Spoiler alert: A modern yard can include traditional elements such as grass and flowers. Contemporary style is characterized by the clean lines of geometry. There's no reason you can't use plant life, along with hardscaping, to create those lines. Design a beautiful modern yard that complements your contemporary home.
Sketch the Yard
When it comes to designing any yard, Home and Garden TV suggests starting with a sketch. You don't have to draw to perfect scale, but try to keep within the general dimensions of your yard. Sketching out the yard is especially important for modern-style landscaping because of the adherence to geometry. For this design, plan a rectilinear layout, which is based on a grid. However, when planning your geometric shapes, keep them asymmetrical. If you plan perfectly symmetrical squares and rectangles, the overall effect will be traditional and formal—like historical European gardens.
Plan for Patterning
When it comes to modern design, repeating patterns are a hallmark. So while you want to keep the larger shapes asymmetrical, include areas of patterning. Here's where sod comes in handy. You can create a grid of lawn and square pavers in the center of the yard. Alternatively, install a rectangular lawn intersected with circles of concrete. The circles can be your patio, planters, and raised flower beds. With sod, you can also plan out the shapes themselves in grass. So, say you have a pool and a patio with intersecting walkways. Use the sod to lay out geometric shapes between all the hardscaping. You can get sod from a company such as Metro Sod & Seeding Inc.
Choose Modern Materials
While almost any material can look modern with the right layout, some especially lend themselves to the style. Concrete is a natural, as is metal. This is especially true if you're going for an industrial look. Wood is more traditional, but it can look beautiful in a modern Asian garden. When choosing your materials, stay away from anything too organic looking, such as natural-cut stones. Let your plants provide the touch of softness to your landscaping.
Add Modern Plants
In addition to your sodded lawn, you'll want to add some plant life to your contemporary yard. Here is where the "less is more" philosophy comes into play. It's better to have a few visually interesting plants than a profusion of flowers. Look for plants with their own architecture, such as allium. Ornamental grasses look at home in a modern landscape, as do succulents. When it comes to the color palette, consider a monochromatic scheme. All green lends a sophisticated air, but any monochromatic palette will suffice. Try to choose the paler hues, as they emphasize the simplicity in the clean lines of your design.
Utilize sod, hardscaping, and monochromatic plants to create a chic, modern yard.