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The Best Backyards in America

You don’t need to be a millionaire to have a beautiful backyard in America. There are certain things that you should always keep in mind when it comes to the upkeep of your yard: lawn maintenance, decoration, and some type of sitting arrangement. However, there is also a secret when it comes to a beautiful backyard that doesn’t include how fancy your equipment may be. The secret is applying art and design principles to your landscape. Consider this: wouldn’t any backyard or scenery look better with unity, balance, and rhythm? Art and design principles that can be applied to designing your backyard include unity, balance, emphasis, subordination, directional force, contrast, rhythm, scale, and proportion.

Strategically placing your items could seriously impact your backyards appearance

Let’s start with unity and variety. Unity literally means the state of being joined as a whole, while variety means the state of being diverse. So how can a backyard be unified, yet still varied? See the picture below. This backyard is unified because everything matches and fits together as a whole piece. The cement is the same style through out the entire area. Also, notice how the table tops and chair cushions are also similar in color to the cement. See how the plates match as well; the leaf design drawn on the plates actually resembles the plants growing in the background. Even the grill matches the color scheme. Everything looks like it’s supposed to be there.

However, the scenery also demonstrates variety because there is no single spot that’s exactly the same. There’s a round table set up in the front, two chairs side-by-side facing the pool, and four more chairs facing each other in front of the fire place. There’s also variation between the types of chairs, plants, and water you see in this backyard. Many different types of activities can take place here. This backyard definitely demonstrates unity and variety at the same time.

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Next, there is balance, scale, rhythm, and proportion demonstrated in this backyard. Check out the image below to see what these principles look like. The pool is, without a doubt, balanced. See how both ends of the pool and stairs leading up to the pool are symmetrical. The decoration is also very balanced on both left and right sides of the pool.  The placement of the stepping-stones is asymmetrical, which gives this landscape rhythm. Also, the scale of this scenery is very successful and interesting, with two sets on staircases leading down to the far side of the pool. This backyard is also very proportional because the placement of the cement is circular around the pool, almost tracing its outline. These principles give this backyard a great look.

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Below is another backyard that shows emphasis, directional force, and unity. As you can see, the color scheme of the pillows, along with the flowers unifies this backyard. The entire sitting arrangement is also unified in itself with colorful, matching pillows. In addition, the color scheme also appears to be the emphasis of this landscape, which really makes this backyard stand out to the viewer’s eye. This set up also demonstrates directional force, which makes the viewer’s eyes focus first on one part of the furniture and then around the bend of the furniture. Using directional force is certainly a fun, different way of arranging your backyard to amuse your family and guests.

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This final backyard shown below is a great demonstration of emphasis, unity, contrast and rhythm. The beautiful garden makes this backyard flourish with unique color! This backyard definitely puts emphasis on the flowers and plants in the garden, and all of the different colors of the flowers and plants. The garden is unified by each of the flowers, which are planted perfectly around the opening in the center. While, the garden also shows contrast, as each plant is different from the one next to it. The color scheme of this backyard has rhythm as well, making this sight very enjoyable to the viewer’s eye.

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Now that you have a better understanding of how to apply the art and design principles to result in having a beautiful backyard, you can try to create your own design. You can mix and match any principle to create a unique, individualized arrangement!

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