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Symmetry is Vital in Putting Together an Outdoor Landscape

Symmetry outdoor landscapeWhether it is around your new home or a makeover to the place you've called home since the children were young, facing a new or revitalized landscaping design can be an intimidating task. "Where should we put this and that?" "Which materials will provide lasting beauty with minimal maintenance requirements?" "How do we stay in full control of the outcome – even when certain aspects of the design the need to be put off?" These are among the most common questions and concerns of homeowners. It is my opinion that maintaining a strong sense of symmetry from start-to-finish is a good rule to adopt.

Symmetrical Landscaping Ocean County

When creating a front yard, side yard or backyard landscape design, best results can often be achieved if what is on the ground is in symmetry with all of home's surroundings – whether they are natural, architectural or simply functional. The attributes inherent in hardscape materials (pavements, wall systems, pre-packaged water features, ambient lighting and outdoor lifestyle amenities) are well-suited to capture one or all three of these prerequisites and ultimately, pull the project together. Here's why:

  • A beautifully implemented pavement can link areas of the entire outdoor footprint (much like roads can do to urban and suburban landscapes).
  • The more popular colors of interlocking pavers are derived from shades found in natural stone. Consequently, they lend themselves to a more natural environment as opposed to poured concrete, black asphalt and mediocre, low-tech patio block. The best-selling blended shades by Cambridge in 2013 were Toffee/Onyx and Toffee/Onyx Lite; Sahara/Chestnut and Sahara/Chestnut Lite; Bluestone Blend and Onyx/Natural. There are 20 other solid and blended shades in the company's lineup.
  • Carefully selected textures can boost symmetry. Although many designers encourage mixing shapes, styles and textures, it is important to maintain a common thread throughout the overall plan.
  • The diversity of patterns should also be limited so as to not upset continuity, although it is nice to add an accent to specific areas of overall paved surfaces. This can be achieved with specially-crafted design kits such as those offered by Cambridge, which are used to inset circle and fan patterns. The introduction of a different type of paver (such as Cambridge Cast Stone with its hand-crafted surface characteristics) can add unique border and banding treatments. Ask an experienced designer or contractor to show you some pattern ideas from his or her portfolio.

Vertical Surfaces Lend Themselves to Continuity

Manufactured hardscape materials from manufacturers like Cambridge offer an array of choices for vertical surfaces that include segmental wall systems, decorative columns, column mailboxes, stone veneer and staircases – all of which combine form with function while providing surface colors and textures that match or coordinate with an interlocking concrete pavement system. The wall systems can be used in a variety of applications that range from retaining walls to perimeter walls around areas of the design or to border property lines. By sticking with one manufacturer for pavers and walls, you can be more assured of coordinated results.

Most homeowners opt for a full house siding such as vinyl, aluminum, cement fiber or natural stone. But you should consider the stone veneer products that are available from hardscape manufacturers as well. The styles from Cambridge are molded from natural stone that are found in ledges and valleys here in America and which retain all of the dimensional characteristics of the hand-picked pieces from which they were cast. Stone veneer can be used to beautifully highlight areas of the architecture of the house, with the added advantage of tying in with paver and wall stones in areas around the house.

The continuity benefits don't stop there. Many manufacturers have brought pre-packaged patio components, pergolas and pavilions into their design mix, which incorporate their wall stones and stone veneers to hardscaped areas.

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