Picture this — you step out into your backyard and see a beautiful landscape. Perhaps there’s an intricate brick patio beneath your feet, a stone wall cradling holly bushes, and a gathering space complete with a fire pit and wooden benches. This scene is your hardscape.

While this vision may currently be a dream, it’s easy to make it a reality. Follow the steps below to successfully create a beautiful hardscape.

Develop Your Master Plan

Before you head to the store or break out the shovel, know what you want to incorporate into your hardscape. You have a lot of options to choose from, so make a list of your most-wanted items and focus on them first.

Elements you can include in your hardscape include:

  • Steps
  • Patios
  • Decks
  • Fences
  • Gazebos
  • Walkways
  • Retaining walls

You can also play up natural themes by adding water features, such as fountains and ponds.

Create a Single Focal Point

Now that you know which items are must-haves, choose which one you want to make your focal point. This feature will instantly draw the eye when you step into your yard. 

A gazebo or pergola is an excellent choice, as you can decorate the structure with greenery and lighting. Likewise, an area designed for entertaining, such as a fire pit with seating, is a popular option.

Do you want a cohesive look that’s in tune with nature? If so, consider a pond as your focal point. You can surround the space with water-loving plants, such as papyrus, marsh marigolds and horsetail rush, and invest in some fish.

Add Complementary Elements

A beautiful hardscape needs more than one eye-catching feature. You should also add a variety of elements that complement your design.

If you incorporate a pond, for instance, why not design a stone walkway that meanders around the yard and up to the water’s edge? You might also choose to include a wooden deck, a perfect spot to relax in the afternoon and take in the scenery.

Many people add block or stone walls, as they’re ideal for planting greenery. Look for pots and urns you can position as accents. You can also turn your wall into a multifunctional space by building out a spot to sit, complete with an enclosed fire pit.

Consider Your Space’s Usage

Now that you have the bulk of your hardscape complete, it’s essential to consider how you want to use the space. For example, if you plan to lounge outside on sunny days, you might include some comfy chairs, a table and an umbrella. 

Do you plan to go outdoors at night? Beyond your fire pit, you should also think about the space’s lighting. Perhaps you want solar step lights that recharge during the day. Add lanterns to tabletops that you can fill with candles, or string up twinkle lights that add an air of magic.

Spend Time in Your Beautiful New Hardscape

You’ve put in the work — now it’s time to reap the rewards. Your hardscape is a sanctuary where you can get away from technology and take solace in nature. As a bonus, spending time outside comes with myriad health benefits, including less stress and a reduced risk of several diseases.

What are you waiting for? Create your ideal hardscape, and watch your tension melt away.