Most designers agree that you should start by laying out paved surfaces, like terraces and paths. "Look carefully at the areas that lead out of the house and into the garden, and at the transitions between outdoor rooms," says David Pfeiffer, a landscape architect in Vashon, Washington. Be practical. Take into account the existing traffic patterns around your house; walkways must be convenient if they are going to work.
When it comes to choosing materials, taking your cue from those used on the house is a good starting point. Here, brick paths echo the flooring of the home's sun-filled plant room, which opens onto the garden.