Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Trends in Outdoor Living

Image: Garden Patio Designs

Create an extension of your indoor living area outdoors. Refer to some of the hottest trends in outdoor living for enhancing your garden oasis.

1. Your own Farm to Table - Farm to table dining has seeped into homes in a big way. More and more yards are being turned into practical gardens that produce fruit, herbs and veggies. Even chickens and goats are becoming household pets to produce fresh eggs, milk and cheese. Dining out is as close as your own backyard.

Image: Jennifer Bartley from Fine Gardening

2. Cozy Environs - Patio furniture no longer looks like patio furniture. With unique designs and giant, comfy outdoor cushions, outdoor living areas are becoming an extension of your indoor living area. You no longer have to trade comfort for the enjoyment of a summer breeze. Add a cozy rug to the mix and you just might not know the difference.

Image: Frontgate

3. Reclaimed Structures - Furniture and fixtures are truly incorporating salvaged and recycled materials. From tables made of salvaged wood to porch swings made of recycled plastic, while enjoying your own natural environment, you can be environmentally protective at the same time. That sounds like a win/win.

Image: Sunset

4. Space Encouraging Conversing - Perhaps in deference to our reliance on gadgets and technology, outdoor spaces are encouraging interaction, entertainment and conversation. Designers have cited that that the large kitchen appliance layouts are being replaced by oversized furniture, covers, large dining tables and relaxing seating. Sound a lot like a living room to us.

Image: Ballard Designs

5. Vegetation to Save Time and Money - As a measure for saving money and time, over-flowering water-loving, time consuming plants are being replaced by drought tolerant and low maintenance greenery. Spending less on plant maintenance and constant gardening, means that you have more in your budget to spend on furniture and fixtures and more time to enjoy it. You can even splurge on some potted annuals for pops of color when the seasons change.

6. No Outdoor Space is Too Small - Even the smallest of spaces are being transformed to enjoy the outdoors. Container gardening full of large, lush greenery paired with simple bistro furniture that fits a smaller space creates cozy surroundings as a lovely alternative to a non-existent yard.

Image: Home My Design

7. Decorative Practicality - Now your pest control, heater and storage will only look like decor or furniture, but have a practical purpose. It's no longer necessary to buy a propane heater that looks like an industrial torch, how about a Victorian era lamp instead. A filigree decorated bug trap? But, of course.

Decorative Bug Trap Image: RESCUE

8. Bursts of Color - Bright colors in rugs, cushions and fixtures are being paired with neutral furniture. Bright pops of color in cushions, umbrellas, accessories and even potted flowers announce your enjoyment of your space. Even in the grayness of winter, there are bright colors on the patio that can weather the elements.

Image: Pottery Barn

9. Vertical Gardens - Vertical gardens are becoming more and more popular as a way to surround and enhance outdoor spaces with wall to wall green. From adding pergolas to container walls, the vertical growth really creates a natural surrounding rather than simple plants growing from the ground, they can grow from every direction.

10. Year-round Enjoyment - From fans in the summer to heaters in the winter, outdoor living spaces are incorporating a variety of elements for year-round enjoyment. Cushions, rugs and furniture are now designed to heartily withstand the elements and be just as inviting during the balmy summer nights as they are in the chilly winter mornings.

Image: Hedberg Landscape

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