If you’d like a modern and contemporary look to your garden, then it’s very important that you choose the right hard landscaping materials.
The landscape materials will often have more impact on how your garden will look than the overall design layout. For example, you could have a semicircular retaining wall and patio area, which on paper might look very modern, but if you use traditional brick and paving, then the design will look, well, very traditional!
However, if you were to have that same semicircular wall rendered and painted white and had a very smooth, perfectly cut linear paving with it, then it would look very modern.
Here’s how you choose the right materials for a contemporary garden design
Basically, the straighter and smoother material is, the more contemporary it will look. Of course the reverse is also true. The more uneven and rustic material edges are, the more traditional it will look. Let’s now look at some examples to demonstrate what I mean.
Examples of paving suitable for a contemporary garden style
As you can see from the photographs above, the clean cut lines are what makes a material look modern. It makes sense really, in ye olden days the tools for cutting stone would have been very basic, whereas now we have these enormous great saws that can cut perfect edges.
How you combine the paving is also very important. Again, the more you put in, the more fussy it will look, and therefore less contemporary. So, do not use more than three different paving sizes. One or two different sizes tends to work best though.
It might sound very boring just having one size of paving slab, and technically, I suppose it is, but it’s what you do with it that counts!
If you have a rectangular slab in one size, you have various options on how you lay that slab. As you can see from the images below, even with just one size paving stone, you can still do quite a lot with it.
My preference is to go usually for three different sizes. It’s nice to have quite a large rectangular paving slab with a long linear one. Again there’s a lot you can do with just three sizes of paving, see the example below.
So really, the main thing you need to do is keep it simple. Don’t be tempted to mix lots of different colours and materials together or you’ll end up with a mishmash. If you want a truly contemporary feel and modern look to your garden, then you really must control yourself and not go crazy with mixing lots of different materials together.
How do you create a modern garden feel, but not too contemporary?
Now, whilst you may not want a typically traditional garden, you might not want something that is uber modern either. So how do you create something that’s in-between modern and traditional?
Well, again it does come down to material choices as much as the design.
Basically, the simple way is to mix more sizes together. So rather than just having two or three different types of paving you have five or so. If you choose paving that is not perfectly smooth, and has a slightly riven surface, then that will also make it look slightly less modern, as shown in the photograph below
If you prefer a more traditional feel to your patio, then take a look at how to create a traditional style patio.
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