Your yard has a large impact on the rest of your home. It is a fun space, a cozy space, a welcoming space, an inspiring space. Whether you plan to use it for a garden or an entertaining space, your landscaping can impact how much you get to enjoy your yard.
In fact, it can even impact how others enjoy your yard. Among potential home buyers, 60% say that a well-landscaped yard will influence their decision whether to buy or not. That can have a large impact on your future and finances.
Even if you aren’t selling, however, you may want to consider these landscape design tips to make your yard more enjoyable for you and your guests. You might be considering building a deck or adding a vegetable garden. Or you might just need to do some basic lawn maintenance and need a push to get going.
Whatever the reason, if you are trying to update your landscaping, there are some helpful ideas that can aid you along your way. Check out these 7 landscape design tips to get your yard looking and functioning exactly the way you’d like.
1. Do Your Chores
The first of our landscape design tips is also perhaps the most obvious and easy: Do your chores. You can’t even begin to dream of grander designs if your lawn care is lagging.
You don’t need to do a lot to keep your lawn in a healthy state. Nor do you need to spend a bunch of money. Lawn care should be treated like any other chore around your home. You don’t need special skills or knowledge, just some simple tools and the will to keep your lawn looking great.
Basic lawn care includes things like mowing and weed whacking regularly, watering as necessary and just keeping an eye on trees and plants around your lawn.
If you want to get deeper in the weeds, you can start really learning about your lawn in order to take landscape design tips to the next level. For example, you might get in touch with the soil. Your lawn is more than just grass. The dirt under that grass has a lot to do with how healthy your lawn is and how much care it needs.
You might even find some underlying issues by investigating your soil. For example, you could find that the pH of your soil is off, sometimes resulting in bare or brown patches. This kind of issue is easy to fix, but if you want to think about the long term you could try to address the underlying issue of the soil pH.
You can also learn more about where you live. There are many different types of grasses and some of them thrive in specific climates. You might be surprised to learn that you are buying the wrong type of grass. The wrong grass can grow and seem healthy in the moment, but in the long run it will not do well in a climate it simply isn’t suited for.
Finally, take weeds seriously. This ties in to the pH and the type of grass – pretty much everything about your lawn. You want to kill weeds but not your lawn and the requires using the proper type of nutrition for your grass.
Get rid of weeds quickly if you see them. They will actually compete with your grass, sometimes doing harm and pushing out that natural grass you prefer. Spot treatments tend to work best to treat weeds without doing damage to other parts of the lawn.
2. Consider Getting a Deck or Patio
Now that you’ve got the basics settled, you can think about more interesting landscape design tips. For example, you might be considering adding a deck or patio to your yard.
Decks and patios are great for entertaining. They make it so you can use your yard in almost all types of weather all year long. You can get a covered deck, a large deck, a small deck, an exposed deck, a deck that’s off the ground, one with a firepit – just about any kind of deck you can imagine. Dream big if you are considering adding a deck to your life.
Deck designs encompass a wide range of design aesthetics. You might be limited somewhat by your home and its structure. Not all homes can support huge, sprawling decks. One of the most important landscape design tips is to work with what you’ve got!
Some popular types of deck designs include:
- Decks with fire pits
- Decks with ornamental railings
- Decks built for privacy
- Composite decks
- Decks with built-in bars
- Patio decks
- Open designs
Consider the space you have and what you want to do with it, as well as how much of it you’re willing to give up for a deck. A deck or patio can eat into your available landscaping space, so plan carefully when considering these landscape design tips around adding a deck.
3. Take it to the Next Level
If you really want to take these landscape design tips to the next level, consider adding entire outdoor rooms to your yard. Outdoor spaces that are actually functional rooms are becoming more popular and more functional. Your yard doesn’t need to be just an outdoor space anymore.
For example, some people are using their yard for an outdoor living room. Sometimes these are entirely open spaces, perhaps with a wood or stone flooring but otherwise exposed to all the elements. This can be a chic and elegant way of entertaining.
If you are put off by the openness of a completely exposed room outside, you can have it partially or completely enclosed. Partial covering would be something like a roof that just shields the top of the room. This could allow you to enjoy the space in most types of weather, while keeping it truly “outside” of the home.
Another option is outdoor kitchens, which are similar to living rooms except in that they have equipment for cooking and preparing food. An outdoor kitchen goes well beyond a grill, though. Think bigger, way bigger. An outdoor kitchen might have an entire stove, a wood fire stove, counters to eat at, cabinets, a refrigerator – the works. If you are a big cooking enthusiast, this might be a great choice for you while you’re thinking about landscape design tips to enhance your yard and home.
4. Get Rid of Unwanted Guests
Of course, when we talk about being outside this much, we have to also talk about the less fun reality of bugs and pests. Especially if you are using your outdoor space extensively, it is very likely you’ll run into some pests along the way. It’ll be especially important to keep areas around your front door and garage door pest-free to prevent in-home infestations. This may include getting any needed window, residential door, or garage door repairs to ensure they are properly sealed against weather and pest.
There are many treatments for bugs and pests, include lawn spraying. Think carefully when considering spraying, however, especially if you have an outdoor living room or kitchen. You wouldn’t want those chemicals blowing back onto surfaces you use for food preparation and eating. They can be harmful to pets and people from time to time.
If you are intimidated by the thought of dealing with pests yourself, you can contact a pest control service for help. They’ll be able to get rid of unwelcome guests in your yard without putting pets or humans at risk. Some services will even boast about their natural and chemical-free solutions to pests. If that is a concern to you, research eco-friendly pest control in your area to find help you can feel good about.
5. Have Fun
All this said, one of the most important landscape design tips is to have fun! That’s what’s most important about your yard after all. You aren’t designing it just for the sake of designing it. Unless you are planning to renovate in order to sell, your landscaping should include an eye for what you and your family would most enjoy.
You might invest in a pool, for example. This is a big landscaping decision and comes with a lot of considerations in terms of design. Things like the pool’s height (in ground or above), any fencing you might need and its overall impact on the space can drastically impact how your yard looks and feels.
The same can be said of even smaller changes though. If you were looking to get a small patio just to barbecue and entertain on, even this could be a big design decision. You want a space that’s functional, but also one that looks good.
One of the best landscape design tips when it comes to adding fun additions to your yard is to plan, plan, plan. Try to really picture what these additions will look like before you start installing them or hire a contractor. Do some sketching or look up pictures online. Really try to visualize the impact this decision will have on your yard. This will allow you to make a design decision that you will be happy with for the long run.
6. Consider Your Fence
Speaking of long term design decisions, your fence is probably going to be around for a long, long time. It can be easy to overlook something like a fence. You see it every day, all the time. It can fade away into the background and go unnoticed before you even realize it.
However, like the rest of your yard, the fence requires care and maintenance. This can be an opportunity to put some landscape design tips to good use. You might use regular maintenance as a time to repaint your fence, for example.
You could even entirely replace your fence when you notice it starts to need repairs. This can be a significant design decision for your home. Not all wooden fencing is alike. Do you want a darker wood? Lighter? How high do you want your fence to be? Do you like a cooler tone in the wood or perhaps a warmer, redder one?
Don’t let these considerations overwhelm you. They are actually opportunities where you can put landscape design tips to work to make your yard even more stunning. Again, try to visualize before you buy. Get samples if you can so you can really see how different types of wood and fencing will look in your yard.
You don’t need to stick to wood, either. Some people use shrubbery and things like that for added privacy. Foliage can be a more natural way of giving you some privacy in your yard while contributing to the aesthetics of your home.
If you are thinking of completely replacing your fence, you may want the help of a professional for that kind of job. You want your fencing to be installed properly. As we’ve mentioned, it will be with you for a long time to come.
7. Get Professional Help
We have noted this a couple times already, but it’s worth repeating: Get professional help when and where you need it. You don’t need to go it alone. Professionals can not only help with the work itself, but they also might be able to provide some landscape design tips of their own.
Landscaping services can help get you underway if you’re thinking of doing some larger projects around your lawn to make it shine. You can get help with building a patio, installing a new fence or even designing your garden. These professionals may be able to advise you on what will look and function best in your yard. They likely know the climate and other factors that could wear down things like wood over time, so seek out their advice during your design process.
However, it isn’t just things like constructions where you can get professional help. Think about all the things that you have outside that might require a technician. Maybe you need furnace repair or you have an HVAC unit that hasn’t been cleaned in some time. These are also areas where professionals can help so that you can focus on getting the most out of landscape design tips and tricks instead.
Design Your Dream Yard
No matter how you want to go about it, dream big while designing your yard. One of the best landscape design tips is just to go too far at first. You can always reel it in later, after you’ve investigated what’s possible and what kind of budget you’d need for your projects. But when you’re just starting out, it doesn’t hurt to imagine your wildest landscaping fantasies.