The beginning of the year is the perfect time to start thinking about updating your outdoor spaces. If you’re tired of seeing the same boring, conventional landscaping designs in every yard in your neighborhood, it may be time for you to spice things up with some hot new ideas. Here are 5 of the most popular new outdoor living trends that are taking the landscaping world by storm.
Fire and Water Features
Fire and water may be two of the most contradictory elements on earth, but they exist in perfect harmony in this dramatic new landscaping craze. Whether your tastes tend towards the elaborate or the minimalistic, combining a water feature with a fire feature can take your backyard to the next level.
Create a bold centerpiece to your patio with a firepit atop a burbling fountain, or transform a fish pond into something magical by surrounding it with stone fire bowls. Examples abound online, both of custom, professionally-made designs and DIY projects. As with anything involving fire, it may be best to work with an expert if this is your first time.
If you’re looking for a more tranquil water feature, reflecting ponds (also known as reflecting pools) may be more your style. The idea is simple – a shallow pool of water without anything to disturb the reflective surface – but 2018 has seen a rise in unconventional, custom-made reflecting ponds in all shapes and sizes.
Additionally, reflecting ponds can serve double-duty as a swimming pool, or a habitat for aquatic plants. For extra relaxation potential, surround your reflecting pond with comfy seating and leafy shrubs to create a totally Zen atmosphere.
This trend may not sound as sexy as some of the others on the list, but aluminum decking has become increasingly popular in the first few months of 2018. Aluminum is stronger and more weather-resistant than wood, which means your deck will be able to withstand years of rain and heat while requiring very little maintenance.
Aluminum decking can be designed to look exactly like traditional wood if that’s your style; however, the current fad leans towards the modern, industrial look of metal decks. Aluminum decks also have the advantage of being splinter-free, and you can get them built without those annoying gaps between the floor slats.
Low Voltage Lighting
If you plan on hosting outdoor parties after dark, you need to invest in some good lighting so your guests can admire the landscape. Low voltage LED lighting is replacing solar lights as the most energy (and cost) efficient outdoor lighting system.
They don’t require hours of direct sunlight to charge, like solar, but they use 80% less energy than traditional high voltage lighting. The lower voltage also makes these lights safer to install than their high voltage counterparts, though you should still consult with an expert before doing any electrical work yourself.
Two hot new LED lighting trends in 2018: elegant strands of bistro lights woven through tree branches, and core-drilled lights to discreetly illuminate the night from nooks in concrete walls or walkways.
Last year saw an increased demand for outdoor kitchens, where hosts can create gourmet meals for their guests without being stuck indoors. One of the most popular features in the new year, especially for families, has been outdoor pizza ovens.
Wood-fired ovens are easy to install and maintain, and you can also use them as a fireplace on chilly nights. If you’re aiming for a sleeker look, electric or gas pizza ovens are also popular options. As single-purpose kitchen appliances go, pizza ovens are pretty versatile, as they can be used for any low-profile baking job.
If you’re feeling bold enough to incorporate one (or all!) of these ideas into your outdoor living space, now is the time to start planning, so your beautiful new landscape will be ready for you once the weather warms up. You’ll be the envy of the neighborhood!