Transparency in the Landscape

As modern humans, we spend our days surrounded by solid, imposing “stuff”. We live in big brick and wood houses, drive two-ton steel vehicles to work on concrete and asphalt freeways, and go work in big concrete and steel buildings. It makes sense, then that … Continue readingTransparency in the Landscape

Landscape Design Lessons from a Newport Mansion

Several weeks ago MJ and I made the drive to Rhode Island for my niece’s high school graduation. We stayed an extra day so we could celebrate my mom’s birthday. Since everyone had to work during the daytime and we don’t get to RI very … Continue readingLandscape Design Lessons from a Newport Mansion

Elements of Design: Color

Color theory talks about three main topics: hue, value, and intensity. Hue and color are sometimes used interchangeably, and they refer to the named colors. Warm colors, like red, orange, and yellow, are considered stimulating; cool colors like blue, green, and purple are seen as … Continue readingElements of Design: Color

Elements of Design: Light

Unlike interior design, with landscape design light is what it is while the sun is shining. Where we can really play with light is after the sun goes down. The most obvious way to use light is to accent specific elements in the landscape. For … Continue readingElements of Design: Light

Elements of Design: Pattern

I struggled with whether to include pattern or not in this series, because pattern is seen more commonly with interiors – think wallpaper and fabrics. In the near future I’ll do a post about outdoor fabrics, because the options are now amazing, but I didn’t … Continue readingElements of Design: Pattern

Elements of Design: Texture

Texture deals with how smooth or rough a surface is. When talking about elements of structures, smooth surfaces can often seem more modern and contemporary, while rough surfaces seem more rustic. Think of the difference between a rammed earth or concrete wall (favorites in modern … Continue readingElements of Design: Texture

Elements of Design: Shape or Form

We often think of shapes as two-dimensional: squares, rectangles, circles, and triangles. This isn’t how we perceive them in the landscape, however. We see them in three dimensions, like cubes, spheres, and cones. Shape (or form) in the landscape can even dictate how a space … Continue readingElements of Design: Shape or Form

Elements of Design: Space

Space is a funny concept in design, especially landscape design. Space is an abstract concept that can’t really be described until it’s defined by walls or boundaries. It’s a crucial part of design, as evidenced by the fact that a large part of design is … Continue readingElements of Design: Space