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Green Impressions Outdoor Living

By Shaun Stewart • October 15, 2013

SURVEY IDENTIFIES TOP OUTDOOR LIVING TRENDS

Pergola Covered Outdoor Kitchen

According to the 2013 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects earlier this year American homeowners are increasing interested in creating outdoor rooms and outdoor kitchens for entertaining and relaxation on their properties.

From all the categories polled, 97 percent of respondents rated fire pits and fireplaces as somewhat or very in-demand, followed by grills (96.3 percent), seating and dining areas (96.3 percent), and outdoor lighting (95.1 percent).

Landscape architects who specialize in residential design across the country were asked to rate the expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor design elements in 2013. The category of outdoor living spaces, defined as kitchens and entertainment spaces, received a 94.5 percent rating as somewhat or very popular. It all but tied with gardens and landscaped spaces at 94.4 percent.

“The results of the poll are not surprising. With the economy improved over several years ago, yet still uncertain, homeowners are looking to invest in their property while maximizing the amount of enjoyable use out of their outdoor spaces at the same time,” said Green Impressions Landscaping President, Joe Schill, OCNT. “They want to increase not only the beauty of their outdoor spaces but the resale value as well.”

Outdoor water features—including waterfalls, ornamental pools, and splash pools—were predicted to be in demand for home landscapes (90.9 percent). Spas (81.5 percent) and pools (75.3 percent) are also expected to be popular.

Terraces, patios, and decks are high on people’s lists (97.6 percent), as are fencing (89.6 percent) and ornamental water features (84.2 percent).

Additional information on residential landscape architecture can be found at www.asla.org/residentialinfo.

Outdoor Design Elements (Overall rating for 2013)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Outdoor living spaces (kitchens, entertainment spaces) – 94.5%
Gardens/landscaped spaces – 94.4%
Outdoor recreation amenities (pools, spas, tennis courts) – 76.3%
Sustainable design practices – 74.8%
Vegetable/fruit gardens – 76.4%
Turf lawns – 52.2%

Outdoor Living Features (Overall rating for 2013)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Fire Pit Water FeatureFire pits/fireplace – 97.0%
Grills – 96.3%
Seating/dining areas – 96.3%
Lighting – 95.1%
Installed seating (benches, seat walls, ledges, steps, boulders) – 90.3%
Weatherized outdoor furniture – 82.3%
Counter space – 74.4%
Utility storage – 64.4%
Stereo systems – 58.5%
Outdoor heaters – 50.6%
Sinks – 49.1%
Refrigerators – 48.7%
Wireless/Internet connectivity – 47.8%
Televisions/projection screens – 45.2%
Showers/baths – 43.3%
Outdoor cooling systems (including fans) – 31.1%
Hammocks – 24.1% 
Bedrooms/sleeping spaces – 8.0%

Custom Outdoor SpaOutdoor Recreation Amenities (Overall rating for 2013)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Decorative water elements such as ornamental pools, splash pools, waterfalls, grottos, water runnels or bubblers – 90.9%
Spa features (hot tub, Jacuzzi, whirlpool, indoor/outdoor sauna) – 81.5%
Swimming pools – 75.3%
Sports/recreational spaces (tennis courts, bocce ball, etc.) – 54.3%
Movie/video/TV theatres – 34.4%

Landscape/Garden Elements (Overall rating for 2013)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Low maintenance landscapes – 93.9%
Native plants – 86.6%
Fountains/ornamental water features – 84.7%
Food/Vegetable gardens (including orchards/vineyards etc.) – 82.7%
Organic gardens – 65.3%
Xeriscaping or dry gardens – 63.8%
Ponds/streams – 58.3%
Rain gardens – 58.2%
Rooftop gardens – 50.4%
Plant walls/vertical gardens – 47.9%

Sustainable Design Elements (Overall rating for 2013)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Native/adapted drought-tolerant plants – 83.0%
Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 82.5%
Permeable paving – 72.8%
Reduced lawn – 72.6%
Recycled materials – 62.5%
Rainwater/graywater harvesting – 59.1%
Compost bins – 55.1%
Solar-powered lights – 40.6%
Geothermal-heated pools – 28.4% 

Outdoor Structures (Overall rating for 2013)

Bluestone Patio with Pergola

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Terraces/patios/decks – 97.6%
Fencing (includes gates) – 89.6%
Ornamental water features such as fountains or splash pools – 84.2%
Arbors – 83.5%
Pergolas – 81.6%
Decks – 80.9%
Steps – 80.6%
Porches – 71.5%
Kitchens/ovens – 67.1%
Utility sheds (tool sheds, garden sheds, etc.) – 64.8%
Art (sculptures, murals etc.) – 61.0%
Play structures (tree houses, swing sets, etc.) – 56.3%
Awnings, including retractable – 51.9%
Pavilions – 47.8%
Gazebos – 44.8%
Columns – 44.5%
ADA-accessible structures (ramps, bars, accessible shelving, etc.) – 22.1%

About the Survey

The survey asked residential landscape architecture professionals about the estimated popularity of various design elements for 2013. The survey was fielded January 28 through February 12, 2013, with 166 responding.

Source - Amercian Society of Landscape Architects

Are you looking to enhance your outdoor living space. Contact us today to see how we can help you start your planning process. Did you know we offer 12 month financing on all the items listed in this article. 

Download The Guide to Outdoor Fire Features