In many areas of the country, it would be all wrong to add permanent brilliant color to residential patio designs. Things are different here in Arizona where Southwestern architecture with it’s Spanish and South of the Border influence is predominate. When adding a new patio to your Scottsdale landscaping, where it is located may have a great deal to do with whether the color comes from plants or not. Take this particular featured patio as an example.
Yes, there are plants, but very few and the most colorful ones are potted and placed in the focal point between the eye catching stair case and the outdoor water fountain. Other than that, only a narrow bed between the stone pavers and the safety rail allows space for permanent plants. Of course, this patio is more unique than most as it is not on the ground level, which makes space at a premium for entertaining and seating. There isn’t any room to expand the landscape planting as you would have with ground level patio designs. Since this photo was taken when the installation was completed, it is highly likely that the homeowner has added more potted plants for a livelier outdoor living space.
Naturally the bold primary colored tiles that are part of the house on the risers of the stairs leading to the upper story really stand out against the stark white stucco walls. On the more popular earth tone stuccoes most homes are done in today, though vivid, these colored tiles would not be as noticeable. By picking up the more restful blue and repeating it in solid expanses in the tile seat top and the water feature’s face, two things are accomplished that may not be noticeable.
- Any potted plants that are added to the space whether flowering or just foliage will not blend into the permanent structures. There will never be a ‘wrong’ color of bloom or leaf to use here, allowing the homeowner to change accent colors at will in the areas away from the stairs.
- The stone paver’s warmer tones aren’t made more pronounced, allowing the outdoor living space’s flooring to remain very neutral.
We have had other clients who have added brilliant color to their Scottsdale landscaping on the permanent elements rather than with large plants due to the space being very limited. Having a bright purple retainer wall may not be on the average homeowner’s wish list for their Arizona landscape design, yet when used properly, they love the creative use of color and the vibrancy it adds to a small space. One tip for anyone who is getting ready to add outdoor living spaces to their Scottsdale or Phoenix area yard. The color of the walls of your home will influence the choice of bright accent used. The purple mentioned above would be too much with this white house, yet it was perfect with the darker stucco walls. You can see that something more outstanding than blue was called for on this Patio Designs post from 2009.