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Top tips for designing a garden with stairs from Floral and Hardy

Garden stairs provide more than just ease of access; the layout, style, and texture can instantly transform an outdoor space, acting as a striking focal point or enticing walkway.

Varied levels and dynamic designs can create a sense of drama or elegance, adding to the overall mood of your garden. Combining beauty and functionality, garden steps can be a stylish and striking addition to your front or back garden. However, designing a garden with stairs requires extra care and planning. From safety to aesthetics, the following is a list of tips to help incorporate steps and stairs into your garden…

Garden designs with stairs – how to choose the best material

Concrete, stone, wood – the variety of materials available for outdoor stairs can seem overwhelming.

In order to narrow down your choices, consider material that will complement your landscape and garden décor and stand the test of time. Some of the most widely used materials are quarried stone, such as slate or granite, and composite material like brick and concrete. Brick is a cost-effective option, while concrete and stone are known for their durability and versatility. If your backyard is naturally sloped, simple stepping stones can be used to create distinctive walkways throughout your garden. Wide stone stairs are also suitable for slopes or hillsides. Budget will be a determining factor when it comes to materials, but be sure to choose a material that is both aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting. Not sure how to build garden steps with bricks, stones or any other material? Our gallery has some inspiration.

Mix and match garden stairs materials

For something completely unique, try mixing and matching materials to create your own designs. Transform a simple walkway into striking focal point by using different shades of the same stone, or use various paving materials to create contrasting borders and highlight elevation changes. Does your garden have an abundance of open space? Try incorporating splashes of varied materials to add accents and break up vast areas.

Design garden steps with safety in mind

Outdoor steps should have a generous, gradual ascent to ensure safety and comfort. Steps consist of the riser (vertical face of the step) and the tread (the horizontal area on which you stand). As a general rule for garden stairs, the riser should be no higher than 15cm, and the tread depth should be at least 30cm. For steps that lead uphill, choose materials that are level and non-slip even in wet conditions. Certain materials such as polished granite may not be suitable for wet or freezing weather conditions, so be sure to keep the climate in mind as well. Appropriate lighting should also be added to help guide people at night.

Use garden stairs to enhance your theme

Stairs and garden stone steps can be a brilliant addition to any style of garden.

Whether you’d like a traditional look, a contemporary feel, or an Asian-inspired theme, stairs act as a fluid element to enhance your theme and décor. Floating concrete stairs can be used as an eye-catching focal point, as they provide a clean, industrial look that is perfect for modern gardens. Gravel pathways and wide stone steps can be used to complement rustic and traditional styles, including English country gardens. Looking for Japanese garden ideas? Combining framed wooden steps and grey gravel or rocks can create a simple and inviting pathway. For a natural, discreet look, incorporate stairs covered in moss or grass. Grass steps lined with stone risers offer an appealing contrast and match almost any style of garden.

Whether they’re used as a practical addition or a decorative element, adding stairs and steps to your garden can open a world of design possibilities for your landscape. Thinking of incorporating stairs into your garden design? Contact us today for further information or advice.

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