5 Hardscaping Ideas That Add Both Beauty and Function to Your Outdoor Space

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On the current real estate market, outdoor space is an important selling point, which means that investing in quality landscaping can add quite a bit of value to your home. But if you’re not the gardening type, the idea of creating some sort of lush, tropical garden might be overwhelming. Fortunately, there’s an easy option that adds function and value to outdoor space while requiring only minimum maintenance: hardscaping. What is hardscaping, you might ask? Hardscaping is simply the aspect of landscaping that uses non-plant materials (hardscaping materials include stone, concrete, wood, brick and more) to create beautiful and lasting decor elements.

Here are some hardscaping ideas that can take your backyard landscaping to a whole new level:

  1. Beautiful Retaining Walls

    The best thing about many hardscaping ideas is that they blend beauty and functionality. This is true of high-end retaining walls that go beyond your basic cinder block. Consider using stone-clad or brick walls to create a terraced effect if your yard is on a hill. Not only will the space become more usable (since you’ll have flat spaces for furniture and recreation), but you’ll get an instantly grander feel.

  2. Masonry Fireplaces

    Fireplaces offer both visual and literal warmth to a space, conjuring up images of families gathered around roasting marshmallows and checking out the stars. Creating a defined hearth with permanent seating (either stone or wooden benches) can add a rustic allure to your yard.

  3. Outdoor Cooking Space

    You probably already have a grill somewhere in the backyard, so why not expand to a full cooking space? You can either add some simple prep space on either side of the grill, or go all-out and create a full outdoor kitchen — complete with sink and a small beverage fridge.

  4. Gazebos and Archways

    Gazebos and archways add whimsical appeal and shade even without fussy vines and climbing plants. Just be sure that you’re choosing materials that stand up well to your region’s weather, and ask how often you need to refinish the wood.

  5. Personalized Privacy Walls

    If you’re living in a typical city or suburban neighborhood, some type of privacy wall is a must. Instead of going for a standard fence, choose a wall crafted of beautiful stone. That way, instead of just making your yard feel claustrophobic, it will feel make it feel like a hidden getaway spot.

While it’s true that hardscaping costs a bit more than your average lawn-and-flowerbed setup, you’ll probably find that the low maintenance and added function of these ideas makes it a completely worthy investment.

Do you have any hardscaping ideas to share? Join the discussion in the comments.

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