So you're thinking about landscape designing. It's a task that involves creativity, architecture, entomology, biology, botany; jeepers, what else? It's a formidable task. The difficulty with providing "cut and paste" or "prototype" designs for your particular needs lies in the fact that every individual home, lot, yard and family is unique. For anyone to place a design here and say that this will work for you too is just not fair. So let's just take a simpler approach to this "designing" thing to make it more comprehensive.
It's been said that the best approach to designing a landscape is to envision your landscape as a series of outside rooms. You've got your entry ways or doors connected to borders or walls under a canopy or ceiling hanging over a floor or lawn, which is like a canvas in a painting. So when you begin to consider your plans for landscaping try to imagine you are putting together a room.
Take an inventory of what you have already; the size and shape and materials and determine what you'd like to add or even subtract. It's a time consuming process, but when you have ideas write them down. Take a walk through your neighborhood to find what might be working for others. Notice things you like or dislike. Travel to a botanical garden or visit parks or garden centers. You will begin to develop a sensitivity to what you like, and you'll see landscapes more acutely. In this way you begin to realize the things that will work for you in your spaces.
The whole key to landscaping is to create an environment that's practical for living and brings pleasure to the senses. That's it; and whether you have two acres or two square meters this can be accomplished.
As I mentioned at the top of the page, prototype or cookie-cutter designs aren't practical for someone seeking a design for their particular space. But here are a couple beds that contain plants that blend well together and are good combinations.
a symmetrically pleasing bed design for zones 4-7
Lavenders, pinks, yellows, cool whites and silvers gives a peaceful, easy feelin'. This range of foliage texture will get your attention and calm you down with cool colors on soft canvas'.
a simple bed design for zones 5 & 6
From New York to Washington or anywhere in between, like Cleveland Ohio, this simple layout will give you an array of colors from late spring and throughout the summer. Routine watering is all these durable plants require. A rounded or square cut bed, whatever you prefer, looks great with a 3-4 inch deep border. An edge this deep will hold any mulch or compost spread you choose from creeping into your drive or lawn.
Here's a couple more visuals: