Modern Landscapes for the Mid-Century Home

August 11th 2016
Four Seasons

Modern Landscaping

Love it or hate it, the Woodward Dream Cruise quickly approaches. That magical time of the year when metro Detroit flexes its muscle (cars) and celebrates like the OPEC oil embargo never happened. 

Driving down Woodward, it is hard to ignore cars’ significant role in shaping metro Detroit communities. From the physical reality of sweeping, car-centric boulevards to the innovation that came with the golden era of car design, car manufacturers not only attracted some of the nation’s top industrial designers but also made Detroit a center for design. Detroit was home to its fair share of renowned architects and designers offering new lifestyles with streamlined designs.

Suppose you are lucky enough to own a mid-century modern architectural gem or are interested in clean lines and simplified spaces. In that case, the following design guide on contemporary landscape design might be for you.

Contemporary Design: Stay in Line

The mid-century design was unapologetically geometric and linear.

Playing with your hardscape is a great way to incorporate these concepts into your site. Keep the lines of your patios and walkways simple and efficient in a grid formation. Paving materials should be sleek, but feel free to mix materials such as stone, wood, and concrete pavers to add appeal.

Use the grid to draw viewers’ eyes to a focal point.

Minimize Your Color Pallet

Another critical component of modern design was the elimination of embellishments. Working with neutral color pallets to emphasize building materials, pops of color were added to highlight strong architectural features.

This strategy also works for the modern landscape.

Use low-maintenance plants such as ornamental grasses and evergreens to create architectural interest in your garden. Limit the number of different types of plants to incorporate into your garden, opting instead for mass plantings. Select period-appropriate furniture and planters in bright hues to liven up your space in place of showy flowering plants.

Bring the Indoors Out

Post-war architecture was when we started to see a focus on outdoor living.

Many of the designs in the new style incorporated walls of windows to achieve a connection to the environment outside. Carry elements from indoors to outdoors using similar materials such as concrete and stone as paving and wall finishes for your backyard patio.

Your outdoor space should function like interior social rooms and have ample room for entertaining.

This year the Woodward Dream cruise takes place on August 20th. Be sure to detour to see some fantastic examples of mid-century architecture along the M1 corridor.

Looking to make a change?

We still have room in our Fall schedule for hardscape transformations. If you are ready to make a change, give us a call, we are happy to help!