Luxurious pool with waterfalls and surrounded by beautiful landscape

Hardscape materials have evolved and expanded the creative palette for design/build landscape professionals, including a broad selection of pavers in various colors, textures, and sizes. Natural materials range from sleek bluestone for a contemporary look to flagstone laid in a meandering pattern for a cottage feel. And mixing hardscape materials adds interest and defines spaces in your outdoor living area.

There are endless possibilities for incorporating hardscaping into a landscape design. Now for some tips and inspiration.

Hardscaping Tips — Planning a Project

First, what are your goals for the space? When we initially meet with clients to discuss hardscaping and outdoor living projects, we learn how they entertain, who will use the space (children?), and what they ultimately want to accomplish. It’s a good idea to collect images and share inspiration from Pinterest, Houzz, and other home and garden resources. Call out what features appeal to you. It might be the paver color of a hardscaping project or the way a retaining wall doubles as seating. It could be the hardscaping pattern. You get the idea.

Align with home architecture. We always take into account your home’s style. A traditional property calls for a different hardscape treatment than a contemporary abode.

Location, location. Is the outdoor area you want to develop positioned on a slope? Is the space right up against a house? Do you have a pool? These, and more, site-related factors can determine what materials are best suited for your property, along with more technical aspects of hardscaping projects like ensuring proper drainage.


Elegant pool with beautiful hardscape design concept image for pool hardscaping ideas


Plan outdoor living rooms. Hardscaping is the foundation of outdoor living design, allowing you to create zones for cooking, dining, gathering, and play. This can be accomplished in several ways. Multi-tiered hardscape patios offer dimension and work well on properties that are sloped, for example. The design possibilities are endless, which is why a custom landscape plan is critical.

Consider care – hardscape maintenance. When selecting materials for a hardscape outdoor living project, talk to the professional about maintenance requirements. Will the material need to be sealed, and if so, how often? What about cleaning or joint resanding?

Hardscape Ideas — Inspiration for Outdoor Living Projects

Whether you’re planning a hardscape pool surround or an outdoor kitchen, an experienced design/build landscape professional will guide you through the process from idea to installation. What we love about hardscape projects is the way natural stone and concrete pavers can transform a property and provide functional living space. Here are some trending hardscape projects.


Patio with a bbq area and bar stools for guests


Fire Pits and Fireplaces

Imagine relaxing by a cozy fire, roasting s’mores, and extending the season when you can comfortably use your outdoor living space. That’s the practical side of fire pits and fireplaces. There’s also a social side because these features provide an appealing gathering area — and the aesthetic aspect of fire can be calming or lively. Stacked stone fireplaces offer an organic hearth with visual interest. Fire pits integrated into a hardscape patio or separate “landing” dedicated to this feature are a sophisticated way to build a campfire in your backyard.


Patio with a firepit feature


Hardscape Pool and Spa Ideas

Natural stone pool and spa patios can be custom designed to accent the tile and surrounding landscape. You can opt for a natural look with irregularly shaped stone or a more uniform appearance with cut stone or pavers. Stamped patios surrounding a pool can also stand up to the heat, water, and foot traffic, and they’re available in a range of colors. A sleek stone border around the pool offers a smooth landing for entering and exiting the water, and more textured stone can be used for seating areas to define those spaces. Mixing hardscape materials defines spaces.


Plunge pool surrounded by nature


Rock Pool Grotto

Consider adding a rock grotto to your pool with a waterfall—a hardscape pool feature that blends with natural surroundings and adds an element of peaceful water music to your outdoor living space. Grottos can be enclosed or open, and they bring a natural cave feeling to your pool space. The possibilities are endless. Why not a grotto with a built-in spa?

Hardscape Seating Walls

Hardscape retaining walls constructed from natural stone or interlocking pavers can serve multiple purposes. Primarily, retaining walls are designed to defy gravity and hold back land in a sloped area, and they are sometimes installed to manage water runoff. Landscape walls can be purely aesthetic, separating outdoor living spaces and then doubling as a convenient place to sit.


Firepit feature integrated with your hardscape


Hardscape Patio Patterns and Finishes

Play with pattern and layout. Traditional hardscape patio patterns include running bond, herringbone, and basket weave. With asymmetrical natural stone and hardscape pavers, you get a natural look with random patterns. You don’t have to choose one approach or the other. Mixing hardscape patterns adds dimension to an outdoor living space. For instance, pavers in a grid pattern look less formal with a river rock border, or a natural stone outcropping with curated boulders that can even be transformed into a bubbling, pondless water feature.

Leave the ‘Hard’ Work to Us

Hardscape is an art and a science. Our design, and build landscape professionals bring inspiration, expertise, and professionalism to every project. Explore our gallery of patios and hardscape projects.

How can we create the backyard of your dreams? Let’s talk. Reach out by calling (845) 849-2953 or fill out this simple contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.

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