1. Start with a focal point.

Much like in a painting, artists use focal points to attract a viewer’s eye. The same method can be applied to landscape design. Fernando recommends selecting one feature to take center stage outdoors, just as he designed the backyard of this contemporary Miami Beach home around an incredibly architectural tree. “When well-designed and well-positioned, you should be able to appreciate the focal point indoors and out,” Fernando says. “Think your home’s windows and doors as frames, and how the vignette you’re creating will appear in them.”

2. Think of walls as a canvas.

Landscaping can also help transform a blank exterior wall into a lush, artful oasis. Look to surrounding elements for inspiration on how the vines can complement your home’s architecture. Here, Fernando placed wire so the vines would mimic the adjacent windows and continue the vertical lines.

3. Create beautiful moments with planters.

Pottery and large planters are easy ways to instantly add artistic flair in an outdoor area—especially when arranged in a symmetrical pattern. The four pots Fernando selected for this lush space, for instance, instantly elevates the aesthetic thanks to their intricate details.

4. Add instant feng shui with a water element.

Art is best consumed in a calm, quiet space. Attain that same serenity outdoors by incorporating a fountain or other water element.

5. Find clever ways to introduce pattern.

Look to existing lines in architecture, windows or fencing and repeat it in other applications – whether it’s something dramatic like a driveway, or more subtle in a sidewalk or hedge planting.


Click through the slideshow below to see examples.