Monday, February 16, 2009

Avoid straight lines, a simple design tip

Here is an example of a simple design element having a pretty big impact. The photo on top shows the concrete walkway going straight from the house to the garage, bisecting the yard. The problem with a straight path is that your eye follows a straight line really quickly and moves automatically to the end, ignoring everything along the way. This path originally went back to the alley making the problem even more exaggerated, but we removed it a few years before these photos were taken.

By changing the straight path to a simple curve you can add a lot more depth and even a little intrigue. Below it is the same concrete path broken, and rearranged, in a slight curve. The final photo show the landscape a couple of years later, after some plants matured.

It is amazing how simple it is, but how much it adds to the landscape. Plus, supposedly evil spirits will have a harder time getting to your house.

7 comments:

  1. David- you are so right. The curve makes a huge difference. I will locate some drawing software and tweak the hardscape plan to include a curving path. I love how the flower beds on either side hug the top end too. Beautiful yard. Now that project has moved to the top 5 position on my list.

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  2. Amazing what a difference a curved line can make--which is good for me because straight lines are not my strong suit. A simply wonderful demonstration of your point, David!

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  3. Thanks for all your comments- I am really glad this tip is useful. I got the idea for this post from a comment I made on Heather's blog where she solicted advice about a soon to be garden room... http://smallgoatgarden.blogspot.com/2009/02/garden-room-in-draft-phase.html

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  4. I couldn't agree more. And strangely enough, landscape architectures seem to use straight lines quite a bit (designers usually don't). So, encourage the help to not be so straight!

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  5. Great before and after. With the straight line you just look at the path, with the curved line you look at the plants. Really effective.

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