The landscaping around your home is just as important as the exterior presentation of the home itself. There are big changes coming in 2014 as to what landscaping designs are going to be trending. Flowery beds of flowers are a thing of the past. A more masculine look is where homeowners are headed this year. Backyards are becoming entertaining spaces in many areas with climates shifting too.
Pastels and light colors have left the building. Contemporary colors that make a statement have taken up residency in current landscape trends. The idea of using contemporary colors is to do so in a smart way. Pops of color rather than full sections of flowers are what homeowners seem to prefer. More shrubbery and framing plants are in the plans for re-designing the landscaping in front and back yards.
Be Mindful of Millennial’s Rule
The climate seems to be shifting with hotter temperatures reaching further north than they used to. This also means that southern states in the US are seeing cooler temperatures. This affects the type of plants that can be placed in a yard. For instance, in Northern New Jersey, it may be a bit hotter and dryer this summer than usual. A slight reconsideration of the items chosen for the yard is likely in order.
Toughen Up the Design
Masculinity is taking over. For some yards this might mean more mulch, more green and less flowery inclusions. Ornamental grasses, green shrubs and trees are where trends are leaning in 2014. This type of landscaping is easier to maintain. People are busier now than they used to be so having time to pull weeds and prune plants seems to be lacking. Less maintenance is also better for hotter temperatures and dryer periods as the plants will not require as much watering either. Using the right type of soil mixture can help to retain some moisture in the soil to feed plants during dry periods with little additional water being required.
Outdoor lighting is a high priority on the exterior design list. Many homeowners are going with an LED type of lighting or solar options. Keeping electricity bills down is important but keeping an outdoor space visible after dark is also becoming a requirement. It is considered by some to be a safety feature while others just prefer to have their outdoor spaces lit to show off how plants and shrubs look against a home after dark.
Al Fresco dining is quickly gaining popularity. An outdoor kitchen is meant to have all of the same features of an indoor kitchen with just a few minor changes. Most are setup in a linear design with refrigeration units, prep areas, cooktops and fully functioning sinks. Larger grills, mostly with infrared technology and smoker stations, are where trends are leading. This also cuts down on summer electricity costs. In this outdoor cooking space, concrete and stone countertops are the common choices with a chop block area to prep meats.
Walkways and Paver Patio Spaces
Pavers went out of style for a brief period but are quickly making a comeback. Walking paths and flat paver patios are seen in many designer photos. Pavers come in a wide variety of shapes, designs and colors so making a unique patio space is rather easy. A well-planned paver pad can look as if it took days to complete with a team of professional landscape artists. This is a project that you can do yourself with a little patience. Clearly define the lines in your space and provide a walkway through a lavishly planted space, and consider taking the walkway all around the house. Try to use a couple of different paver sizes and patterns. Conformity is also out and variety is where design is headed.
Homeowners seem to have the environment in mind more in 2014. This means that materials that work off of the air, ground and plant debris are in demand. Green walls, permeable pavement surfaces and rain gardens are coming into play more. When a landscape can care for itself, somewhat, from the other items in the space it is easier maintenance for homeowners. An example is a proper design that allows water to run off of walkways and into the ground or planting areas made of leaf and plant debris mixed with natural mulching products.
In 2014, landscaping is designed to be easy and give you more time to do other things. A complete overhaul of your space might be in order so that fancy lighting features, water features and self-maintaining areas can be implemented. Variations of primary colors are what you should be considering, in tones that match your space, rather than pastels like pink and peach. It is perfectly okay if a space has more green than color as greenery matches all exterior home colors. Have fun this planting season and think outside of your comfort zone a little bit.