Hardscape, Design, Outdoor Living

8 Hardscape Elements You’ll Love

stone walkway through a lakefront wooded property adds beauty and functionality

What is a hardscape?

Hardscaping is the technique of using durable materials to retain or shape the surrounding soil or water to create the desired landscape design. Use of hardscapes, as part of a landscape design, allow for more aesthetically pleasing designs that make the most of any space and make your home more enjoyable. No matter if you’re entertaining, relaxing, or enjoying the beauty of Northern Michigan, hardscapes are behind the scenes, making your home more functional and strikingly remarkable. To give you a better idea of what hardscaping entails, let’s explore some different hardscape applications and landscape inspirations.

1. Beautiful driveways

Wide Brickstone Driveway at luxurious home

Driveways are the gateway to your home. They are a functional feature with the potential to be a breathtakingly beautiful part of your landscape design. With the right form and material, a driveway can strategically introduce landscaping elements and set the tone for the whole space.

2. Stone patios

Durable stone patios provide years of enjoyment for friends and family. With the potential to add fire pits, outdoor dining areas, and seating, patios create a natural place to gather together. A custom backyard patio can be easily added to your landscape design as a low-maintenance element where you’ll find yourself frequently.

3. Walkways

Rock Star, Transitional Cottage

With the inclusion of thoughtful paths, high traffic areas become serene ways to traverse your property. No two paths are the same, and each has a character that fits the overall landscape design and reflects the homeowner. Landscape lighting provides safety and ambiance, extending your hours in the landscape well into the evening.

4. Retaining walls and terrace gardens

beautifully installed landscape design viewed from the beach up to the home

Retaining walls are full of possibility. From nature-inspired structures built with large rounded stones to those with a more modern feel and intricate stone veneer, there are options to fit any need in any landscape.

5. Custom designed pools, spas, and water features

Island Getaway - endless pool and lower level hot tub

Water is an important part of a landscape design. It brings another natural element closer to home, and the sounds of moving water add another layer of serenity to the landscape. Pools, spas, and water features are beautiful and functional places to play, relax, and enjoy those warm Northern Michigan days. 

6. Shoreline and beach protection

Shoreline Protection stone wall on Lake Michigan

Shorelines are susceptible to erosion from wind and waves. Protecting the landscape behind the shoreline is imperative to ensure it lasts for years to come. Shoreline protection comes in many shapes and sizes, strategically constructed to withstand the strength of the waves in any specific location. At Drost, we incorporate natural stones of varying sizes to create a shoreline that mimics nature. Where appropriate, our team will use plants to help strengthen and stabilize a shoreline while providing both aesthetic value and habitat for local wildlife. 

7. Fire features & outdoor kitchens

Custom Outdoor Fireplace Chimney on Crooked Lake

Nothing warms you on a Northern Michigan night quite like gathering around a burning fire. Fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, and outdoor summer kitchens bring together family and friends for long evenings of laughter and, of course, s’mores. With a wide variety of options, you can choose to build a traditional, crackling wood fire or turn up the heat with a more modern feature. As for kitchens, they can be built to your custom specifications including everything, even–yes–the kitchen sink.

8. Curb appeal

Island Getaway - entry view

From pathways and stairs to retaining walls and even water features, the hardscaping elements you can use to increase curb appeal are only limited by your imagination! Whether you’re planning to pass your home along to your children as a family legacy or looking to sell it, curb appeal increases your home’s value and adds a sense of pride to a place that is a reflection of and extension of you.

Trust the experts

Outdoor Fire Pit with colorful planters

Finding a landscape company with the skills, knowledge, and expertise to bring your landscape dreams to life is an important first step in creating a space that’s perfect for you and your family. For over 30 years, we’ve been helping homeowners in Northern Michigan enjoy their backyards more through landscape design, construction, and ongoing care.

Contact us today to learn what Drost can do for you!