With any new project, it’s important to understand not only what you like and dislike, but how all of your design elements fit together. The best advice in terms of landscape design is to edit. Think about everything you like, how it goes together, and edit down from there, eliminating plants, colors, and materials that don’t fit in your design. For instance, if you love minimalist design, then opt for elements that support that in order to create a cohesive look and feel. Mixing too many design styles is a one-way ticket to an unorganized landscape design. But how do you know what’s right for you?
Things to consider in your yard:
- What kind of sun/shade do you have?
- What is the design style of your home’s exterior?
- What plants do you prefer?
- What colors do you prefer?
Top 5 Landscape Design Styles + Matching Landscape Lighting Features
With the right combination of plants and materials, you can create just about any design style you want. But a big part of making sure your design style works top to bottom is evaluating what style lights go with your newly curated landscape design. To make it easier, we’re breaking down some of the top design styles in landscape to give you some ideas on what to plant and how to properly light your elements so that you can enjoy your design style day and night.
Minimalist Landscape Design Style
This style is all about keeping things simple—both in the look and in the upkeep, and simple does not have to mean boring! In fact, simple can be just as sleek and beautiful as other, more ornate styles. And with that simple feeling can also come peace and serenity, which is what a lot of us are looking for in our outside escape spaces. The minimalist style can be a good option for large yards, but it really shines in smaller, more urban-sized spaces. Here are some ideas to consider when designing your minimalist style landscape:
- Plants: Since the minimalist style is so simple, it doesn’t require a lot of plants, which means you’ll have less to take care of! That being said, you’ll still want enough plants to get that landscape feel, and many minimalist gardeners like plants that offer structure as well as beauty. This means your plants can play double duty! Some good options for trees are crepe myrtles, birch, and stewartia. For perennial flowers, think about planting peonies, echinacea, allium, lupine, daylilies, and silene. And don’t forget those ornamental grasses (Mondo grass is a favorite), which can offer structure-like borders and the beauty of greenery to your yard year-round. If you’re wanting evergreen options, pines, laurels, boxwood, and bamboo are great choices.
- Best Minimalist Landscape Lighting Option: Since your minimalist style landscape will be simple, it’s important to make sure your lighting will showcase not only the beautiful simplicity of your yard, but the individual—but fewer than in a traditional landscape—elements also. We’re fans of our Classic New Orleans Path Lights, which are LED-friendly, can be used in beds as well as pathways, and offer soft, glare-free lighting.
Traditional Landscape Design Style
This style is just what the name implies: traditional. A popular trend today is Craftsman Style, which is “old” that is a newer build. This style offers lots of color, textures, and sizes—no uniformity here, and here are some options for this type of landscape style:
- Plants: When it comes to flowers, the possibilities are pretty much endless (depending on where you live), but here are some options to get you started: roses (both bush and hanging), daylilies, pansies, violets, purple coneflower, lilacs, hollyhock, irises, bleeding hearts, and the list goes on and on. Evergreen shrubs can be nice options for traditional style yards, and the variety of trees you can add are as endless as the variety of flowers. If you like it, it fits into a traditional style landscape!
- Best Craftsman Landscape Lighting Option: Since a traditional style can have so many different elements, depending on what you decide to include, you have a multitude of lighting options. Think about spotlighting different structures or plants, path lighting, uplighting into those gorgeous trees, spotlights, and more. For path lighting, we like the Craftsman Series Bronze Spot/Wash Light. It’s also LED-friendly, and it offers that focus you’re looking for to highlight your favorite aspects of your landscape.
Contemporary/Modern Landscape Design Style
This landscape style hearkens back to the 50s and 60s with the linear designs and bold geometry common in those decades. A popular modern design style is mid-century modern—a little bit retro mixed with space-age funk. Contemporary/Modern Design Style landscaping, unlike traditional style, feels more controlled and organized, with a heavier feel for both structures and plants. If you’re a contemporary/modern style lover, here are some ideas for your landscaping plan:
- Plants: Opt for green plants with shapes and textures, and leave the colors to your furniture cushions, walls, and planters. Ornamental grasses are popular, as well as well-manicured grass growing between cement paving stones. Other plant options for this style are succulents, palm trees, yucca, black pine, and even cacti. Anything with structure is a win-win for this style.
- Best Modern Landscape Lighting Option: The fun of this style of landscaping is highlighting all those amazing structures and linear designs, making sure that the fixtures you choose are as contemporary and modern as your plants and structures. Our Classic Niche Light fits this style of landscaping since it can be mounted under eaves and in many other locations, offering a small, glare-free directional focus.
Mediterranean Landscape Design Style
If you’ve ever dreamed of living in the Mediterranean, or if you love that casual elegance vibe, then this is the style for you. Mediterranean Design Style blends the casualness of the Mediterranean coast with the structures, colors, and textures found in this area of the world. Herb gardens are popular in this style, as well as concrete balustrades, terra cotta pots and structures, and those oh, so soothing fountains and water fixtures. Here are some other options to think about for your Mediterranean Design Style landscape plan:
- Plants: Like we mentioned above, herb gardens are popular for not only their utility, but especially for their fragrances. Also consider cyprus trees, lemon trees, lavender, poppies, leopard lilies, rock purslane, smoketree, and others in your plan. If you have pergolas or other structures, vining plants and flowers like wisteria and climbing roses will add color and even more of that Mediterranean feel to your landscape. And don’t forget to add those ornamental grasses too.
- Best Mediterranean Landscape Lighting Option: Your lighting plan should also have this casual elegance feel, and you’ll want to make sure you’re highlighting your structures and plants to bring that daytime Mediterranean feel into the nighttime hours with the fixtures you choose. As with other styles, downlights, uplights, path lights, spotlights, and other options can accomplish this task for you, so make a list of what you’d like to focus on with your lighting and then choose fixtures to achieve your goals. We like the Classic MR-16 Bullet Light, which you can use for both uplighting and downlighting. It can be stake or canopy mounted, adding the flexibility you need to get the exact lighting angle you’re wanting.
Coastal Landscape Design Style
If you love a beach getaway, then Coastal Style might be a great landscaping choice for you. This style is simple and relaxed, reminiscent of that beach feeling a lot of us crave at times. Popular elements in this style are patios, hammocks, shutters, teak, casual furniture, and natural-looking fixtures and structures. Lighter, more natural colors are also common in Coastal Style landscapes.
- Plants: As far as plants for this style, mass plantings, grasses, and shrubs are popular choices, especially those that move freely—whether you have a breeze or not. Palm trees, verbena, natal plum, daylilies, rosemary, Japanese holly, and lilac are some great options. And don’t forget those ornamental grasses either.
- Best Coastal Landscape Lighting Option: As far as lighting for your Coastal Style landscape, make sure you’re highlighting the different aspects of your landscape instead of putting the focus on the light fixtures themselves. And don’t forget to think about the simple and relaxed feel of your landscape when choosing the fixtures that will uplight, downlight, or spotlight your landscape, and path lights are a good thing to include also. Our Classic Deck Light is a great option for downlighting in your coastal landscape, as it can be mounted on a wall or post, it’s LED-friendly, and it’s also glare-free, which is optimal for that relaxed beachy feel.
No matter which style you choose, we’d love to be your go-to source to help make your landscape the at-home getaway of your dreams. Simply contact us and let us know how we can best serve you.