Landscaping is an important element for any home. Decorative concrete is an important element for any landscaping design. Good landscape design must wed natural elements beautifully and functionally with man-made elements. It must withstand the elements and comfortably serve as an extension to the family’s living space.
Use concrete to compliment nature, not to control or hide it. Style and placement of decorative concrete elements should work with the natural surroundings and the home. A cobblestone stamped walkway would not work well with an adobe home and cactus adorned yard. On the flip side, a richly colored natural stone texture would work well with a wooded yard and rustic home. It does not matter how much the homeowners love a certain texture, color combination, or design. Something that does not fit with the setting will always disappoint.
Not only should the theme match the setting, layout should be carefully thought out. A fine balance needs to be found between function and form. The biggest conflict is between straight lines and organic shapes. Straight lines are appealing because they are easier to construct. They may, however, appear unimaginative or contrast too greatly with the landscaping. An over-reliance on curves can be distracting or appear cartoonish. Successful projects will have a mix of straight lines and mild organic curves. For example, a patio might have straight edges with rounded raised segments or a flowing walkway leading to it.
Take intended use into consideration. A family that enjoys entertaining will enjoy a large patio. Yet, a sports-oriented household will appreciate anything that maximizes open space. Isolated seating and gazebos will please people who value privacy and alone time. To maximize open space, a designer might consider a colored retaining wall to flatten slopes or decorative concrete planters to keep plant life contained. Low concrete walls and planters can held divide open areas into smaller, usable spaces. Entertaining spaces benefit from durable concrete counters, concrete firepits, and low concrete walls.
Remember to take budget seriously. Even the best plans are pointless unless the homeowner can afford it. This is one aspect in which decorative concrete comes into its own. Decorative concrete (specifically stamped and stenciled concrete) can be more affordable than materials such as stone, brick pavers, or tile. By choosing concrete as a medium, premium design options become available to budget-conscious consumers.
Consider conditions and environment when planning any landscaping project. Climate plays a huge role in landscaping. Vegetation and man-made portions are susceptible to the elements. High winds, water availability, precipitation, and freezing are all environmental concerns. When considering decorative concrete as a part of a landscaping project, plan for freezing conditions and soil erosion. If the environment does not support certain design elements, it will be necessary to find a suitable alternative.