Of course, any real project is going to have both hardscaping and 'softscaping' elements. Many hardscape design professionals started as traditional landscapers, so they can address both elements easily, but if you're working with a dedicated hardscaper, you may need to call in a more traditional landscape designer and have the two collaborate.
Once that decision is reached, it's time to design. Most people find that it's aesthetically pleasing to use the hardscape design elements to contrast either the building itself or the softscaped areas. As most modern houses are rigid, straight lines with somewhat visually harsh elements, hardscaping design professionals often suggest gentle, curved lines and rounded corners to contrast the house itself. In a natural, highly landscaped environment, however -- especially one that conceals the house from view -- it may be more effective to utilize straight lines and right angles to separate the hardscaping from the natural world around it.
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