5. Install Landscape Lighting

According to the National Association of Home Builders, landscape lighting consistently tops the list of homeowners’ most desirable outdoor features. Landscape lighting provides a warm, inviting ambiance that creates a comfortable outdoor environment. It creates mood and atmosphere and adds visual interest to your home and yard. Landscape lighting is one of the most important aspects of night time curb appeal, and one of the easiest ways to create a beautiful landscape with landscape design services.

Proper landscape lighting allows you to highlight focal points and interesting features on your home and in your yard. It provides an inviting entrance to your front door, and a pleasant atmosphere for entertaining in your back yard. Landscape lighting enhances home safety by preventing slip and fall accidents and protects against unwanted intruders. That added security can reduce burglaries and homeowner’s insurance claims. Some insurance companies offer up to 15% in discounts for homes with landscape lighting.

Landscape lighting comes in a wide variety of low-voltage, LED and solar fixtures in beautiful outdoor finishes. Fixtures like uplights and downlights are great for accenting trees, plants, garden beds and architectural features on your home. Pathway lights provide extra light and safety for walkways and pathways and create an inviting entrance. Motion detectors provide home safety alerts for unsuspected or unwanted visitors. Talk to a Bergen County or Rockland County landscape professional like John Helmke who provides landscape design services about landscape lighting and installation for your home.


6. Build Stone Walkways

Paving stone walkways are a beautiful accent for any Northern New Jersey landscape. They will quickly enhance your home’s curb appeal and increase your home’s value. When installed in the front yard, they will provide a safe, inviting entrance to your front door. In the back yard, they can be used to create a non-slip passageway between the house and the pool, spa or outdoor fireplace.

Stone pavers are available in a variety of beautiful colors and textures. You can create walkways or pathways that blend quietly into your landscape or stand out with contrast and visual impact. Pavers come in a variety of shapes and sizes that can be laid to form straight, long walkways or winding pathways with intricate patterns. Since stone pavers are usually installed over natural soil and gravel beds, you don’t have to worry about cracking from poured materials when they settle. Individual stone pavers are resilient, so cracking and chipping over time with normal wear is minimal. Professional landscape design services like Helmke Industries can provide outdoor stone walkways that quickly boost landscape appeal and home value.

7. Install Outdoor Water Features

Nothing adds an inviting, comfortable atmosphere to a landscape more than the soothing sounds of running water. Outdoor water features like waterfalls, fountains and streams or ponds can boost your home’s value by up to 20%. Depending on the size and layout of your back yard, consider some unique water features that will create a spectacular focal point in your landscape:

  • Natural Rock Waterfalls – Create a natural rock waterfall in a quiet corner of the yard surrounded by lovely trees, shrubs, plants and landscape lighting. With professional landscape design services, you can create a two or three-tier waterfall with trickling water that falls into a stream below or recycles itself with a hidden pump.
  • Free-Standing Fountains – If you have a small yard, a fountain is a great way to provide water sounds while conserving space in the landscape. In the front yard, it can provide a welcoming entrance. In the back yard, it can provide a comfortable atmosphere for guests. You can make it a captivating focal point, or surround it with plants for a more natural setting.
  • Outdoor Ponds – If you want a great landscape feature that family and guests will love, consider an outdoor pond with underwater lighting, plants, flowers and colorful fish. It will create a peaceful area in the yard where you can relax with your morning coffee or gather with friends for quiet conversations. To create running water, add a small ledge with a trickling waterfall.

8. Create Outdoor Entertaining Areas

An Outdoor Patio

An outdoor patio will create a lot of new opportunities for family activities and entertaining friends. It will expand your interior living space and give you a comfortable area to enjoy your back yard year-round. You can build a patio adjacent to your house, or in a more remote location within the landscape. If you have a large yard, consider terraced levels that can be used for larger gatherings and more privacy. Whether you locate your patio next to the house or further away, consider an outdoor kitchen for endless outdoor dining and entertaining possibilities.

An Outdoor Fireplace or Fire Pit

An outdoor fireplace or fire pit will create a warm, inviting gathering place for family and friends. Whether it’s a warm summer night or a chilly winter evening, a cozy fire provides a great spot for relaxing, conversing or roasting marshmallows. A fireplace will be more expensive to build, but it may provide more flexibility for entertaining. A fire pit is typically built in the yard, but it may offer more privacy away from the house. Talk to a landscape company like Helmke Industries who provides design/build landscape design services for outdoor features about an outdoor fireplace or fire pit for your back yard.