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Backyard design with angled shade structure with recessed lighting and an outdoor TV.

How Hardscaping Can Inspire Your Modern Arizona Backyard

When it comes to creating a beautiful and functional outdoor space, hardscaping plays a crucial role in shaping the landscape. Unlike traditional landscaping, which focuses on plants and greenery, hardscaping involves the non-living elements of outdoor design. From pathways and patios to walls and water features, hardscaping adds structure, aesthetics, and functionality to your modern Arizona backyard.

What is Hardscaping?

Hardscaping is the integration of non-living elements into the landscape, providing a solid foundation and structure to outdoor spaces and transforming it to a modern Arizona backyard. This includes a wide range of features such as pathways, patios, retaining walls, decks, pergolas, and more.  The primary purpose of hardscaping is to create a harmonious balance between the built environment and the natural elements, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing and functional outdoor area.

Common Types of Hardscaping:


Patios and decks are popular hardscaping elements that extend your living space outdoors. Whether made of natural stone, pavers, or wood, these surfaces provide an ideal area for entertaining, dining, or simply relaxing with family and friends. At Rosewood Highlands at Story Rock, our team was able to create a patio and deck with natural stone tiling surrounding the pool.

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Hardscaped pathways not only enhance the visual appeal of your garden but also offer a practical solution for navigating your outdoor space. Materials like gravel, pavers, or flagstones can be used to create charming walkways that guide visitors through your landscape. Whether you are looking for small backyard ideas or are looking for a modern Arizona backyard, pathways are a great spot to start. Our team uses pathways regularly in our designs, both simple and complex. At Sterling Grove – St. Helena, we used floating tiles to connect the elevated fire pit that is within the pool, creating an effortless, elegant pathway.

Custom backyard design with Jesus steps, floating fire table and metal scupper water feature into pool.

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Retaining walls serve both functional and aesthetic purposes. They help prevent soil erosion on sloped terrain while adding depth and character to your landscape design. Retaining walls can be constructed using a variety of materials, including stone, concrete blocks, or timber. At one of our Private Residence’s, our team used a retaining wall to create an entry way to the pool that rivals the California beaches in summer. Not only does it create an alluring entryway, it also separates the pool from the cacti in the background.

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Incorporating water features such as fountains, ponds, or waterfalls into your hardscaping design can create a tranquil and soothing ambiance. These elements not only add visual interest but also attract local wildlife, contributing to a vibrant ecosystem. We love to utilize water features in our designs, as it can create a big difference without taking up much room. So, if you are looking to create a modern Arizona backyard, or are looking for small backyard ideas, a water feature is a great addition to any yard. At The Upland, we used a water feature into the pool to create a stunning focal point in the backyard.

The Tapestry at Destination angled shade structure and water feature into pool

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Structures like pergolas, gazebos, and arbors provide a focal point in your outdoor space. They offer shade, define different areas, and can be adorned with climbing plants to integrate greenery into the hardscape. Our team creates custom, metal gazebos and pergolas to match the look and feel of your home, while shading you from the sun.  At Sterling Grove – Hastings model, we created a custom free-hanging pergola that gives a modern twist on the structure.

Custom backyard design with cantilevered metal shade structure that doubles as metal statement piece.

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Extend the usability of your outdoor space into the cooler months by adding a fire pit or outdoor fireplace. These hardscaping elements provide warmth, create a cozy atmosphere, and serve as a gathering spot for family and friends. At Sereno Canyon, we added a floating, propane fire pit to enhance a seating arrangement by the pool. Perfect for entertaining, this fire pit creates a sophisticated area for talking or roasting marshmallows.

Custom backyard design with metal fencing, fire table and outdoor seating area.

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Hardscaping is a key component in creating a well-designed and functional outdoor space. Whether you’re looking to add entertainment areas, improve accessibility, or enhance the overall aesthetics of your landscape, hardscaping offers a myriad of possibilities. Want to learn more about our award-winning designContact our team today.

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