Creating Functional Outdoor Spaces

Centennial Mills Commercial Construction in PA

Your outdoor spaces are an important, if unsung, function of your business.

Your outdoor space is where your employees will congregate when they are on break, and is the first impression anyone will get of you when they come to visit.

While style is vital, function is also important, and these aspects merge together into either a successful outdoor space or an unsuccessful one. Here are some tips for creating functional outdoor spaces through commercial landscaping in PA & NJ.

Maintenance from Day One

No matter what kind of outdoor space you build, it is going to require routine maintenance. Firstly, being able to easily administer snow and ice removal is going to be vital to avoiding harming people. Secondly, being able to maintain systems such as irrigation systems without undue difficulty will help keep the space sustainable. The easier it is to maintain your outdoor space, the better your maintenance company will be able to do so and the less continuing investment you will have to make into routine maintenance beyond repairs and upgrades.

Conveying Your Message

Creating functional outdoor spaces is essentially part of your company’s marketing strategy. Your company has a specific image and company culture, and this should be expressed in your outdoor space. Since this is a first impression that everyone who visits will get subconsciously, you need to devote time to thinking through what this impression should be.

Every line, every plant and every visual texture needs to go along with how liberal or conservative your company is, whether you are more friendly and casual or straight-laced and former, as well as other aspects of what make your company unique.

What should someone feel when they first walk up to your outdoor space? This encompasses the shapes that play against one another, lighting and shadows cast throughout the day and night, and even the types of plants and stones that make up the space overall.

Engagement Duration

Some spaces are designed to be essentially outdoor hallways, and guide people along on a given path. These paths tend to indicate a given entry or exit point and keep people moving steadily in that direction. This tends to be energetic and create a feeling of moving on to the next part of one’s day. On the other hand, some spaces are designed to keep people engaged with one another and encourage sociability.

Adding tables and chairs to a space, as well as having open “hubs” of activity where people can congregate, creates a more sociable vibe. Having slightly narrower walkways with obvious visual destinations and a lack of gathering spots tends to create a more travel-oriented vibe, and people pick up on things like this.

Traffic Flow

How quickly should traffic flow through your space? How much traffic do you anticipate your space having? These are important considerations, not just for aesthetics but for overall functionality. If you are only expecting a small number of people to navigate a given space, removing snow and ice will be relatively easy since people will largely be a non-issue. However, in crowded spaces the removal of snow and ice can be more complicated due to traffic and safety concerns.


Part of the maintenance component of your outdoor space and part of its overall use of resources comes down to sustainability. How much salt will be required to keep ice and snow from accumulating? How long will it be before you need to have the space repaired due to soil subsidence?

These are concerns to take up from the outset, because you can choose to invest resources more wisely if you are careful versus using them irresponsibly. Sustainability is about both saving money and working in tandem with the local environment.

If all this sounds like a lot to tackle, remember that creating functional outdoor spaces isn’t something you need to handle it alone.

The experts at Realty landscaping have spent more than 30 years helping customers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware turn their outdoor spaces into places you’ll want to showcase. Contact us today to get started.

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