Survey Reveals Hottest Outdoor Design Trends for 2014

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Consumer demand remains strong for attractively designed residential landscapes that are perfect 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-maintenancedesign.

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 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 92.0 percent. Outdoor recreation came in third at 75.8percent.

Across all categories, 98.3 percent of respondents rated lighting as somewhat or very in-demand for 2014, followed by seating/dining areas (97.7 percent), fire pits/fireplaces (95.4 percent), grills (94.3 percent) and installed seating (89.6 percent), which include benches, seatwalls, ledges, steps, andboulders.

“Homeowners know that designed landscapes add value to their lives as well as their property values,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA. “They’re interested in livable, open spaces that are both stylish and earthfriendly.”

In the realm of landscape garden structures, terraces, patios, and decks are high on people’s lists (97.7 percent), as are fencing (88.5 percent), pergolas (82.8 percent), and decks (82.3percent).

Survey respondents noted that the most popular landscape and garden elements for 2014 include low-maintenance landscapes (95.4 percent), native plants (84.5 percent), and fountains/ornamental water features (83.9 percent). Slightly more than three quarters of respondents (76.4 percent) noted food and vegetable gardens, including orchards and vineyards, will be in demand thisyear.

Decorative water elements—including waterfalls, ornamental pools, and splash pools—were predicted to be in demand for home landscapes (86.1 percent). Spas (76.4 percent) and swimming pools (73.8 percent) are also expected to bepopular.

The most in-demand eco-friendly design elements include native/adapted drought-tolerant plants (88 percent) and drip/water-efficient irrigation (84.5 percent). Permeable paving (78.9 percent), reduced lawn (72.6 percent), and recycled materials (65.1 percent) are other popular elements that will help American homeowners reduce their environmentalfootprint.

Additional information on residential landscape architecture can be found at

Outdoor Design Elements (Overall rating for2014)

Percent Rating Popular or SomewhatPopular:

Gardens/landscaped spaces – 94.2%
Outdoor living spaces (kitchens, entertainment spaces) – 92.0%
Outdoor recreation amenities (pools, spas, tennis courts) – 75.8%
Sustainable design practices – 74.2%
Vegetable/fruit gardens – 72.4%
Turf lawns – 54.0%
ADA/accessible design – 29.7%

Outdoor Living Features (Overall rating for2014)

Percent Rating Popular or SomewhatPopular:

Lighting – 98.3%
Seating/dining areas – 97.7%
Fire pits/fireplaces – 95.4%
Grills – 94.3%
Installed seating (benches, seatwalls, ledges, steps, boulders) – 89.6%
Outdoor furniture – 84.1%
Counter space – 75.5%
Utility storage – 65.5%
Stereo systems – 60.7%
Wireless/internet connectivity – 56.0%
Sinks – 55.0
Refrigerators – 53.7%
Televisions/projection screens – 49.4%
Outdoor heaters – 48.9%
Showers/baths – 46.8%
Outdoor cooling systems (including fans) – 37.2%
Hammocks – 34.1%
Bedrooms/sleeping spaces – 14.9%

Outdoor Recreation Amenities (Overall rating for2014)

Percent Rating Popular or SomewhatPopular:

Decorative water elements such as ornamental pools, splash pools, waterfalls, grottos, water runnels or bubblers – 86.1%
Spa features (hot tub, Jacuzzi, whirlpool, indoor/outdoor sauna) – 76.4%
Swimming pools – 73.8%
Sports/recreational spaces (tennis courts, bocce ball, etc.) – 58.6%
Movie/video/TV theatres – 42.3%

Landscape/Garden Elements (Overall rating for2014)

Percent Rating Popular or SomewhatPopular:

Low maintenance landscapes – 95.4%
Native plants – 84.5%
Fountains/ornamental water features – 83.9%
Food/Vegetable gardens (including orchards/vineyards etc.) – 76.4%
Xeriscaping or dry gardens – 69.1%
Organic gardens – 64.0%
Ponds/streams – 60.0%
Rain gardens – 58.3%
Rooftop gardens – 53.1%
Plant walls/vertical gardens – 49.7%

Sustainable Design Elements (Overall rating for2014)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Native/adapted drought-tolerant plants – 88.0%
Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 84.5%
Permeable paving – 78.9%
Reduced lawn – 72.6%
Recycled materials – 65.1%
Rainwater/graywater harvesting – 60.6%
Compost bins – 51.2%
Solar-powered lights – 42.7%
Geothermal-heated pools – 27.2%

Outdoor Structures (Overall rating for2014)

Percent Rating Popular or SomewhatPopular:

Terraces/patios/decks – 97.7%
Fencing (includes gates) – 88.5%
Pergolas – 82.8%
Decks – 82.3%
Ornamental water features such as fountains or splash pools – 81.6%
Arbors – 81.1%
Steps – 77.7%
Porches – 74.4%
Kitchens/ovens – 71.4%
Art (sculptures, murals etc.) – 64.4%
Play structures (tree houses, swing sets, etc.) – 60.6%
Utility sheds (tool sheds, garden sheds, etc.) – 59.0%
Pavilions – 56.6%
Gazebos – 48.5%
Awnings, including retractable – 47.7%
Columns – 45.4%
ADA-accessible structures (ramps, bars, accessible shelving, etc.) – 33.1%

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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