How to Harmonize Your Home and Garden

By June Scott, Houzz

Eclecticism in designing a garden is trickier than it seems. Combine several styles or elements together, and the risk of nothing standing out is great — as is the risk for, well, a cacophonous mess.

But what if your house is one style, and your garden another? As a designer, I’m sometimes asked by clients to help them create a personalized Eden that may not reflect the architectural style of their home. To do that I establish links rooted in the principles of design that tie the two together. Here are some ideas.

traditional home with contemporary landscape

 Austin Outdoor Design, original photo on Houzz

A graphic mix. Let’s start with one of the most challenging combinations: blending a traditional home with a contemporary landscape. One way to successfully marry the two is to play up the graphic qualities of each element. Note how the fence pattern, tree, hardscape and house each feature strong lines. Because everything is pared down, the eye can pick out the graphic qualities of the various elements.

Related: Colorful Outdoor Chairs for the Porch


home with mix of mediterranean and modern styles in both architecture and landscape

DHD Architecture and Interior Design, original photo on Houzz

Texture. Texture is an often-underconsidered element that can help tie together a design. The earthy blend of Mediterranean and modern styles in both the architecture and landscape here relies on links between textures. The stone facade and gravel relate to each other and to the broader landscape while providing contrast to the smooth walls.


BiLDEN, original photo on Houzz

Color. Two styles of architecture on one lot? Try keeping the planting simple and bold. Monochromatic plants, including yellow kangaroo paws and Coleonema ‘Sunset Gold’, hold this outdoor space together and stand up to the eclectic architecture.

Related: Paint the Exterior Chartreuse to Match These Plants


home with masses of plants to tie in various architectural styles

Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture, original photo on Houzz

Mass planting. Simple planes or masses of plants can help bring balance and unity to homes with more than one architectural style.


slender victorian windows with walkway and plating beds

Feldman Architecture Inc, original photo on Houzz

Proportion. Often we need to take cues from the proportions of our home’s architecture to create a harmonious landscape. This can be a subtle but effective way to tie two disparate styles together. The proportions of the slender Victorian windows on this home are echoed in the walkway and planting beds.


home with asian style garden and contemporary architecture

Rich Mathers Construction Inc, original photo on Houzz

Historically related. Try mixing styles that have some similarities. For instance, elements from Greek, Roman, French and formal styles can work well together; the same goes for Spanish, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern styles. Simple Asian-style gardens tend to work well with contemporary architecture.

Related: How to Get a Japanese-Inspired Garden