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Add Character to Your Walpole Landscape with a Brick Walkway

The inherent refinement and traditional appearance of brick can make it the perfect addition to a rustic, farm-style home, a traditional landscape, or even a manorial estate in Walpole, MA. Whether you have a grand entrance or casual walkway in mind, the width, shape, and paver pattern of your brick walkway can be customized to suit your desired aesthetic. Bricks are incredibly versatile and can be used in conjunction with a range of other paving materials like concrete, natural stone, and cobblestone. Read on to discover how we can help you create unique brick walkways that personalize your property.

The perfect shape

Straight brick walkways tend to draw one’s attention to a focal point situated at the end of the path. This can be a swimming pool, an elegant gazebo, or the front door to your home. A crisp and stunning brick pathway that leads up to the front door can make it seem more welcoming by highlighting any warm, traditional elements present in the home’s design. A running bond laying pattern, with its rows of bricks laid parallel to the path’s trajectory, can visually lengthen the path. With the same pattern laid crossways, the walkway can be made to appear wider.

Related: Landscape Contractors Use These Techniques for Making Small Spaces Appear Larger

Curved walkways tend to offer a greater sense of mystery compared to straighter routes. This is because their destinations are more obscured. Incorporating curves into the design of your walkway will also make it more compatible with a more naturalistic design theme.

Framing the walkway

Brick walkways are often framed by an extra layer of bricks that have a different design or are laid in an alternate direction. This is known as a course. Some popular varieties of courses include the Stretcher Course, in which the bricks used for the border run parallel to the main field with their narrow side showing. Another popular border is the Soldier Course, in which the narrow edge runs perpendicular to the main field of pavers. You can explore bricks of different colors and finishes until you find a variety that suits the rest of your landscape.

Walkways can also be framed with vegetation, such as small shrubs and flowers. This has a way of blending the walkway with the surrounding softscape.

Combining different materials

Combining a variety of materials can enrich the appearance of a walkway and result in a more captivating and memorable design. Laying brick and stone in an alternating pattern can create the appearance of a rustic quilt, perfect for a cozy dining area hidden between trees and shrubs. Alternatively, cobblestones can be used to create borders that give the path a wonderfully antique appearance. The warm red of brick pairs excellently with the dark charcoal of slate or basalt, and can be used to complement a bluestone patio or poolscape.

Related: Top Materials for Your Paver Walkway

A cohesive selection of materials

If you desire a cohesive landscape with a seamless visual flow from one hardscape feature to the next, consider using the same style of brick throughout. Walkways, patios, and low walls can be constructed using bricks with the same color and finish for a totally unified end product. To break up the monotony of face brick, borders and accents of a different color or material can be used.

3 Reasons to Invest in Quality Pavers for your Milton Driveway

Traditional driveway materials like gravel, asphalt, and poured concrete have largely been replaced by the sophistication, versatility, and durability of concrete pavers. Paved driveways boost curb appeal by bringing an element of elegance to any home. Concrete pavers also bear few maintenance requirements and can be installed to create permeable and eco-friendly driveways. These are just a few of the benefits that should persuade you to pave your new driveway or renovate your old one in Milton, MA.

Unbeatable durability

When it comes to strength, poured concrete slabs pale in comparison to concrete pavers. These hardy units have also proven to withstand UV damage and freeze-thaw cycles. The elements are no match for these pavers, and neither are your vehicles. Concrete pavers are the best candidates to withstand frequent vehicular traffic, due to their incredible compressive strength and the ways in which interlocking pavers support one another.

This is why paved driveways are popular for their low maintenance requirements. Besides the occasional replacement of a settled paver and the removal of a few weeds, a paved driveway requires little human intervention.

Related: Front Yard Landscaping to Boost Your Curb Appeal

Locking in strength

As mentioned before, concrete pavers create stronger surfaces when interlocked. Each individual paver is fixed in place by all the surrounding pavers and, therefore, it will not sink or shift when driven on. Interlocking pavers are not just immovable, but are also crack-resistant. The joints between pavers enable them to move with the natural expansion of the earth, and yield beneath the weight of a vehicle. This flexibility prevents individual pavers from cracking.

Pretty paver patterns

An elaborate paver pattern has the potential to transform your ordinary driveway into the focal point of your entire landscape! There are linear and interlocking paver patterns, each with their own visual effects. Linear patterns, such as the running bond design, can make driveways appear longer or wider, for example. Interlocking patterns, such as the herringbone formation, make the surface appear more intricate and captivating. Using more than two sizes of pavers can make your design look random and unpredictable, while a single paver size will create a neat and uniform surface.

Related: Big Advantages of Using Trees and Plantings in your Front Yard Landscaping

Laying rows of pavers in concentric circles is a great way to create a focal point that adds life and interest to a large, flat driveway. There are bound to be small spaces between the pavers that should be filled with jointing sand. The color of your jointing sand can be customized to suit the color palette of your landscape and, although it may seem like an insignificant detail, it can make a large impact on the overall look of the driveway. The sand can echo a color that dominates your home, creating a visual link between the driveway and the home. Alternatively, it could blend into the surrounding pavers for a more cohesive surface. It is unbelievable how much small details can influence a design!

Circular patterns are compatible with many other paver patterns, including the herringbone and running bond designs. Combining two paver patterns will contribute towards making your driveway design even more exciting.

Related: 5 Ways to Upgrade Your Massachusetts Driveway

Image courtesy of Unilock.

4 Modern Front Yard Landscaping Ideas for a Trendy Home in Walpole, MA

Your front yard is the prelude to your home, giving guests a peek into the aesthetic and style that pervades the rest of your home and landscape. A contemporary home and hardscape therefore requires a front yard incorporating the latest trends. Minimalism still has a strong influence on modern landscape design and few homeowners still have a flowering garden and cobblestone pathway leading to their front door. Here are a few features that will ensure your Walpole, MA, front yard stays one step ahead of the others on your street.

A sleek patio

A patio is by no means restricted to your backyard. Creating a small patio at the front of your home can serve to welcome guests as they arrive. It can also be the perfect place from which to watch your kids play on the lawn or enjoy a cup of coffee. Make relaxation possible by adorning the patio with a small bistro table or an assortment of comfortable chairs.

Although textured wood can give a structure a time-worn look, it also provides textural interest to an otherwise sleek patio. Incorporating plenty of geometry into the patio will further the modern aesthetic of your patio. Steps leading up to your patio can add vertical interest to your front yard, making it more visual interest than a simple two-dimensional layout.

Related: Natural Stone vs Concrete Paver Patio for Your MA Home

Understated plant beds

Desert-themed, or ‘dry’ gardens are a relatively recent trend that embraces the minimalism of modern landscape design. Instead of soil, these beds feature gravel and small stones. While plants are rooted in fertile soil, these dry materials are scattered on the surface to give the base of the plant bed a textured look. These look especially stunning when paired with minimalist homes that boast the cool, neutral shades found in stone and rock. Dry gardens tend to bear only a few statement plants, sparsely surrounded by smaller shrubs and groundcover.

Landscape lighting

When incorporating all these minimalist design techniques, one risks allowing your hardscape to appear boring or empty. Fortunately, strategic landscape lighting can make the most understated hardscape designs look interesting. There are various techniques, involving the placement of light fixtures at different heights and angles, that achieve various visual effects. Some lighting techniques, like highlighting, draw attention to a feature within the landscape, such as a sculpture or interesting plant. Other techniques, like silhouetting, are more subtle but equally captivating. Landscape lighting will also ensure that your front yard can be navigated safely after sunset, and can even improve your security by making any would-be intruders easy to spot.

Related: Functional Outdoor Lighting Plans: The Do’s and Don’ts

Incorporating Asian influences

Asian-inspired hardscapes are part of a surging trend. While sticking to minimalism, this trend incorporates more textured materials like wood and water. Outdoor designs incorporating these materials also tend to have a wonderfully tranquil appearance. Geometric planters filled with fine stones or sand can mimic small zen gardens and can be filled with a few small plants planted in a linear fashion. Smooth, refined wood is a dominant feature within modern asian-inspired hardscape designs and can be used to create a relaxing deck that leads to the front door. Consider creating a cool geometric pond just in front of your front entrance, with a wooden deck or concrete slab leading to the door. This can add a captivating element to your home and can serve to make it truly unique.

Related: Front Yard Landscaping to Boost Your Curb Appeal

Image courtesy of Unilock.

Functional Outdoor Lighting Plans: The Do’s and Don’ts

Lighting can really make or break a room — the same applies for outdoor lighting and the exterior of your Milton, MA, home. A well designed outdoor lighting plan increases safety and security, besides providing amazing curb appeal and ambience for your outdoor gatherings.

Outdoor lighting involves more than just focusing lights on trees or along walkways. A well planned functional outdoor lighting system provides benefits far beyond its immediate visual impact. It also sets the tone for a relaxed mood. Mood and environment are equally set by what is in shadow, light, and the interplay between the two.

Below are some outdoor lighting do’s and don’ts to help you get the ambience you’re looking for in your outdoor areas, but remember you don’t have to go at it alone. Contact us for assistance with the design and installation of your outdoor lighting system.

Outdoor Lighting Do’s

  • Do opt for LED Fixtures. LED lighting uses much less energy than regular bulbs. LEDs also last longer and are available in a variety of colors. The choices are many when it comes to LED fixtures.
  • Do use Multiple Layers. Make use of multiple layers, but avoid overdoing the number of fixtures. For example, you can place spotlights at different angles to light up a garden statue or create silhouettes. The intention is to avoid drawing attention to the light themselves, but rather to add more detail and effects, staggering lights as opposed to grouping several in a single bunch.
  • Be Concerned about Shadow as Well as Light. A relaxing atmosphere is established through the interplay of light and shadow. For garden walls, for example, consider using well lights positioned at the base to shine upwards. The interplay of light and shadow on the wall’s face will highlight the stone’s texture.
Related: Capturing the Timeless Aesthetic of the Stone Wall

Outdoor Lighting Don’ts

  • Don’t light only patios, walkways, and trees. Doing so isolates these elements and surrounds them with darkness. This is unflattering, especially if you’re trying to relax on your patio and can’t see beyond the darkness at its edge. Instead, position lights at the edge of the property in plant beds and trees. This helps ground these elements within the larger landscape design and provides a sense of depth.
  • Don’t forget to light other features of your landscape. This includes pillars, peaks and overhangs. They are unique and illuminating them not only enhances the beauty of the home, but also casts an ambient glow over the yard.
  • Avoid selecting fixtures based on aesthetic only. Even though aesthetics is important, you still need to factor in light output and performance. Take into consideration how much wattage you need and the type of bulbs you prefer besides finding a look you love.
  • Don’t employ bullet lights for every aspect of your home’s exterior. Even though they are versatile and can be fitted with different bulbs and beams, they are still essentially spotlights. Limit bullet lights to corners and architectural details instead.

Landscaping Near Me: Finding the Best Contractor in your Area

Finding the best contractor for your landscaping needs in Milton, MA, is an exercise not to be taken lightly. Your landscape is a significant portion of your property, has a substantial effect on property value, and directly affects your enjoyment of the yard. Base your choice upon documented evidence of qualifications and experience, depending on a provided guarantee of work.

Word of Mouth

Employing word of mouth and value of reputation to find the best landscaping contractor near Milton, MA, is an age-old trick, but with the power of social media, it’s been turned on its head. You can easily reach out on a social media platform and receive dozens of opinions and suggestions within a few seconds. Restrain from immediately hiring someone suggested by your good friend, however, until you have verified the qualifications, value, and experience of the company.

Check References and Portfolio

Once you have a few suggestions from trusted friends and acquaintances, request references and portfolio access. Get to know the company and find out the quality of their work from past clients. Remember to ask questions about how well he or she stays true to schedule, financial estimates, and agreed upon designs. From the portfolio, you may be able to further narrow down your options based upon the artistic eye of the contractor and how well their style matches what you wish to achieve. At this point, you should also ask for verification of all licenses, bonds, and insurances needed. A reputable contractor will have no problem providing these documents.

Establish Creative Agreement

Second only to professional qualifications, agreement with your landscaping contractor regarding aesthetic design is a critical component of your decision. Function and style should always meet, and the design should always complement the existing architecture of the home. Focal points, flow of movement, and suitable materials require a comprehensive master design. Your landscape contractor should be able to assist you with its creation.

Related: 4 Design Tips for An Eye-Catching Outdoor Fireplace

Agree on Time, Money, and Guarantee

Finally, once you’ve established the reputation, abilities, and creative eye of the contractor, nail down contract specifics. The right landscape contractor will be able to provide an estimate of time required and budgetary needs that should serve as a fairly accurate framework over time. While weather and other obstacles aren’t always clearly foreseeable, an experienced professional will know the range of time and money required for your landscaping projects.

Ensure that all relevant items are agreed upon, and document these agreements in writing. The contract should include signatures from both parties and address all important issues. Keep in mind that once you have a formal contract, any changes must also be made in writing for the modifications to be legally accountable. For example, a Unilock Authorized contractor offers a lifetime guarantee on Unilock products. The company offers this promise because all contractors with this qualification have been tested and proven, with regular reassessment of the quality of their work ongoing. This level of confidence shouldn’t be overlooked as you make such an important decision.

Related: Have You Found a Commercial Snow Removal Company for Your Duxbury Property Yet?

Big Advantages of Using Trees and Plantings in your Front Yard Landscaping

Front yard plantings and trees in Milton, MA, can change the look and feel of homes for the better. Landscaping with native wildflowers and grasses contributes to a healthy environment and brings a taste of the wilderness to urban, suburban, and corporate settings by attracting a variety of butterflies, birds and beneficial insects. Trees and plantings in your front yard also contributes greatly to curb appeal, as well as privacy and relaxing aesthetic.

Any front yard can benefit from trees and plantings. What would be most appropriate for your home? There is a wide range of options available—maybe a cedar split-rail fence would look nice knee-deep in daylilies and laced with rambling roses. Or a courtyard wall with alcoves featuring a water feature or an attractive arrangement of desert plants. Whatever the case, these are the advantages you can look forward to by incorporating greenery into your front yard:

Invites Guests to the Front Door

Plantings can help to frame the front door or lead the eye up towards it. Growing a vine over an archway at your front entrance, for example, highlights the front door and draws attention to it. The same can be said for plantings or small trees on either side of a walkway that leads up to the entrance of your home. The repeating pattern also provides a pleasing rhythm and symmetry.

Related: Interesting Laying Patterns for your Brick Walkway

Improves Air Quality

Landscaping with plants and trees helps improve air quality on both a local and global level. Ground level ozone and air toxins can be drastically reduced by plantings and trees. The moisture released gradually by plants also help to reduce the number of dust particles in the air.

Creates a Cozy Setting

A house sitting on a small corner can be the perfect setting for a cottage yard. It can include a patio bordered by flowers and a picket fence with focal points such as a bench from which one can enjoy the outdoors. A rose-covered arbor over the front gate or a herb garden that borders the walk to the front door can invite guests upon their arrival.

Keeps Historic Style

Plants can help keep the historic style of a house. Old woody trees and mature plantings hint at a home that has been standing for ages. For establishing a foundation of evergreens, boxwoods can be used to quickly and effectively achieve the look of a mature garden.

Increases Biodiversity

Having natural plants supports greater biodiversity. Natural plants provide a diverse diet and habitat for birds, insects and other animals that are beneficial to your yard. In heavily developed urban areas, even small patches of natural landscape are critical in maintaining populations of native fauna and flora.

Prevents Environmental Damage

Hardy plantings help keep soil in place, preventing soil erosion and damage to property. This can be especially handy if your front yard slopes. Plants also help to reduce stormwater runoff, and what water is not kept back by leaves and roots is filtered of debris.

Front Yard Landscaping to Boost Your Curb Appeal

Your front yard in Milton, MA is the focal point of its curb appeal, and it should definitely make a statement. Adding curb appeal to your home is crucial for current or future sale, but is also a great way to showcase the personality of your home. By enhancing the best features of your home you can instantly increase its monetary and aesthetic value. Here are some tips to boost your home’s curb appeal with landscaping.

Add Vibrancy

If you don’t have plants around your home, now is the time to seriously consider adding some. Depending on the style of your hardscape and your home, consider their texture, shape, size, growth speed and bloom time. If you want an immediate curb appeal boost, try adding a variety of annual plants with varying bloom times, ensuring year round color. This will give an instant lift, add color, and make your home look pleasant and more alive.

Flower boxes are also a great idea, especially if your home is lacking color. You can place them under your windows or along the edges of hardscaped areas. Plants used as focal features can continue to add appeal even after dark through the addition of landscape lighting.

Related: Big Advantages of Using Trees and Plantings in your Front Yard Landscaping

Lighting

Lighting is an important factor for your home. As well as adding evening curb appeal, landscape lighting contributes to safety, security and ambience for your outdoor living spaces. Use lighting to accentuate the best features of your home and your landscape. This will increase the value of your home and make it look more attractive for potential buyers.

However, there are some major mistakes to avoid with landscape lighting as improper lighting can achieve the opposite effect. Make sure the fixtures are properly placed and installed by a reliable contractor with experience in creating evening atmosphere – this will help you to avoid creating glare and a washed out look. With an effective lighting plan for your walkways, driveway and front entrance, you can leave a lasting impression on visitors.

Update your Hardscape

If you’re noticing damaged pavers, cracked concrete or spalling stone in your front yard hardscaping, it may be time for an update.

As well as front patio and driveway revamping, you may also want to consider a remodel of more overlooked aspects of your front yard. Steps are an important part of your home’s curb appeal and present both a vertical and horizontal surface that draws the eye. Walkways and retaining walls are also crucial features for increasing curb appeal and present the perfect opportunity for showcasing quality natural stone or concrete products.

Create a Great Dynamic for your Front Entrance

Your front entrance should be well balanced and have a great dynamic when interacting with the aesthetic of the rest of your front yard. Use your softscape, either symmetrically or asymmetrically, to lead the eye to your front entrance of your home. Your front entrance can and should be the focal point of your front yard, so incorporate accents that are relevant to the rest of your front yard to tie in the design.

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Massachusetts Driveway

Your driveway plays a big part in your property’s curb appeal and is often the first thing people notice when they view your home. A well designed, functional, and good-looking driveway is an important component of your home for this reason, but you also have to drive in and out of it everyday, so make sure it’s the best it can be!

Stylish Walls and Gates

Having walls and a gate for your driveway not only make for a stylish entrance, they are also functional and promote better security. Natural stone walls can provide a rich and characterful aesthetic and offers a sturdier structure than a simple wooden fence. Natural stone walls are also generally considered more attractive than plastered concrete due to their rich surface texture and natural coloring.

Some homeowners may desire a gate for their driveway. Determining the style of gate depends on your own tastes and architectural style of your home. You don’t have to go overboard with a dramatic cast-iron gate that makes your home look like a forbidden fortress. The intention should be to provide security or privacy while also creating a welcoming driveway entrance. There are a variety of wooden and metal gate designs available that are sturdy and still look amazing.

Related: Front Yard Landscaping to Boost Your Curb Appeal

Create Perfection with Pavers

To upgrade the material from which your driveway is constructed, consider installing natural stone or concrete pavers. These offer a vast array of different designs and styles to suit your tastes and are available in a number of different shapes, sizes, colors and textures. When choosing a paved driveway design consider whether or not it’s compatible with the architecture and theme of your property. With so many options available it’s easy to pick one that matches your desired driveway aesthetic.

Illuminate your Driveway

Driveway lighting is important for creating a safe and welcoming entrance to your property after dark. Light up your spectacular driveway paving material with lighting set close to ground level or include surrounding landscape features by having your driveway lighting mounted on pillars. Driveway lighting can also be embedded into low walls or retaining walls flanking your driveway, or be embedded into the driveway edging for lighting that remains discreet and out of the way during the day.

Highlight your Driveway with Plantings

Improving the landscape flanking your driveway can also go a long way towards an attractive, welcoming entrance. Lush greenery can highlight the color of your paving materials or soften the appearance of the paved area. These plantings can be incorporated into plant beds that run alongside your driveway or be placed at eye level by incorporating retaining walls into your landscape design.

Not Enough Space?

Is your driveway too narrow for easy accessibility? Maybe you don’t have enough space for parking and guests have to park on the street? Consider the advantages of extending the width of your driveway. This can eliminate a daily inconvenience, improve the appearance and functionality of your property and increase accessibility. While a driveway remodel is the ideal solution to this problem, a simple driveway apron can be added to flare out the entrance and allow for easier access, while a wide border can increase the width of an existing surface.