Keeping outdoor spaces of differing functions separate is important in creating a working layout, maintaining flow in your outdoor spaces, as well as managing foot traffic. To keep these spaces apart from one and other, subtle dividers are necessary. In an open outdoor space where walls and boundaries would be confining and counter to the style theme, using different laying patterns is one of the best ways to denote different outdoor spaces. Here are some of the best ways to incorporate patterns to denote landscaping spaces.
Circular patterns are perfect for areas of socializing. Harking back to the egalitarian philosophy of the King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table legends, circular areas in social spaces represent equality and create a forum in which ideas can be discussed freely. Functionally, circular areas allow each person gathered, or seated, to be included in conversation. To reinforce circular areas such as garden patios or plazas, circular laying patterns are ideal. Even overlaid on a square or rectangular area, a circular pattern draws the eye in towards the center, making this the perfect place for a fire pit or an ornate table that can be used as a central feature. Circular patterns can also be used as central features themselves, as an area where multiple outdoor spaces meet. This circular feature need not have a function other than to visually bring the outdoor spaces together.
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The laying patterns of walkways also serve a specific purpose. Often, the walkway will have a linear emphasis, in the direction that the walkway moves. This not only leads eye, but also subconsciously directs people’s movements. Even when running through other hardscaped areas, the pattern of a walkway differentiates it as such. This is especially helpful in ensuring flow of traffic in your outdoor areas, particularly in keeping children out of areas where hot food is being prepared or carried or directing guests towards the entertainment area.
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Size and Pattern Switches
Contrasting laying patterns can provide a distinct change of feel between two hardscaped surfaces. Take a patio with two areas, a lounge area and a separate cooking area, for example. If the lounge area is paved with large slabs, neatly ordered and separated with wide jointing, the cooking area can be differentiated with the use of smaller of the same style, packed closer together (as one example). The difference between the two can even be established using the same sized stone but by placing them closer together or further apart than the tiles used in the lounge area. This technique is commonly used in modern contemporary design. The laying pattern itself can also be switched, transitioning from the ordered grid of the lounge to a more randomized laying pattern for the kitchen.
Switches in the direction of the laying pattern are also effective in denoting hardscaped areas. For example, a dining area can be differentiated from an outdoor kitchen by changing the angle at which the two laying pattern run from one and other. 90 degree and 45 degree changes in direction are optimal as this represents the most visual contrast. In other words, areas can be distinguished by two laying patterns running diagonally or perpendicularly to one another.