What is Modern Landscape Design and Is It for Me?

An example of a Modern Landscape Design

A recent design created by Whitehouse Landscaping.

Modern outdoor design focuses on clean lines, symmetry, repetition, balance, and minimalism.   The look is far from boring and each element is thoughtfully selected.  Modern landscape design is on the upswing and there are definite characteristics that set this style apart from a more traditional landscape.    Less is more is a great way to think about a modern design.   Here’s what to know about this uncluttered trend and we’ll examine the key features that define a more modern design.

Characteristics of Modern Landscape Design

Functional Outdoor Living Spaces.    Modern landscape design prioritizes the creating of  functional outdoor living spaces that cater to the needs and lifestyles of homeowners.  Hardscaping plays a pivotal role in designing outdoor spaces.    This may include outdoor seating areas, patios, fire pits, pergolas and spaces in general for relaxation, socializing, or leisure activities.   Modern landscaping utilizes classic and clean geometry, repeating patterns, striking focal points and neutral colors.   Patios may have oversized, smooth pavers and are installed with clean, straight lines vs. curved lines.    If you’re looking for a more geometric look, you can choose square or rectangular pavers.  Metal can be used in gates and fences.  Planters tend to be steel.   The landscape becomes more connected to the hardscape elements.  Gravel-filled beds and grass can sometimes be an accent.

A Pottstown modern landscape design installation with a clean, organized look and geometric shapes.

Innovative Use of Materials.  Modern landscape design explores innovative use of materials to create visually striking and functional outdoor spaces.  From sleek concrete and steel to natural stone and wood, the choise of materials plays a definitive role in defining the contemporary aesthetic.  Whatever materials are chose require minimal maintenance and have long lifespans.  Metal can be used in gates and fences.  Planters tend to be steel.   The landscape becomes more connected to the hardscape elements.  Gravel-filled beds and grass can sometimes be an accent.

Photo courtesy of Veradek Outdoor

Less Softscaping- Fewer Plants.  There is less emphasis on plantings.  Plants are often used as ‘highlights’ within the space.   A mass planting of one plant can fit in as well or no plantings at all.   Mulch and especially gravel/river rock are often a part of the overall design, so plants that are compatible with these materials are desired.  Gardening is not a priority to homeowners, but if there are plants, more attention is given to foliage which gives the design more staying power throughout the seasons.  Simple broadleaf evergreens can work into a modern design and some ornamental grasses, such a Japanese Forest Grass and Fountain Grass look nice as well. Plants never become the focal feature.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Elements.   By prioritizing sustainability, modern landscapes not only reduce their environmental impact but also promote biodiversity and conservation.  Permeable paving materials, energy- efficient lighting, native plants, drought-resistant plants are all examples of eco-friendly elements.

Low Maintenance.  Well planned hardscaping and fewer plantings result in a low-maintenance outdoor living area that’s functional, calm, and sophisticated as well.  Hardscaping elements help keep maintenance to a minimum.  Greenery plays a supporting role. Homeowners are busier than ever.  They want to enjoy their outdoor spaces and spend less time caring for them.  Who wants to mow and mulch when you can sit back and relax!

Interested in Modern Landscape Design?

By embracing these features, modern landscapes not only reflect contemporary tastes, but also prioritize sustainability, functionality, and harmonious integration with the natural environment.

If you’re starting from scratch in designing your backyard oasis, and you find yourself comfortable in uncluttered, minimalist surroundings, a modern landscape design could be perfect for you.   Or perhaps you just want to incorporate a few modern elements to update your current look, our landscape design experts can help.

Whitehouse Landscaping offers landscape design and installation services.  If you are interested in upgrading your landscape to a more modern design, contact us for a free consultation.