Modern vs. Contemporary Landscape Design

Garden Landscape

It’s not an easy question to answer. What makes this slightly complicated is that the definition of both has always been a little muddled to people who aren’t familiar with landscape design. And while there are some intersects with their design philosophies, some marked differences can make or break the desired value of a property.

What they have in common

Before talking about their differences, it’s best to learn what makes them similar. One of the things that contemporary and modern landscaping have in common is a leaning towards minimalism. As a whole, these two design philosophies follow the maxim of less being more, as a reflection of the utilitarian yet aesthetic leanings of design today.

As a result, both have characteristic bold and simple lines that are easy to spot from the outside of the property, making the entire structure appear as a seamless whole—but not as a monolithic block, like most skyscrapers or office buildings. These designs will often account for another function to the building (perhaps the addition of an open-air-roof deck, naturally using wind currents for cooling, or even integrated greenery), which makes them far from utilitarian.

Modern landscape design

Rooftop garden in urban setting

Modern landscaping embraces the tools and materials that we’ve used to improve our construction today. Characterized by heavy uses of metal, concrete, and other similar materials, modern landscape design is more on the function of these materials. Blending them into a uniform yet subtle arrangement when it comes to aesthetics, it’s a design best suited for commercial properties, as the increased foot traffic is something these materials can bear.

Contemporary landscape design

On the other hand, contemporary landscaping looks to return to our natural roots with the world around us. It’s characterized by heavy use of greenery and integration into the natural environment of the property, and as a result, places more value on the aesthetics. It’s a design best suited for residential properties, as the reduced foot traffic makes it easier to maintain.

Which one to go with

The crucial thing that should help you choose which one to go with is the purpose of your property. Maintenance is an important aspect of any landscaping project, and can often rack up surprising costs if left unattended. The environment is also a critical factor, as outside elements can interact with your landscaping.

It may also be helpful to remember that while all modern landscaping can be contemporary, not all contemporary designs are modern. There are marked differences between the two—mostly the inclusion of natural greenery, fauna, and flora—which can add to the value of your property.

If you have come to a decision about which one to go with, it’s a good idea to consult with your local landscape construction company in Spokane about your options. While knowing the rough characteristics in this overview can help, having an expert opinion is better. Not only will you get the best service for your money; they can also account for things that you may have missed.

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