ability to anticipate where the sun will be travelling through the sky during the winter. Trees can then either be planted, or structures near trees can be built, in positions that will be shaded in the summer and warmed in the winter.