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Choosing Between a Rectilinear or Free-flowing Form Theme for Your Landscape Design

Choosing Between a Rectilinear or Free-flowing Form Theme for Your Landscape Design

There are many decisions involved in the design of your landscape, one of which involves what sort of form theme your landscape will subscribe to. While a Unilock Authorized Contractor can help take the mystery and frustration out of these sorts of design terms, and guide you through the process from design to installation, here is a short guide for helping you decide on a form theme for your landscape:


What Is a Rectilinear Form Theme?

A rectilinear form theme is a landscape design theme that consists primarily of straight lines, right angles, and square or rectangular shapes. This type of form theme is common with modern and formal landscape design styles, but can be used more subtly in traditional landscape design as well. The visual benefit of this sort of style is that it creates a pervading sense of order and a strong sense of structure in the landscape. In many cases, by utilizing simple shapes and straight lines, you can allow the texture and color of the building materials to become the forefront of the landscape, as opposed to the intricate arrangement of the structures themselves. These textures tend to be refined and elegant, reflecting the subtlety of the layout.

A rectilinear form theme can extend from the shape and layout of the patio, to the shape of features such as your fire pit, to the shape of your swimming pool and plant beds, and may even form part of the architecture of the home as well. This form theme can help to make a small yard more functional by keeping it neatly organized and making the most efficient use of the space as possible.


What Is a Free-Flowing Form Theme?

A free-flowing form theme is one that incorporates more organic shapes, curves, and meandering lines. These forms can manifest as the path that walkways cut through the landscape to the outline of your patio or pool. This form theme is typically used in less structured design styles, such as country and rustic settings, as well as in landscape design styles that embrace a more naturalistic approach. The aim of a free-flowing form theme is to create a landscape that appears natural and spontaneous, if somewhat stylized. A free-flowing form theme typically reflects this organic approach to style in the types of textures used throughout the landscape. These textures tend to be coarse and rugged, and have the appearance of natural materials such as rock. In addition, waterfall and stream features are popular in this design style, and fire pits and similar features are more commonly chosen in a round shape option.

A free-flowing form theme is typically not as space-efficient as a rectilinear theme; however, using this form theme can be a great way to make better use of larger yards. Large, sweeping curves can also help to enhance the view that can be enjoyed from the backyard.


Related Read: Complementing Your Outdoor Fireplace with Wood Storage, Seating, and Other Accessories


Which One Is Right for My Landscape?

The form theme you choose for your landscape will depend on a number of factors, from the shape, size, and topography of your landscape to the sorts of materials you’d like to feature in the design. A rectilinear landscape design can work well in a small, flat yard, particularly one that is rectangular in shape, whereas a curvilinear theme may take up too much space. Conversely, a free-flowing form theme can work well to conform to the natural contours of sloping or hilly terrain. Most landscape designs are, in fact, a combination of the two, so your landscape designer may wish to incorporate curves and straight lines depending on where they best accentuate the positive features of your landscape.


Related Read: Small Details That Outstanding Landscape Contractors Use to Make a Big Difference to a Design


Ideal Wall Units and Pavers for a Rectilinear Form Theme

There are some materials that excel in providing the sleek, formal look that a rectilinear form theme embodies. Consider, for example, Unilock Limestone. The elegance and sophistication of Unilock Limestone is ideal for creating the structured look of a formal landscape theme. In addition, the large square and rectangle shape options can create grid-like laying patterns or running bond arrangements that can be used to best express the clean-cut look of a rectilinear form theme.

Another excellent paver for this style is Beacon Hill Smooth, particularly in its XL Unit size option. This unit is ideal for adding the appearance of crisp form and structure to a large surface area.

As far as wall units are concerned, an excellent option for a modern rectilinear form theme is Lineo Dimensional Stone. This wall unit presents crisp lines, right angles, and a refined surface texture that is ideal for a contemporary setting. The linear, plank-like shapes of this unit will facilitate and enhance a rectilinear theme.

U-Cara Multi-Face, too, is an excellent candidate for this style because of the high degree of dimensional accuracy provided by the Sure Track backer blocks. In addition, the multiple U-Cara fascia panels from which you can select for this option are vast, and can be used to achieve a number of different design styles and color schemes.


Ideal Wall Units and Pavers for a Free-Flowing Form Theme

Courtstone pavers are perfect for creating walkways that bend and curve through a landscape. Not only does their small size allow for flexibility, their timeworn appearance is also appropriate for landscapes with natural character. Copthorne pavers are another high-character option that is ideal for patios, walkways, and winding driveways.

For a rich natural stone texture that is great for this sort of style, consider Beacon Hill Flagstone. Concord Wall features tapered units that allow for the construction of curved retaining walls to add multiple levels to your free-flowing landscape. With its aged rock appearance, Estate Wall is another excellent option for a landscape with a natural theme. This wall unit can be used for curved retaining walls, seating walls, and grill islands.


The title image features curved Estate Wall retaining walls and a Beacon Hill Flagstone patio.


Choosing Between a Rectilinear or Free-flowing Form Theme for Your Landscape Design


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