Hexagon shapes this could inspire a diagonal or

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hexagon shapes, this could inspire a diagonal or hexagon shape in the landscape. Designers will often draw lines on the plan that extend from the house edges or corners to the property lines. Figure 16 illustrates lines used to delineate the shape of spaces and locate the patio and focal features. These are called regulating lines because they help regulate space and define forms that extend from the house or between the house and the property lines. F I G U R E 1 6 . Regulating lines from house walls and doors Third, thoroughly understand your site and how you want to use the space. Begin with a site inventory and analysis. Note all the conditions of the space and analyze how the conditions might affect your design. Each condition can be seen as an opportunity—a positive condition that will help achieve your design—or a constraint—a negative condition that might impact your design, but could possibly be turned into an opportunity. Examples of opportunities and/or constraints include land forms, such as slopes and flat areas, and natural features, such as trees and rocks, or built features, such as swimming pools and fences. Depending on the desired design, each could present an opportunity or a constraint. LOCATING FEATURES AND DEFINING OUTDOOR ROOMS Once you have determined the architectural style, the shape of the yard spaces, and the opportunities of your site, you can begin to locate the features and give them form. Most features will have a logical location based on the use or type of feature and the site opportunities. The yard is typically considered an extension of the house, and it makes sense to locate the most heavily used features of the yard close to backdoor entrance. For example, the outdoor dining/ seating area (patio or deck) is typically located adjacent to the house for convenience and physical comfort. Other features, such as dog runs and vegetable gardens, are often located on the side of the house to hide them from view, and play or recreation areas are often located in full view of the kitchen or family rooms so that parents can watch children at play. Spatially dividing a yard into separate uses is often referred to as creating outdoor rooms (Figure 17) and is a fundamental concept of outdoor design. Logical arrangement of the “rooms” creates a functional and aesthetically pleasing landscape. Spaces can be delineated through the use of different materials, such as the edge of a stone patio against a lawn panel; through a change in elevation (steps); through the use of a form, such as a square lawn panel; through the use of a feature, such as a low garden wall or small trees; or through the use of plants to create implied walls and ceilings. The elements and principles of design are particularly useful when creating rooms because they help to define spaces, add interest, and create a unified, functional, and aesthetically pleasing landscape.
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