5 Helpful Tips to Connect Your
Home and Landscape
The home is our sanctuary. The hearth and heart of family life, of community, of our day-to-day experiences. And, as remote work becomes the norm, we’re spending more time than ever within the home. This has laid emphasis on the psychological impact of architectural design, and the importance of creating a sense of space and belonging with the natural landscape surrounding the home.
Too often, large houses are dumped thoughtlessly on a plot of land with little consideration for landscaping, climate, light and harmonization of design and environment. The result is an estrangement from nature that has a dire impact on our health, well-being and quality of life. Neurological research has shown that the hippocampal region of the brain is finely attuned to the geometry and spatial design of our environments. We are deeply affected by building façades, light, color and the flow (or lack thereof) of design elements.
With that in mind, we aim to harmonize our homes and gardens with their surroundings to feel the presence of the natural world around us. We want to connect spaces to create an experience, to tell a story that reveals itself as you move from interior to exterior and back again. By avoiding dead zones, focusing on flow and taking inspiration from our natural environment, we can design a home and garden that not only complements the surrounding landscape but enhances it.
When designing a house from scratch, you have an opportunity to enhance the home and its surroundings through placement and light exposure. You’ll want to aim for the best aspect possible, considering the view not only from the garden, but from each window, and the way natural light moves across the property. Consider acreage, outlook and the directional exposure of the home’s main living spaces, and build from there.
Light & Decor
Light exposure will play a pivotal part in interior design, as natural light gives different hues throughout the day, influencing colour palette, texture and furnishing. A room with an eastern exposure will be bathed in bright morning light, while a southern exposure will wash out colour, so you might want to work with gold and metallics. A northern exposure will offer consistent light throughout the day with a bluish tone, which you can balance with warmer tones, while a western exposure will bring a golden glow as the sun sets, easily balanced with cooler tones.
Reflect Your Natural Surroundings with Decor
To achieve harmony with your surroundings, take inspiration from your natural environment, the view from the windows and local flora. We want to bring the outside in to achieve a sense of place and flow, using colors and textures that complement the world outside.
Consider the serenity of a beach house that evokes the ocean, sand and vivid coastal sunsets with coral, wood, neutrals and soft blue tones. One might even incorporate natural elements such as sand, glass, shell and driftwood. A mountain home will best reflect the deep forest-green scenery with earthy colors, rustic furnishings and stone accents, while a rural country house will exude comfort and sophistication with cozy furnishing and crisp white walls to compliment the warm green pastures beyond.
Desert homes can be enhanced with earth tones, creams and a dash of orange-red. Organic shapes, cooling tiles and terracotta will compliment the raw, jagged and majestic beauty of the desert, while an urban home with skyline views will work best with mixed metals, jewel tones and a blend of modern and antique furnishing.
The best way to create continuity within and without the home is to create transitional areas that bridge the interior to the exterior. A wide deck with screen-doors, a patio, terrace or pergola will smoothly blend the outdoor and indoor spaces.
For aesthetic flow, select outdoor furniture and pot-plants that tie elements of the interior, the garden and the further surrounding together. This will include color and texture, as well as the pot-plants themselves. As a rule, it’s best to use native flora, which not only complements and connects with the surroundings, but are easier to maintain within the specific climate.
Landscape Architecture & Gardening
When designing the garden, we want to create a connected experience from one area to the next, including any transitional spaces. Starting close to the house, keep the design tame, especially with modern buildings that have hard, clean lines. As you move further from the house, the garden should grow more wild as it reaches the borders of the property, smoothing the transition from garden to the natural landscape beyond.
When choosing plants, consider exterior details of the house, such as trim, shutters and the color of roof-tiles. Use plants and flowers with harmonious colors to blend the house and the garden. A simple way to achieve this is to stick with one main color family that suits your hardscape elements and add a dash of complimentary color.
The most beautiful gardens have corners and points of interest, which can be used to further enhance, compliment and bridge the house and natural landscape. Garden features should reflect the house façade, walkways and edging, and of course, the surrounding area. All these small details add up to a harmonious and uplifting experience.
It’s not just about complimenting the environment, but achieving a sense of balance and comfort. A cottage in the rambling countryside will be enhanced with bright native flowers, lush grass, stone garden statues and a wooden bench in a sunny corner, whereas a house in the dry, sunny Mediterranean will better suit cacti, stone paths, big leafy plants, a fountain piece and shady sitting areas.
The most important thing is that you feel comfortable, refreshed and invigorated by your home, connected to nature and at one with your environment.
Let us know in the comments how you’ve combined home and landscape with your home!
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