Styled, Staged & Sold

Bringing you the latest home design and staging trends. From REALTOR® Magazine.

‘Entangled’ Landscapes Soften Outdoor Design

Landscape architects are moving away from straight edges and borders, incorporating more plants and hardscape elements.

“Entangling” is a new buzzword in landscaping design as outdoor trends move away from clearly defined straight edges and borders. As the name implies, “entangled landscaping” mixes in a blend of plants and hardscapes.

"Whether driven by aesthetic requests or as a byproduct of maintaining onsite drainage, we're seeing increased interest" in this trend, according to the “2024 U.S. Houzz Home Design Predictions” report. The design offers a more natural look that can soften pathways by breaking up large expanses of a hardscape.

With “entangled” design, the edges in the landscape appear to have no clear break. The look often incorporates natural stone transitions, blending crooked edges with boulders and grass, and weaves in native plants to make an outdoor space mimic its natural surroundings. For example, a manicured pathway may wind through meadows of native grasses.

A popular technique to achieve an entangled design is called “fading,” which allows hardscapes to blend into the turf or grass. This can be done with stone pavers that appear jagged and protruding from the surface, which can help soften an outdoor space without being perfectly aligned.  

Another technique to entangled design is called “outcropping,” which incorporates large stone boulders nestled throughout the landscape.

One caveat to entangled design is that maintenance can become a chore. Wilder, natural elements can quickly start to overwhelm a landscape, making upkeep essential.

“The pioneers of recent entangled design tended to be those who were environmentally conscious and appreciated the fusion of native plantings combined with clean hardscape architecture,” says Jackie Mosher, co-founder of Dzinly, a company that provides digital exterior designs for inspiration. “With social media inspiration, it has now become a trend and a look people are gravitating toward.”


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