pool with paving stone walkway and landscaping design

Bring Your Landscape to Life in 3-D

Can you picture what your new landscape will look like before it’s built? Advances in technology increase the potential for dazzling outdoor landscapes. New construction materials can improve the look of an outdoor living space, and growing trends like fire pits and outdoor kitchens expand the possible activities on your property.

Likewise, technological advances have spurred on the newest trend to help you if you are considering a new landscape design: 3-dimensional landscape plans.

For many people it can be difficult to try to imagine what a traditional two-dimensional landscape plan will look like in real life.  Now, with 3-D plans, landscape designers can bring your dream landscape to life before it is constructed.

When is a 3-D Design Needed?

Not every landscape design needs to be drawn in 3-D. Very simple designs might not need the additional benefit of a 3-D presentation. For very small plantings or a simple paver walkway, a traditional landscape plan with a couple samples or plant pictures may be completely acceptable.

However, for landscape designs that incorporate a wide variety of plants and hardscaping elements like pools, steps, walls, outdoor kitchens and pergolas, a 3-D design could be an essential piece of the planning process.

These complex projects will benefit greatly from the particular advantages that a 3-D design can offer over a traditional two-dimensional landscape plan.

Advantages of Modern 3-D Designs

See the proportions of the design. One of biggest challenges when looking at a traditional landscape design is to get a real “feel” for what a complex design would look like in the actual space where the plants and hardscapes would be installed. A 3-D design can give an “in the landscape viewpoint” that shows you the actual height of plants, walls or pergolas as well as how the different sizes of each element interact in the design.

See what the materials will look like together. Designers can apply different textures to patios and walkways and quickly show how one paver or stone might look compared to another. They can also compare how the different plants and materials being used will actually look when used side by side in a landscape, taking away much of the guess work for the homeowner.

Visualize the area during nighttime hours. For projects that incorporate landscape lighting and fire features, 3-D programs can change the lighting to mimic what you will see when low-voltage LED lights, a fire pit, or fireplace light up the night.

See what the landscape will look like over time. One of the really cool innovations with modern 3-D programs is the ability show how plants will grow in a landscape over time. So not only can you see what the plants will look like when they first go in, but also what the space will look like many years later as the plants grow to mature sizes.

Helps the installation team too! Even the construction team that physically builds the project benefits from a 3-D design. The crew can clearly see what the designer intends the final design to look like, which guarantees that they can produce the landscape just as you and your designer had originally planned.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The best way to visualize the benefits of a 3-D plan is to see a design side-by-side with the completed project. Below is an example of a 3-D design we constructed that incorporated a pool, plantings, outdoor kitchen, pergola and fire features. Especially with a beautiful and intricate design like this, it is vital for the homeowner to be able to picture exactly what they are getting for their investment. This project shows how closely a 3-D plan can articulate the actual look and feel of a completed design.



One of the advantages of working with Pacific Outdoor Living is that we have been utilizing 3-D plans for a large number of our projects, so our designers are experienced in using the technology to effectively communicate their landscape vision to the client.

Our designs are also done “in house” which means that the designer works with the construction crews through the installation process so that the homeowner has an enjoyable experience with few “surprises.”

Is 3-D Worth the Extra Cost?

Any good landscape design will cost money. Pacific Outdoor Living prides itself on producing world-class designs at very competitive prices. We believe in the value of a 3-D landscape plan so much that we only charge roughly 20% more for a design fee if you would like a 3-D plan. The option is yours, and the Southern California homeowners that elected to add a 3-D rendering say it’s money well spent.

We believe that before committing to a big project, you should know exactly what you are getting. A 3-D landscape plan is a worthwhile investment that is not meant to merely wow you with technology, but to aid you in truly envisioning the landscape of your dreams right in your backyard.


Check out some pictures of landscape design projects we’ve completed for residents in the Los Angeles area. Feel free to contact us if you are ready to turn your landscape dreams into a reality!