|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 examples of our work and design ideas, which have earned our NJ landscape architecture office 9 international awards. We hope that our experience can 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!
Front Yard Landscaping Ideas
Driveway ideas are extremely important to the outdoor living space. While the driveway plays a crucial role in front yard landscaping, it is also the most important factor in impervious coverage limitations according to your local ordinances. A circular driveway can put homes right up to their impervious coverage limits and ruin the chance at a pool or patio. Try not to overbuild and hinder the backyard landscape design NJ. Aesthetically, driveways should be inviting and feature smooth straight or curved lines. The slope must be pitched properly to avoid ice buildup in cold climate regions. Material choices include pavers, asphalt, Belgian block, gravel, or granite cobblestone. The whole driveway does not have to be done decoratively either. Many choose to simply use cobblestone or pavers for entry courts or aprons rather than the whole driveway.
Walkway Ideas for the Front Yard
Properly design front walkways should not only be utilitarian, they should entice visitor from the driveway or street to the front entry of the home. Materials should complement the setting and/or the architecture of the house. Pavers or natural stone can be used, but again, properly installed natural stone will always provide the best return on investment. For formal entryways, elegant staircases and fountains can be used to enhance the scene. Also, do not overlook the pattern of the walkway. The stone pattern is a subtle way to set the tone for the front yard landscaping NJ.
Front yard planting ideas
Front yard planting ideas should address the appeal of the home from the street, also known as curb appeal. First, the landscape should be to scale with the home to avoid looking awkward, inadequate, or overbearing. Cluttered front yard landscaping and holes in the landscape can both be avoided with the right front yard landscaping design. Perennials, trees, and shrubs can blend together in a way that fits the home, invites visitors, and attracts passing neighbors. Mature tree plantings can also reduce energy costs for the home. Windbreaks and shade can reduce heating and air conditioning costs if they are strategically placed in the front yard.
Masonry Piers in the Front Yard
Piers are masonry structures that frame front entry gates, line fences, or simply stand alone as pillars of curb appeal, they are also used to support lights or enclose mailboxes. Piers in the front yard landscape can be brick or natural stone. Thin- stone veneer is cost effective alternatives to a full depth natural stone veneer. For style purposes, materials or ideas are usually borrowed from architectural details on the house itself. To integrate piers into the surrounding front yard landscaping, plantings and flower gardens typically surround the piers with color and softer textures. Well-designed and beautifully constructed masonry piers create the ultimate entryway.
Outdoor living is all about creating a destination. Backyard landscaping ideas transform pools, landscapes, outdoor kitchens, and patios into aesthetically pleasing tools for functional outdoor living. Take a look at some backyard landscaping ideas that will make your yard the ultimate destination.
Ideas for Fire Features
Backyard landscaping with fire creates warmth, light, and dynamic focal points. Depending upon style, fire can be used in a couple of different ways. Formal fire tables, bowls and custom outdoor fireplaces can highlight the outdoor living experiences. More natural landscaping ideas would include tiki torches, Volcanic fire pits, and camp-style fire pits.
Swimming Pool Landscaping Ideas
Swimming pool landscaping can accommodate a wide range of styles. Formal pools feature ornate, classical shapes, materials, and styles. One idea for a formal pool design NJ would be a Roman End pool with Tuscan style gardens. Natural pools look towards waterfalls and other natural landscaping ideas for inspiration. Natural landscaping and boulder waterfalls can recreate favorite pieces of nature. Modern or contemporary swimming pools incorporate straight lines and chic materials such as glass tile. Natural pools dictate more aged, weathered materials and landscaping that appears timeless. Faux stone can be colored and transformed for a more rugged, antiquated feel.
Retaining Walls in the Landscape
Retaining wall ideas span from precast to natural stone to thin stone to massive boulder placements. These walls depend heavily upon the style of the landscaping. Depending on placement in the backyard, you can focus more on budget than appearance in less visible areas. If the retaining wall is used on a downhill slope towards the back of the yard, more cost-effective materials can be used. For significant, high impact areas, visually appealing, natural veneer stone can provide a great look and tremendous value through long-term return on investment. For natural backyard landscaping, boulder rock outcroppings blend into the landscape, and they are an affordable alternative to walls.
Patio and Walkway Landscaping Ideas for the BackYard
When considering materials for your patio or walkway there are many options to choose from. Pavers, stamped concrete, and natural stone offer a variety of strengths and weaknesses. Natural stone is more expensive, but when it is properly installed and maintained it looks the best and lasts longest. Pavers tend to become outdated and offer a somewhat poor return on investment when comparing it to natural stone. Materials should match the style and function of the backyard area. Pool patios should be cool for bare feet. Limestone, Tennessee Crab Orchard, and Quartzite are good ideas for inground pool patios. Bluestone and brick absorb more heat and should be used for more formal areas that are not in full sun. Patio and walkway patterns are determined, in large part, by the style of the outdoor living space. Random, irregular patterns have a natural feel. Running bond patterns can be more formal. Natural stones and formal patterns achieve a nice balance for patios and walkways. Other interesting options include permeable pavers and stone slabs separated by ground cover or grass. These are environmentally friendly and have a nice, natural appeal.
Landscape and Pool Lighting Ideas
Landscape and pool lighting increases the value of the backyard. Well-lit pools and landscapes are safe, functional, and visually appealing. In the backyard, landscape lighting may offer depth to surroundings and showcase a beautiful backdrop for evening gatherings. LED landscape lighting is an energy-efficient way to softly illuminate focal points and safely light up pathways. Swimming pool lights can add ambient outdoor living spaces. Fiber optic lights can highlight water features and colored LED swimming pool lights can set a calm mood with bright blue or excite the senses with a flashy red. For the ultimate decorative night lighting, pool floors or grotto ceilings can be fit with fiber optic star lights that shine like stars across the night sky.
Landscaping Ideas with Rock and Stone
Rock and stone can be used in a variety of ways throughout the backyard. Some ideas include drainage, bioswales, decoration, and elevation. Larger stones can support elevation changes and add texture to the landscape. Decorative gravel and smaller stones can give the landscape added character. Decorative gravel, especially, is a nice alternative for drainage areas.
Waterfalls in the landscape
Waterfall designs should focus on re-creating nature. Various stones, proper lighting, and accentual landscaping help to create the perfectly natural backyard scene. Fieldstone boulder waterfalls have a mature, aged feel to them. Other waterfalls create different sights and sounds with more jagged cliff stones. Regardless of the type of waterfalls, lights provide depth and accent areas of the waterfall at night. Plants should be incorporated to naturally soften the stonework. In this way, backyard waterfalls can perfectly mimic Mother Nature in a way that highlights the entire outdoor living space.
Landscaping with Trees & Shrubs in the Backyard
Trees and shrubs are the most basic elements of any landscaping. Height variations create scale and flow in the landscape, and the trees and shrubs should be planted to scale with the house. If undersized, a six-foot tree may not mature until the kids are grown and itís time to move to Florida. Formal and contemporary landscapes surrounding formal or contemporary homes may feature a lot of straight lines and a slightly minimalist approach. For natural backyard landscaping, large massing of shrubs will offer natural appeal. Finally, other considerations for trees and shrubs are shading from the sun, windbreaks for energy-efficiency, and winter interest in cold climate areas.
Flower Garden Ideas for the Backyard
Flower gardens give the NJ backyard landscaping some extra pop. Accentual, colorful plantings serve a significant purpose in the outdoor living space. Planting pockets in waterfalls offer a shift in texture and some dynamic color. Some flower garden considerations are staggered bloom times to achieve seasonal interest. We recommend your backyard landscaping design include a combination of perennials and annuals. Perennials are cost-effective in that they will return year after year. Annuals are a more costly option, but they will last throughout the outdoor living season. Annuals will have to be replaced year after year. These plants showcase great splashes of color across the backyard.
Pond & Fountains in the Landscape
Ponds and fountains can be the perfect addition to a landscape. Formal homes on smaller lots lend themselves more towards fountains than ponds. A natural landscape with a more rugged open setting could be the perfect place for a pond. Lilies can support the natural theme of the pond; a nice formal landscape can also integrate a fountain into its surroundings. The colorful plants will offer balance to the outdoor masonry structure. For ponds in colder climates, remember that it must be at least 3.5 to 4 feet deep in order for fish to survive in the winter.
Steps in the landscaping Design
Steps are an important aspect of masonry that can be seriously underestimated. In general, landscaping ideas include two very popular types of steps: veneered masonry steps and natural slab stone. Veneered masonry steps usually borrow from the architecture of the home. They have a beautiful look but are much more expensive than slabs. There are two types of slab steps: natural and formal. Natural slab stone steps are somewhat uneven but look nice in their natural setting generally some distance away from the home. Formal slabs have a regular, consistent shape; they are a nice option closer to the house where a natural material is still favored. Remember foot traffic when choosing slab steps. Natural slab stone can be difficult for children and the elderly.
Outdoor Kitchen Ideas
Landscaping ideas for outdoor kitchens can help integrate a fully functional, beautiful kitchen into the outdoor living area. Massive cooking stations with every appliance, luxurious natural stone dining areas, and a setting that ties everything together make outdoor kitchens a great addition to every backyard landscaping project. For materials, some can be borrowed from the architecture of the house. Others can be used for pure style with features such as a glass tile backsplash. Custom grills and outdoor kitchens offer a comfortable place to prepare meals so swimmers and other backyard dwellers do not have to go inside. Lighting and other appliances, such as warming drawers for pool towels, simply add to the practicality of the outdoor living space. For more detail, custom corbels and chic stone countertops can also be included in the outdoor kitchen design.
Outdoor Living Area
Outdoor living ideas focus on providing a comfortable area for outdoor relaxation and entertainment. Elegant outdoor furniture, outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, fire tables, beautiful patios, and a private feel make outdoor living rooms the centerpiece of many backyard gatherings. The outdoor living rooms can be outlined or walled in by the landscape, masonry walls, or a unique shift in patio design. Guests can enter the outdoor living room by stepping from a bluestone outdoor kitchen patio into a sandstone tile patio. Inside the outdoor room, every luxury of the home is brought out into the yard. Televisions fit for outdoor use, outdoor fireplaces, comfortable seating areas, and dining tables make outdoor living rooms a destination for entertaining family and friends.
Ideas for Garden Structures
Garden structures include pergolas, arbors, and trellises. Landscaping with these structures allows for a number of different possibilities. Pergolas are not simply beautiful decorative structures; they are also equipped to provide shade and privacy for pool patios, dining patios, or outdoor kitchens. Some NJ pergola designs even include retractable awnings to increase their shading benefits. Landscaping with pergolas allows for a unique, decorative transition from one area of the yard to the next, creating more distinct outdoor rooms. In addition to pergolas, arbors can be a nice entrance to an herb garden or a pool area. A nice idea for a trellis would be to screen pool equipment or some other practical area of the yard using the garden structure. The trellis could also be used to create a vertical garden, which would create some intrigue in the landscape.