Utilizing Hillside Slopes for Luscious Outdoor Spaces

Posted November 7, 2019 in Landscape Design

A spectacular and scenic backdrop can be a tranquil lakeside view, by the oceanside listening to the waves roll ashore, or even on top of a multi-colored leaf mountain ridge in autumn. However, if these remarkable vistas are not readily available, have no worry! Seasoned landscape designers are equipped with plenty of creative ideas to consider when reimagining your outdoor living space. This week’s blog will focus on backyard slopes and our take on the possibilities.  Just imagine a repurposed backyard with implemented solutions to otherwise nagging problems. You won’t be dreaming of lakeside views when you have these landscape suggestions for slopes transforming your vista!

Hillside slopes can turn into a vibrant design with many extracurricular activities to enjoy that otherwise wouldn’t be realized without a team of knowledgeable visionaries to lead the way. Let’s start with the upward slope in the backyard.

Water Features on a Hillside Slope

If you are looking to turn lemons into lemonade, downward slopes are an ideal, natural placement for a water feature. By taking advantage of water naturally moving from the highest to the lowest point, an awe-inspiring water feature will not only delight your family and guests but also create a manmade wildlife habitat for your local furry friends. The addition of native rock outcroppings with lush ferns, water inhabiting plants and trees that tuck around the stone as water runs over the surfaces will help this addition look and feel more natural. The quiet calm of the water trickling down the steep slope will add an attractive camouflage to surrounding neighbors and traffic while creating a serene backdrop for outdoor living entertainment.


Easier Maintenance on the Upward Slope

Hillside landscape maintenance is usually on everyone’s list to tame. Maneuvering up and down a landscaped hillside can be treacherous, depending on the grade. It’s certainly not anyone’s goal to have to slide down or crawl up any portion of their own property, so most times, steps will need to be the main component of a sloped design.  Incorporating hillside steps in a native rock or natural-looking stepper will add to the aesthetic while providing an imperative function. Landscape stone steps with full width and deep insets can even give a place for the traveler to comfortably sit and rest while taking in the view beside the hillside water flow, which brings us to the next point…

Adding Terraces for Extra Space & Access

Terracing is another beautiful and functional way to address a sloped section of a property.  Terraces allow the homeowner to take advantage of square footage that would otherwise go unused and wasted. This new backyard opportunity will lend more possibilities, such as additional gardening space for favorite colorful and fragrant plantings or a serene seating area to enjoy the surroundings.  Taking a page from the European landscape with steep slopes on the Mediterranean, stone retaining walls and pathways are used for meaningful navigation around the grade changes. The terraces are a place for dining, gardening, and olive orchards. This is a wonderful example of making the most of what you have!

Ideas for Looking at the Downward Slope Landscape

If your home is perched at the top of a steep slope looking downward, a patio may be out of the question, but this is where low-maintenance deck design will shine!  Whether your unique tastes prefer built-in amenities, hot tubs, spas or infinity pools, your wish list will help guide your designer to create your dream outdoor oasis that correctly fits the property. Ultimately, getting your family outside is a healthy activity that creates togetherness and a fortified bond leading to a healthier lifestyle.

For a traditional look, clean lines and accents such as authentic barn wood will work in a cohesive harmony and for a more contemporary look, elements such as see-through deck railings of glass won’t impede the scenic views while seated. These creative designer integrations will elevate your space from average to exceptional. Custom designs with an additional set of expert eyes for the unimaginable will develop the ordinary into something very extraordinary to experience for years.

If your slope is facing west or south, the afternoons and evenings can drive you back inside with the pitch of the sun, so having a place to sit with overhead protection can bring relief as well as intimacy during long summer evenings.  Those extra or intense hours of sunshine don’t have to spoil the fun and a permanent yet lovely structure can be custom-tailored to fit your needs.  For example, stylish pergolas not only look amazing, but they also provide dappled shade to break up the warmth from the sun, yet still allow natural light to filter back into the house!  However, while pergolas are a great addition, they will not protect from precipitation. A custom roof structure will also provide custom respite, but protect from all elements, all the time.  Incorporating skylights will also allow sunshine to filter back into the house and inclusion of ceiling fans and recessed lighting will bring all the comforts of the inside, out.

Love Your Design Guarantee

Making use of these sloped areas may seem unattainable now, but with a well-thought-out plan, creative design and skillful implementation, these areas can be a source of enjoyment and even increase the value of your home!

MasterPLAN Outdoor Living thrives in times of challenge and we love to solve outdoor living problems in safe, beautiful and creative ways!  This is one reason we strive to partner with our clients to create backyard transformations that are perfectly fit for their family, home and lifestyle!  We can collaborate on what this means for your own space and take this journey together.

When you commit to MasterPLAN, we commit to you!  We start this bond with our Love Your Design Guarantee where we don’t charge for design revisions as we explore what the perfect solutions are for your home.  If you would like to uncover the full potential for your outdoor living space, reach out to MasterPLAN!

Serving the Poconos, Lehigh Valley through the Main Line of Philadelphia and western New Jersey, MasterPLAN would love to help you live your best life outdoors.

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