To create pleasing-to-the-eye, crisp and professional-caliber landscaping for your home, several factors must work in unison. By following a few time-tested guidelines the ordinary can become the extraordinary. The result can be both luxurious and personalized – an outdoor aesthetic that suits your home and your lifestyle.


This large bronze sculpture is the focal point of this home’s front landscaping.

1. Focal Points

Determining a focal point for your outdoor space is an excellent way to create visual interest. The focal point (or, when considering larger outdoor spaces, multiple focal points) may be a large tree, a water or fire feature, a seating area, a pool, an outdoor dining area, or an outdoor kitchen – the possibilities are as broad as your imagination. Once clear on where to draw the eye, the design options for the surrounding property begin to have more clarity.

2. Balance

The various hardscape and landscape options available for your outdoor area are nearly unlimited, but much like making choices for interior home design, creating balance between the various elements is essential. Too many hardscaped patios, walls, walkways, and gathering zones with only sparse plantings in between will detract from the natural outdoor aesthetic of your space. Striking an equal balance between the soft and hard elements is key.

Brightly colored flowers add depth and dimension to the gardening beds.

3. Color

Remember, this is an outdoor living space. Including vibrant hues of green with pops of color, be that from plantings or hardscape elements will make the space feel alive and vibrant.

When it comes to plantings, it’s wise to have a mix of bold perennials and bright annuals to provide color. There are also numerous plants with varying bark and leaf colors that can add variety to the color palette. And several trees and shrubs, like Winterberry Holly, have berries and fruit that bring bright flashes of color during specific seasons. Heinen’s Online Plant Catalog is an excellent place to explore dozens of different plantings, from perennials to trees, each with helpful information such as sun or shade preference, blooming season, and more!

When it comes to hardscape elements, there are hundreds of textures and colors to choose from in most any hue that’s desired. Two of Heinen’s preferred manufactured stone providers, Techo-Bloc and Unilock, both have extensive collections of hardscape materials that can easily be mixed and matched to create an intricate multi-hued design – or, the color can remain monochromatic, allowing bright landscaping to take center stage.

4. Texture

Varying textures throughout your landscape plan will enhance overall visual interest. Plant textures range from small to large leaf varieties, while flower shapes and textures run the gamut from silky smooth and tall to short and spiky ground foliage. For more variety, consider fluffy ornamental grasses, rough bark, curling vines, or even a dedicated rose garden. Just as in landscape design, with a little hardscape materials planning and research, you’ll find that adding various hardscape textures will give your outdoor area a more professional, integrated look – with hardscape elements naturally complementing landscape choices.

Low-profile lights subtly illuminate the walkway and make the plantings glow.

5. Lighting

Including a thought-out lighting plan into your landscape design is a crowning touch that not only adds after-dusk beauty to your outdoor area but also increases the usability and safety of your outdoor spaces. A professionally designed lighting system can be tailored to accentuate key landscape and architectural features as well as provide comfortable ambient lighting for your seating areas while subtly illuminating any potential tripping hazards.

The lighting specialists at Heinen use premium FX Luminaire products to bring their clients expertly designed lighting systems that are built to last!

6. Proportion

Proportion refers to the relationship between the size of the various elements in a landscape design. A well-designed landscape plan considers proportion and ensures each element is pleasing to the eye. Placement of the larger-scaled elements of your landscape – for example, tall shrubs – may work well around the property perimeter creating a natural privacy fence. More delicate ground cover and potted plants may be best along a walking path or patio. Stunning gardening beds are those that incorporate plants of various heights. It’s wise to always question whether a particular landscape or hardscape element is the right scale for its planned placement.

By incorporating these core principles into your landscape design, you can create a stunning outdoor space that forever enhances the beauty and value of your property. If you’re not certain where to begin, Heinen is here to help! The professional landscape and hardscape specialists at Heinen have been designing, installing, and maintaining luxurious outdoor spaces for Kansas City homeowners for over 30 years. You can browse some of the team’s work over on the Customer Project page to gather inspiration for your own outdoor spaces!

Bring your vision of landscape luxury to life! Call Debbie at (913) 432-5011 or click to send the Heinen team an online message and schedule a no-obligation consultation!