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Defining your personal style and preferences can be puzzling for some. Are you: Modern? Contemporary? Transitional? California Natural? Traditional? There are so many options!

When meeting a prospective client, we talk about style and aesthetic preferences in the beginning. These discussions help guide the theme of their landscape project. Some people know exactly what they want, others know it when they see it, yet others look to us to guide them. The style of a particular landscape design can be influenced by many factors – your architectural style, the interior design of your home, your surrounding geography and climate, and your own personal background, culture, experience and taste. It’s what makes each project exciting, interesting and unique!

A popular trend is an interest in a modern landscape design aesthetic – clean lines, clear geometric shapes, open views and simple but elegant layouts. Hardscape materials can include finishes like floating concrete pavers, smooth concrete or precast pavers, light colored stucco, wood or stacked stone veneers, steel, cable, glass or decorative panel railings and fencing, and more. Plants are showcased for their forms and the planting design often includes patterns and repetitions, asymmetry, trees and shrubs that are more structural or architectural in form, and shrubs that are defined and neat or striking in appearance.

A contemporary landscape design is more current trending, because new ideas, trends and products are always being invented or re-discovered. Right now, some contemporary themes are sustainable or eco-friendly design and use of natural materials for hardscape features. A contemporary design can also include similar elements as the Modern design in terms of layout, hardscape materials and planting design.

When one thinks about a traditional landscape design, we imagine architectural styles in our area such as; Mediterranean, Colonial, French country, Craftsman, Cape Cod, Tudor, Spanish, Victorian, Farmhouse & Cottage. Each one of these styles are unique and have historical and location specific roots. While there are thematic responses to each of these styles, we create our “California” landscape overlay while still responding to the authentic character of the home.

A transitional landscape design is a term that we frequently hear these days. This style can take on the character of multiple styles combined creatively into a cohesive style of its own. Some say transitional style is a bridge between modern and traditional. Many homes in the Bay area cannot be classified as a particular style, so transitional is a great way to capture the blending of many. It gives us great creative leeway since we can emphasize a variety of different styles all in one property. The key is to create a blending of styles that make the solution look purposeful rather than a patchwork of separate ideas.

A California natural landscape design takes nature as its model with more free form shapes, irregular flagstone patios and paths, natural boulder water features, and natural stone veneers. Plants are often California natives that are massed together in natural groupings that imitate our surrounding nature. The plants adapt better to our climate in terms of low water needs, bloom cycle and growth patterns. These types of gardens also attract the most pollinators and wildlife making for a very dynamic garden that is “alive” with activity year around.    

Curious about how to discover your style? Contact us today for a landscape design consultation! And start looking though online images and creating a collection of styles you are drawn to. The rest is up to our design magic!

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Kalich - Boulder fountain, Japanese maple tree, native planting, stamped concrete

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