Landscape design planning meeting with homeowners, discussing needs vs wants for a backyard remodel.

Landscape Design Planning: Prioritizing Your Needs vs Wants

Most (if not all) homeowners look forward to designing their outdoor space. After all, landscaping is a fun, exciting endeavor that encourages creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Which is why it’s not that surprising when people get a little carried away when remodeling their landscape. They want gravel, stamped concrete, patios, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, swing sets, recliners … the works!

And we completely understand the appeal, of course, but there are physical limits that may make some of your desired features downright impossible. Remember; a successful landscape remodel is a realistic one. You don’t have to completely give up everything you want, but you should temper it with what your landscape actually needs.

How do you find the balance? Here are some factors to consider:

1. Functional Features

When deciding what features to include in your landscape remodel, it’s always a good idea to think of their functionality. Aesthetics are always important, but if you’re working with a limited budget and/or limited area, it’s important to optimize the use value of everything you add to your backyard.

For instance, a fire pit is a nice, practical addition to any backyard. It improves the atmosphere and can keep you warm during colder nights. On the flip side, installing flower beds can do wonders for your outdoor space’s visuals. However, if you don’t have the time or resources to maintain them, they may end up being a liability.

Just keep in mind what your situation needs and keep those specifics in mind when choosing your outdoor space add-ons.

Click here to see 5 landscaping ideas for functional outdoor spaces!

2. Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is a type of landscaping that optimizes the existing landscape to reduce water use. It’s very popular with homeowners who live in arid climates and drought-prone areas, but it’s still definitely an option for people in all other climates as well. Choosing rock gardens instead of traditional gardens or opting for high-quality artificial grass (also known as mulch) instead of real grass are just some examples of smart landscaping that can greatly reduce water usage.

3. Curb Appeal

Landscape Design Planning Prioritizing Your Needs vs WantsHow important is your home’s curb appeal for you? It’s essentially the areas of your house that can immediately be seen by outsiders from a distance (or from the curb—hence the term), and it’s what will define the public’s first impressions of your property.

Curb appeal leans heavily towards aesthetic cohesiveness and visual charm. You definitely want to prioritize this aspect of landscaping, but be sure not to go overboard. Sometimes a front yard that’s trying too hard can come off as tacky rather than inviting.

4. Entertainment

How often do you entertain guests outside? Are you the kind that hosts summer barbecues and spring cookouts every year, or do you prefer holding holiday parties indoors? Maybe you’re the kind that prefers attending social events rather than hosting them? This is something you definitely need to take into account when planning your landscape remodel.

If you and your family love the outdoors, investing in outdoor functions for eating, entertaining, and hanging out is a smart move. Get an outdoor kitchen, invest in a barbecue area, or build on your existing patio to create an outdoor living room. This way, you don’t waste precious time moving back in forth between your indoor amenities and your outdoor gathering. But if you prefer staying inside and aren’t too big on social events, a simple patio or modest outdoor ding room should be enough to meet your needs.

5. Privacy

Last but not least, consider the level of privacy you want. If you’re relatively comfortable with your neighborhood, picket fences or moderately-high brick walls should be enough. If you prefer more privacy, it will do to invest in something taller. You can also combine practical installations with aesthetic considerations. For instance, beautiful latticework on your gates or wooden fences painted with bright pastel colors.

All in all, designing a landscape remodel can be your chance to reinvent your outdoor living space into something you actually want. Just remember to balance creativity with practicality, and you’re good to go.

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