aplaceoutside-landscape style character

What landscape style character are you?

Flicking through house and garden magazines to find projects that match your landscape style character can be a satisfying pastime – someone’s reality can be used to fuel our own dreams of relaxation and renewal. Do you spend some of your free time browsing on the internet for places you’d love to have a morning cup of coffee or entertain friends and family? Have you noticed any repeating trends in what you look at and collect in your mind for your dream house and garden? Can you say easily what your favourite decorating and/or landscape style character is?

This is the most fun part of my job as a landscape architect – really! Some of my clients can answer this straight away and some take some time to reach a conclusion.

How about you? Can you answer that straight away or have hit the pause button in your head?

Why knowing your landscape style character is important …

If you’re thinking about undertaking a landscaping project or trying to improve the value of your house or making an outdoor sanctuary at home, knowing your landscape style character is the first step to a successful project. You’ll have the beginnings of a vision that will help you explain to other people what you like and what you’re looking for as the end result of your project. It’s always best to set your expectations at the beginning of the project, especially if working with designers, contractors and/or suppliers. Having this information at your fingertips can help in the following ways:

  • Your landscape style character is likely to be influenced by the style of your house & the 2 should work together for best results
  • You can be efficient & selective when choosing design elements and landscape materials
  • You can break your garden into achievable zones or projects to work on as budget and time allows, but still achieve a consistent and unified landscape design
  • It simplifies your design process
  • It helps you to stay on budget!!

Knowing your landscape style character is the first step to a successful project …

Yes!! You can save time and money!!

Now that I have your interest ….

How to figure out your landscape style character

Here are some great options for working it out:

A. Review a list of styles

For the fastest solution … maybe you identify with one of these styles?

  1. Cottage/Romantic
  2. Modern/sculptural
  3. Relaxed Classic
  4. Contemporary Fusion
  5. Textural & Naturalistic
  6. Rustic

B. Review a list of landscape style character with descriptions

Visit aplaceoutside.com landscape design style page that lists out these 6 landscape style characters with a brief description – which are you?

C. Browse some more images specific to landscape design character styles

Not sure? Visit our Pinterest site where you can scroll through lots of pictures that relate to each style. This might help you choose what landscape style character belongs to you. Here’s what you’ll see when you get there – scroll through the images to see tonnes more. Tip: if you want to see all the boards and look at each style in turn, click on my head shot to see all the boards at once.

Are you still here? Ok ….

When it’s hard to say what your style is and it seems like a big choice, my suggestion is to take a step back …. Collect images that appeal to you without thinking about it too much.

D. How to collect & analyze images to find your landscape style character

If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your outdoor living spaces for a while then you may have been flicking through home and garden magazines looking for the best landscape ideas. You may already have an image collection of places and landscape elements that appeal … If so, great! If not, here are some suggestions for collecting.

If you like the idea of being digital ….

Use Pinterest (it’s easy and free to create an account) to collect images of gardens that you like. You can search by keyword for specific challenges you’re trying to address or for landscape features you’d like to include in your garden renovation. A good idea is to create a board or series of boards to which you can ‘save’ your favourite images. Once you have a bit of a collection, see if you can identify specific materials, colours, plant types & landscape elements. Then look over the landscape style characters to see which one fits best.

If you like tangible things you can hold (digital doesn’t suit everyone!) ….

Collect your favourite pictures out of magazines and keep them in a file together. Once you have a good collection, lay them out on the floor and see if you can recognize any patterns. Any materials that show up consistently? Any patterns that repeat? What kind of plants and combinations of planting show up?

If your taste falls into more than 1 style

Don’t worry if you feel like your taste falls into more than one style. This is not unusual and can help make things interesting – usually 1 style dominates and you may have 1 or 2 more that also resonate.

What next?

Once you have a sense of your landscape style character, you can move on to thinking about the specific nature of your site and what you want to do out there. Check out ‘6 expert steps for starting your landscape project’ for tips.

If you’d like some help establishing your vision and a road map to get you to the deck with a cool drink in hand faster, check out the online tools and process we use to help our clients develop an achievable personal landscape strategy. We make it fun to start your landscape design project and make sure you won’t have to redo your design because it doesn’t suit your needs. That’s the benefit of working with us!


Hey! I’m Lindy.

I’m a landscape architect for busy homeowners, helping turn ideas into an achievable vision that suits personal design sense & lifestyle. Look forward to helping you!

Let's connect