Break It Up: Three Brilliant Ideas to Differentiate Zones in the Yard

The best way to design a yard is by breaking it up into zones. If you think about it, the space has an open-floor plan. To ensure maximum use, as interior designers would say, divide and conquer. Imagine that you’ve already decided on the zones: one area for entertaining and dining with guests, another for kids playing, and then a separate space for your mini vegetable farm. The tricky part now comes up: how to differentiate these zones from each other. You can’t just build a wall, can you?

Feature different materials

You don’t need to have solid partitions to make spaces distinct. You can just use different materials in each area. For instance, your entertainment or dining area for family and friends can be on a wooden deck. You may also use shade structures to define that space further. Moving along, the kids’ play zone can be covered with mulch. This will not just offer a stark contrast but also provide the needed cushion for energetic, young children. Sand mulch is an inexpensive choice, but it can be blown away easily. Wood is also good, as long as there are no chemicals used to avoid decays. As for the mini vegetable farm, the materials are a given already: soil and plants. If you’re going for a vertical garden, trellises can be the defining material for that area.

Play with ground levels

Residential backyard deck overlooking lawn and lake

For instance, you can place your wooden deck — the entertainment area — at an elevated floor level. Aside from creating the necessary distinction, this design move can also make it a good vantage point for, for instance, making sure that the kids are playing safely or appreciating the garden, the sunrise or sunset, or the nearby lake or ocean. There’s also the option of sunken spaces. For sure, you’ve seen a lot of outdoor conversation areas having such a design. They’re adorned with fire pits, soft seating cushions, and plants all around. If you’re planning to have a meditation room, it’s best to tuck them away at a secluded corner of your yard, below the normal ground level. This way, you can really create an atmosphere of peace and quiet. Some of the helpful garden room ideas that you’ll see on the Internet have this same principle since a lot of homeowners also use this space to unwind and relax with nature.

Include interlude spaces

In between the major zones of the yard, dedicate a seating area. This, in a way, marks the transition from one part of the yard to another. Place a visually striking bench, perhaps one that has a bold, bright color or an unconventional form or shape. People will be enticed to stop and stare at things and make a distinction between areas. An interlude space can also be a body of water: a mini pond or a water fountain. If you’re going to pursue this, though, know that it may require some tedious maintenance. If you’re up for the challenge, then go for it. The bottom line is to dedicate interlude spaces for better transitions.

Your yard is best designed when you break it up into different areas. But you can’t just think of the distinct spaces that you want. Think of how exactly you’ll make them distinct from each other. Keep these in mind as you spruce up your yard.

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