Contemporary Elements
contemporary front yard with concrete paving and elegant geometry

We are always excited about new things, especially when they relate to Landscape Architecture, so contemporary landscaping has truly stolen our hearts.  Here are a few of our favorite contemporary elements we use in designing landscapes that stun with their simple and innovative modern style.

Contemporary Aesthetic

contemporary dining area with louvered pergola and California native planting

Clean lines, dominant hardscape, and an emphasis on structural plantings combine to form the aesthetic of the contemporary landscape, from New York to the Bay Area.  We love the focus on structure and simplicity, especially when combined with existing architecture to give the entire property a real update.  We can’t get over the effect of strong geometry in outdoor spaces – angular retaining walls, minimalist structures, and bold angles play with space, creating landscapes that are calming yet energetic.  No wonder we love this look!


geometric Bluestone square pavers with river rock, gravel and metal edging

Combined hardscape is one trend we are really in love with!  Stone and gravel in different sizes combine with concrete or stone pavers and are held in place with clean metal edging for geometric elegance on the ground.  Contrast is big – Smooth river pebbles contrast with rough salvaged wood, black trim with white walls, industrial materials side-by-side with the organic.  Cor-ten steel is undeniably a signature contemporary material for anything from planters to retaining walls.  Its unique rusting palette lends a warm contrast to grey stone and concrete.

Planting Options

stunning Corten steel planters bring warmth to a contemporary planting scheme

New planting design spans a broad spectrum from natural grassland to structural specimens.  Texture seems to rule over all- soft wispy grasses contrast stark hardscape, thick leathery leaves stand upright amidst soft groundcovers, and wild-looking plants have a bold presence singularly or in mass.  Warm colors can brighten and soften geometric hardscape, as in this welcoming entry planting above which glows inside rusted Corten planters.

Also present is the refreshing green of turf – whether real, faux, or in combination.  While it may seem surprising, we design with faux turf to help clients optimize their water efficiency and simplify their lives – no mowing or brown spots to deal with here.  Not to mention, new styles of faux turf are getting more and more convincing.  It really can look real, elegant, and manicured.  Who knew?!  We find that contemporary planting is a whole mood, and we’re here for it.

High Tech

high-tech outdoor kitchen with flatscreen tv, remote controlled louvered pergola, and state of the art grill

This high-res flat-screen isn’t the only high-tech thing about this outdoor kitchen, though it certainly fits the theme! Overhead, a louvered pergola is fully controlled by the touch of a button – opened for a breeze or for slanted sunlight, or fully closed to protect from the elements.  All LED lighting is also remote-controlled, and this grill from Lynx is positively state-of-the-art.  The perfect spot to catch your favorite HGTV show or grill your best Summer kebabs, or kick it up a notch with the outdoor sound system.

Dancing highly recommended.

Each of our custom landscapes gives us an opportunity to define your unique style.  We have many new exciting projects that will be gracing our portfolio this Summer.  We look forward to sharing with you!

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