As we prepare to enter the 2014 Landscape Season, this year’s outdoor design trends have started to take shape, and some exciting developments have emerged. In general, the trends fall into one of three categories: outdoor rooms, new technology, and environmental consciousness.
The strongest trend is absolutely the increasing popularity of outdoor rooms in landscape design. This trend is nothing new, it really began in 2009 when the Staycation movement began, and more people started to stay home and enjoy their yards instead of go on vacations. Five years later, the trend has only grown stronger, and we’re seeing a continual increase in design requests for outdoor rooms and outdoor living areas. These living areas can include many different elements, including outdoor kitchens, pools, spas, water features, fire places, multi-level patios, and planters. The variety of options makes a properly thought out design an absolute necessity, so your outdoor room will have the flow and usability the outdoor lifestyle demands.
The next most popular trend ties in closely with the ever-popular outdoor rooms: new technology. When designing outdoor spaces, our designers are increasingly getting all sorts of requests from tech-savvy clients. This includes outdoor speaker systems, automatic gates, and the newest and most popular: fully customizable LED lighting systems. The new lighting systems on the market have incredible customization options. They include smart phone apps that allow our clients to treat each lighting group as dimmable, and create a variety of programs that highlight all the proper areas. The freedom of design these systems provide allows our designers to create an outdoor room with custom lighting and sound systems, to complete the outdoor experience.
The third trend I’ve been seeing is another one that has been growing the last few years. It will be no surprise that environmental consciousness has increased in our clientele, and we see no reason to think this trend should abate in 2014. People are increasingly asking our designers for LED lighting systems, which use less electricity than traditional low-voltage, as well as our low water use irrigation controllers. Both help your home stay beautiful with minimal environmental impact. The other area we have really seen impacted by this environmental consciousness is plant choice. Native plants have never been more popular, both for their positive environmental impact and their lower maintenance.
Stay tuned this year to the Winterberry Gardens newsletter and blog for more details on how these trends are shaping landscapes in 2014. And if you have any comments on what trends you will be following this year, we would love to hear about it.