According to The American Society of Landscape Architects’ February 2014 survey, the latest landscape design trends Americans want their outdoor residential landscape designs to be attractive, sustainable and low maintenance, and primarily for relaxing and entertaining. The survey asked residential landscape architects in the United States to rate the “expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor design elements. Following is a summary of the results highlighting the percent ratings for popular or somewhat popular:
The category known as “gardens and landscaped spaces” received a 94.2 percent rating, but perhaps more interesting is the strong trend for modern house plans to incorporate outdoor living spaces, more specifically defined as” kitchens and entertainment spaces.” This category came in as the second most popular at 92.0 percent, while just 75.8 percent of Americans want outdoor recreation.
Most Popular Outdoor Design Elements for the Home:
Another surprise -- 98.3 percent of those surveyed rated lighting as “somewhat or very in-demand,” with seating or dining areas at 97.7 percent. Of course also high on the list were fireplaces, fire pits, and BBQ grills.
Architecturally, high on the list were terraces, patios, and decks. Waterfalls and splash pools are now more popular than swimming pools. But the most popular landscape and garden element by far is low-maintenance landscapes at 95.4 percent. People want to include native plants, fountains or water features, and 76.4 percent desire food and vegetable gardens.
Most Desired Features for Landscape and Garden:
95.4% - Low maintenance landscapes
84.5% - Native plants
83.9% - Fountains or ornamental water features
76.4% - Food or vegetable gardens, orchards, vineyards
69.1% - Xeriscaping or dry gardens
64.0% - Organic gardens
60.0% - Ponds or streams
58.0% - Rain gardens
53.1% - Rooftop gardens
49.7% - Plant walls and vertical gardens
When it comes to reducing their environmental footprint and being eco-friendly, Americans are now drawn to landscape design elements including native/adapted drought-tolerant plants, which came in at 88 percent. People also want drip/water-efficient irrigation, permeable paving, reduced lawns and recycled materials.
Features for Outdoor Living:
98.3% - Outdoor lighting
97.7% - Dining and seating
95.4% - Fireplaces and fire pits
94.3% - Grills
89.6% - Installed seating, benches, boulders, ledges, seat walls
84.1% - Outdoor furniture
75.5% - Counter space
65.5% - Utility storage
60.7% - Stereo systems
56.0% - Internet connectivity/Wireless
55.0% - Sinks
53.7% - Refrigerators
49.4% - Televisions and projection screens
48.9% - Outdoor heaters
46.8% - Showers or baths
37.2% - Outdoor cooling systems, fans
34.1% - Hammocks
14.9% - Bedrooms and sleeping spaces
In summary, it appears that most American home owners want low-maintenance gardens, with drought-tolerant plants and less turf grass. This is now the norm in landscape design, for booth economic and environmental reasons.
People are paying attention to the global weather trends, and are now looking at how to cope with long term drought, hot and dry summers and colder and wet winters. The concept of saving our water supplies carries more weight than a big swimming pool.
SOURCE: The American Society of Landscape Architects. “The survey asked residential landscape architecture professionals about the estimated popularity of various design elements for 2014. The survey was fielded January 16 through February 14, 2014, with 179 responding.”