|PO Box 5123
Ridgewood, NJ 07451
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Our company has many years of experience designing and building custom pool, landscaping, and masonry projects for homeowners across New Jersey and the surrounding tri-state area. Please take a moment to browse through various landscaping and swimming pool designs, which have earned our New Jersey landscape architecture office 9 international awards of excellence. We hope that our experience may be helpful to you in generating some unique ideas for your very own landscaping, masonry, and swimming pool projects. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call us. We would love the opportunity to help make your project a great success!
An innovative landscape design can quickly transform outdoor living spaces into backyard vacation destinations. Pools, landscapes, outdoor kitchens, patios, and gardens add tremendous visual appeal and equally impressive functionality. A well thought-out landscape design has something to offer for everyone who walks into the back yard. Experienced, well thought-out landscape designs will meet every one of the homeowners' requests, seamlessly fit the design into the existing property, and create a one-of-a-kind oasis destination in the outdoor living space. Take a look at some of these landscape design ideas for a number of features and amenities.
A fire feature will be a focal point, a light source, and a natural heater. There are a couple of different potential fire features. For formal design, fire tables and custom outdoor fireplaces look nice. In more natural settings, fire pits, fire bowls, Volcanic Fire Pits, and camp-style fire pits maintain the rugged appeal. Fire feature design can be uniquely implemented in conjunction with water features to achieve a nice balance.
Swimming Pool Landscaping
Swimming pool landscape design draws the important connection between pool designs and the landscapes that surround them. Pool designs can be formal, natural, tropical, classical, modern, or abstract. For each of these, there is a corresponding landscape and masonry design that fits the outdoor living space. Formal, classical pools might have a Roman ended shape, formal gardens, and a sleek patio. Natural pools tend to be freeform with waterfalls, rugged stone patios, and mass plantings. Old World pools can feature an aged stone look with ivy creeping across the stone in whimsical fashion.
Landscape designs that utilize retaining walls in practical and aesthetically pleasing ways can create functional spaces in otherwise unusable slopes. If the retaining wall sits on a hillside that leads down, away from the home, you can select a more affordable retaining option because the wall will not have much visual impact. In high priority areas, homeowners can choose from natural veneer stone, boulder rock outcroppings, and precast stone. Natural veneer stone is extremely versatile and offers great long-term return on the investment. For natural landscapes boulder rocks can blend into the scenery; they are also a cost-effective alternative to stone retaining walls.
Patio and Walkway
The patio and walkways are the most important and functional components of the landscape design. Pool patios, walkways, dining patios, outdoor kitchen patios, and outdoor living room patios offer a great place to establish a look and give homeowners, families, and friends a place to enjoy the outdoor living experience. Pool patios should always remain cool for bare feet, using materials such as limestone, quartzite, sandstone, granite, travertine and Tennessee Crab Orchard. Depending on pattern, these natural stones can fit a wide variety of styles. Bluestone and brick are other patio options; they absorb heat and should be kept out of full sun. Pavers are an affordable way to address the patio design, but they often become outdated after 5 years or so. Properly installed and maintained natural stone, while it costs more, provides the best return on a patio investment.
Landscape and Pool Lighting Design
See our latest New Jersey landscape lighting project featured in Design NJ Landscape and pool lighting accents and illuminates the outdoor living space. Color LED pool lights set the mood of the back yard with a calming blue, a lively red, or a stately purple. At the same time, landscape lighting should softly accent focal points of the yard without creating blinding hot spots. In addition to LED lights, fiber optic spot lights can add depth and accents to waterfalls. Fiber optic star lights can be installed on pool floors and grotto ceilings so as to resemble a starry sky. On top of the aesthetics, LED lights are extremely efficient, and the pool and landscape lighting creates 24-hour, safe usability for the outdoor living space.
Rock and Stone in the Landscape Design
Rock and stone can play an intricate role in the NJ landscape design. Rocks and stones are most often used for drainage, bioswales, rain gardens, decoration, or elevation changes. Large stones can ease the transition of elevation changes, much like many waterfalls disguise grade changes next to swimming pools. For more aesthetic purposes, small stones and decorative gravel can add interest to a garden or planting bed. Gravel or colorful rocks can also be the focus of a custom Zen garden. For drainage areas, decorative gravel can give the simple, practical space some visual appeal.
Our waterfall designs seek to re-create nature in all of its rugged beauty. Stones are chosen and placed according to the sights and sounds they will produce as water flows down them into the inground pool. Cliff rocks are jagged; they create more splashes and sounds as the water cascades over the face. Fieldstone boulder waterfalls are slightly more worn-looking, with a smoother, relaxing feel. Waterfalls, in their most unique form, can do more than rush down a rock face. Waterfalls can also cascade over the face of swimming pool grottos for a nice effect. To fully re- create the natural phenomenon, planting pockets and lights should always be built into the structure. Lights provide depth and accents, and the planting pockets offer soft textures to the stone.
The front yard landscape design should, first and foremost, create curb appeal; this relies heavily on trees, shrubs and perennials. If any trees or shrubs are undersized, it will take many years to mature and fit the landscape. If a tree is oversized, it will be unnecessarily expensive. Another crucial reason to avoid undersized materials is that they can create holes in the front or backyard landscape. If you are faced with this problem and on a tight budget, then perennials and annuals are a great way to fill holes or gaps. Trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals should all work together to create the most inviting landscape possible.
Pond & Fountains
Landscape designs that include ponds and fountains provide intriguing outdoor living destinations. Everyone loves to relax while gazing out upon a beautiful pond filled with fish. In natural landscapes, ponds can be a great addition to the design. With lilies, the landscaping can help tie the pond into the yard and make it look natural. In colder climates, the pond should be at least 3.5 to 4 feet deep in order for fish to survive in the winter. If the landscape design cannot accommodate a pond, fountains and other formal style water features serve as excellent focal points that draw interest and provide another great destination in the yard.
Steps play a very practical role in the hardscape design. Generally, natural slab stone steps and veneered masonry steps are two of the most popular types of steps. Natural slabs can be either refined and formal or rugged and natural. Natural stones have irregular shapes, while formal slabs have cleaner edges and are more consistent. Close to the home, stone slabs should be more formal than natural. Away from the home or around the swimming pool, the natural, rugged, jagged slabs can be used more freely. In more trafficked areas, they would be dangerous for children and elderly people. Veneered masonry steps represent the other end of the step spectrum. They are clean, formal structures; they typically borrow material ideas from the architecture of the house. Masonry steps look amazing, but they cost considerably more than slabs.
Outdoor Kitchen Design
Outdoor kitchen designs produce tremendously useful, visually appealing outdoor living spaces. With an outdoor kitchen, homeowners tend to spend more time outside in the yard. Swimmers can step out of the pool to grab a warm towel from the kitchen’s warming drawer and enjoy a freshly cooked meal on the grill. A decorative pergola can increase style and function of the outdoor kitchen by protecting children and elderly from the summer sun. Custom corbels, chic countertops, and luxurious backsplashes can adorn full-functional outdoor kitchens. For material selection, outdoor kitchen finishes can be influenced by surrounding architecture, adjacent patios, or a nearby swimming pool.
Outdoor Room Design
Landscaping ideas and hardscape designs are utilized to create distinct outdoor rooms. Masonry walls, shrubs, or trees can quarter off a piece of patio space to create a comfortable, private outdoor living space. The outdoor room can even be created by a shift in patio material and pattern. Inside the outdoor living rooms, the landscape design may feature a fire pit, outdoor fireplace, or fire table. The room might even feature a television outdoors. Surrounding whatever centerpiece or focal point is chosen for the room, comfortable patio furniture can accommodate groups of friends and family.
Driveways can be linear or circular, curved or straight. Depending on the proposed landscape design, the driveway should be very mindful of your local municipality's impervious coverage requirements. A large, circular driveway can put impervious coverage area to the limit and hinder the potential of a backyard patio or swimming pool. The driveway should feature an inviting landscape with splashes of color. In colder areas, the driveway should be appropriately pitched to avoid ice build up. In terms of material, asphalt, pavers, belgian block, granite cobbles, or gravel can be utilized. In certain instances, a variety of materials can be used. The asphalt driveway, for example, may feature cobblestone or paver entry courts and aprons. This is a more affordable solution than using pavers and cobblestone for the entire driveway.
Front walkways should be functional and inviting. Surrounding plant life, the right material, and a solid pattern can be a subtle first impression of the home. Typically, materials tend to pay tribute to the architecture of the house. Pavers or natural stone are two of the most popular materials for walkways; natural stone walkways offer the best return on this investment. Just as the material helps to set the tone, the pattern of the stone must also be considered. Patterns, in a subtle way, can tell guests whether the front yard landscape design is more formal or more natural.
Flower garden design is all about giving the landscape extra flavor. Flower plantings will accent and add color to the outdoor living space, generating plenty of curb appeal. Borders, walkways and poolside planting beds are all accentuated with colorful flowers. A combination of perennials and annuals is generally used in the flower garden. Perennials come back year after year, providing a cost-effective landscape solution over time. Annuals need to be replaced every year; they will be more costly but they offer a wide range of styles and colors that last as long as that year's weather will allow. For flower gardens, stagger bloom times to ensure year- round color for the landscape design.
Piers can be used for front entry gates, fences, pillars, lights or mailboxes. The masonry structures can feature brick, natural stone, or thin-stone veneer. Precast thin-stone veneer closely resembles natural stone and is more affordable. Natural stone, for its look and longevity, is still a worthwhile investment. The style of the home strongly influences these masonry structures, and surrounding plants help tie them into the landscape design. Piers, softened and accented by the color and texture of the landscape, give guests their first introduction to the home and the landscape design.