7 Outdoor Living and Gardening Trends

While some are trying to bring the outdoors in, others are aiming their focus on creating living areas outdoors. We’re coming into an age when most of us are yearning to find peace and tranquility. We’re also focusing more on simplifying life and sustaining our environment.

Outdoor Living & Garden Trends

Creating a space outdoors that is cozy and comfortable like the inside of your home will help you relax and unwind. You can achieve this through a variety of materials, gardening and planting, and your particular lifestyle needs and wishes.

If your focus is entertaining, perhaps you would enjoy an outdoor bar and cabana for dining. If you desire an outdoor oasis for your furry friends, perhaps you’d want to add a dog run or outdoor water fountain. If you’re into sustainability, perhaps you’d love an edible garden. Whatever you’re looking for, here are 7 ways to get closer to your outdoor bliss.

1. Simplify, Minimize and Essentialize

At a time where peace of mind is becoming more of a lifestyle trend, it isn’t surprising that many are recognizing the demand for a simple life. We all want more time, and we can gain it by reducing the amount of work that's required to keep our lawns and landscapes beautiful.

  • Smaller gardens or green space areas are becoming more and more common. With larger homes being built on smaller lots, and cost constraints causing many to rent apartments, you may have a very tight outdoor space. Luckily, you can still fill it with life by adding layers of different sized pots filled with edibles and beautiful seasonal plants. You still have the ability to express your style and creativity, even in small spaces.
  • Use low maintenance hardscapes such as decking, pavers and sometimes even artificial turf. Some people decide to give up green space and swap it for covered porches, seating areas, outdoor kitchens, patios and decks and more. This can reduce your maintenance efforts.
  • Drought-friendly, low maintenance shrubs and plants help cut down grass-cutting and watering time.

Whatever your priorities are, figure out what is essential to you so that you can live as minimally as you can. And part of living simple is conserving and sustaining your environment.

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2. Conserve and Sustain

We are living in a time where sustainability and conservation are top of mind for many Americans. Our local, state and federal governments are increasingly stepping in to aid this movement.

  • Conserve water: Some areas are placed on mandatory water restrictions due to water supply levels, forcing conservation.
  • Collect rainwater: Rainwater can be collected and used to irrigate, and you can elect to only water your landscaping when absolutely necessary.
  • Plant native: Planting species native to the region usually requires less water. There are also a variety of low-water use plants that are recommended if conservation is your focus.
  • Use smart irrigation technology to further your conservation efforts.
  • Practice organic lawn care: organic products are less toxic weed killers and add to the sustainability of your landscaping.

While conserving and sustaining are priority to some, others place all of their focus on the functionality of their outdoor space. Some choose to create an outdoor resort space for their pets.

Backyard dogscapes

3. Create Dogscapes

Pets are family, and for this reason many are considering their furry friends when designing their landscape. Some are creating a designated place for them to use the bathroom. Some are blending their fencing among plants and vines to preserve the natural beauty of their outdoor space. And others want to make sure the area their pet hangs out in most has trees and shade so they can also find a cool spot when lounging outside.

Maybe you choose to install a dog-hammock or a doggie pool so your best friend can enjoy the outdoor space just as much as you do. Perhaps you choose to install a cat door so your feline friends can enjoy freedom of choice. However, you may want to transform your outdoor space just to entertain humans.

4. Entertain

If that’s the case, many outdoor living spaces offer different entertainment areas. There are outdoor kitchens, outdoor bars, outdoor eating spaces, pool entertainment, lounge areas and more! These specific entertainment areas can be designed with various landscaping, unique flooring materials, custom lighting, water features, furniture and more.

The sky is truly the limit when seeking to create different feelings and moods within each separate space. Heating elements and ceiling fans under a patio roof, a separate pergola or arbor will help provide your guests with a longer outdoor season.

5. Focus on the Materials

The key to designing your outdoor living space is finding items that are beautiful and sophisticated, yet durable enough to withstand the forces of Mother Nature. Trends also include expanding livable space and seamlessly transitioning indoor to outdoor by extending your roofline over your outdoor area (which also protects your space from the elements). Materials to think about include:

  • Fencing, personalized statement gates, hedges
  • Indoor materials that you can use outdoors, such as:
    • Wood-look porcelain tiles
    • Tongue-and-groove paneling
    • Wall cabinets that are treated and painted for outdoor kitchens
    • Composite decking which has improved on style, color, texture, and durability upkeep
    • Tropical hardwood decking that can also blend in with your indoor flooring, creating a coherent transition from inside out
    • Outdoor ceiling fans, lighting, TVs, accent pillows and even outdoor area rugs!
  • Fireplaces, fire pits, fire bowls, and other fire features are becoming more and more popular. Fire elements can be as permanent or as portable as you would like. They offer heat, lighting, and a warm space for people to gather, aiding in the cozy, calm, comfort of outdoor living. Now you don’t have to hibernate indoors for most of the year when weather issues arise.
  • Water features such as fountains and waterfalls are also popular.
  • Solar garden lighting is on the uptrend as Millennials are looking for sustainable and eco-friendly options. We can now stay outdoors longer and enjoy nature, giving us the calm and serenity we so desperately seek. Create whatever mood or ambience you want! Light up entire spaces with designer lighting, use stringed lights in any color you can imagine, mark pathways, and more!
  • Outdoor furniture - select items that are practical, comfortable, weatherproof, easy to maintain, durable and beautiful. Pick out designs that blend in with the other color and design schemes of your outdoor space. And choose pieces that enable you to find comfort and relaxation to feel as warm and tranquil as you would in your own living room. Trendy outdoor dining rooms are becoming common.

Home outdoor living hardscapes

6. Focus on Colors and Fabrics

You can personalize your outdoor space with color. As more options continue to debut on the market, you have more and more opportunity to create whatever feeling you want in your outdoor living areas. Natural and muted tones with a pop of color are still popular but bright and vibrant colors are gaining in popularity.

You can add color in your furniture’s fabrics, outdoor curtain fabrics, accent pillows, area rugs, the color of your decking or personalized tiles, and even in the color of your plants, shrubs and trees. According to Pantone, Ultra Violet is the color of the year for 2018, with a new color being chosen every year. Try to incorporate this color into your landscaping and outdoor décor this year!

7. Create a Peaceful Oasis

If peace and relaxation is your goal when you head to your outdoor space, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t stress over a perfect space. Enjoy nature for its beauty—moss, weeds and all. There can be perfection in natural imperfection.
  • Think about your local climate when determining your plants and landscaping.
  • Create a mix of early blooming plants and late blooming species so that your garden has color throughout the year.
  • Spice up your landscaping with exotic plants and shrubs, which are trending in some areas and can give your space the “wow” factor. Use a variety of different flowers, shrubs and trees.
  • Know how much space you need between plants, and know the mature height prior to placing them in your landscaping. This will ensure that you don’t face overcrowding and assure you don’t encounter plant health issues.
  • Spread edible plants throughout your space. From herbs, to veggies, to fruit trees, make edible gardening a part of your permanent landscape, saving you money and giving you freshness with every meal. Any time you can add multi-functionality to a space (beauty and food), you are outpacing any trend simply by being practical. Also keep in mind you can plant marigolds, lavender and eucalyptus to keep unwanted bugs away to protect your food supply. Be mindful of plants that are harmful to your pets!
  • Work with nature. Create pollinator gardens, support local wildlife, and use green gardening products so as to not harm the insects and wildlife.
  • Use colors, scents, sounds and other senses to create the rest of your rejuvenating space.
  • Focus on calming zen-like elements, such as water features or plants with relaxing aromas that smell as if you were in a resort.

Mindfulness is becoming more of a focus for many, so incorporate mindfulness into your outdoor space. Live in the moment and create the space that feeds your soul! Make it your special place to unwind, celebrate and embrace nature.

Want more home buying or selling advice? Nestiny is a great place for home education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all of your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a free Ready Report that is personalized based upon the information that you entered. This report will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

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