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What are the Hottest Outdoor Design Trends for 2014?

March 03, 2014

Consumer demand remains strong for attractively designed landscapes for entertaining and relaxing, according to the 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects. The survey also shows continuing popularity for both sustainable and low-maintenance design.  

Landscape architects who specialize in residential design in the U.S. were asked to rate the expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor design elements in 2014. The category of gardens and landscaped spaces received a 94.2 percent rating as somewhat or very popular. Outdoor living spaces, defined as kitchens and entertainment spaces, were second most popular at 92 percent.  

Across all categories, 98.3 percent of respondents rated lighting as somewhat or very in demand, followed by seating/dining areas, fire pits/fireplaces, grills and installed seating, which includes benches, seatwalls, ledges, steps and boulders.  

“Homeowners know that designed landscapes add value to their lives as well as their property values,” said Nancy Somerville, ASLA executive vice president and CEO. “They’re interested in livable, open spaces that are both stylish and earth friendly.”  

Survey respondents noted that the most popular landscape and garden elements for 2014 include low-maintenance landscapes, native plants and fountains/ornamental water features. Slightly more than three quarters of respondents also noted that food and vegetable gardens, including orchards and vineyards, will be in demand this year.  

Decorative water elements – including waterfalls, ornamental pools and splash pools – were predicted to be in demand for home landscapes. Additionally, spas and swimming pools are also expected to be popular.  

The most in-demand, eco-friendly design elements include native/adapted drought-tolerant plants and drip/water-efficient irrigation. Permeable paving, reduced lawn and recycled materials are other popular elements that will help American homeowners reduce their environmental footprint.

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