We talk to landscaper, designer, horticulturalist and co-founder of Landart Landscapes, Matt Leacy for the low down on the trends we can embrace in our outdoor landscape this year.
What are the newest trends we can expect to see?
Moving away from minimalism, there is a trend away from larger formats and clean lines towards smaller tiles more textural finishes, particularly in flooring. “Texture in flooring is definitely coming back into vogue,” says Matt. “We expect to see different stones being used for flagging and cobbles to break up large areas. There are lots of exciting new stones on the market including different variations on porphyry, limestone and granite.
The shapes, sizes and finishes of stones are changing too. “Cobblestones will be used in interesting ways, mixing linear lines with rounded shapes and the like,” Matt suggests.
Once a luxury designer item, firepits are becoming the norm in homes, driving the availability of a larger range of products and prices on the market, making them single biggest item we’re seeing pop up in outdoors. “Over the past year, we’ve really seen consumer demand for fire pits reach an all-time high,” says Matt.
“I think firepits will be a trend that sticks around; they can be super stylish and multifunctional – and they’re a great way to generate outdoor heat, light and ambience, whilst saving on electricity. They basically keep you out in the garden chatting with friends and family instead of retreating indoors.”
“Obviously, you’ve just got to be wary of weather conditions and any fire bans that might be in place when you’re using them.”
“I think 2018 will see firepits reach their peak popularity as more and more people recognise them as the norm.”Matt Leacy
Outdoor rooms continue to be popular. “The whole idea of creating outdoor rooms that mirror the functionality of traditional indoor spaces will continue to pick up steam in 2018,” says Matt.
“Outdoor kitchens, daybeds, outdoor showers, sunken lounges, comfy outdoor furniture – they’ve all become an expectation rather than a luxury in many of the markets we’re working in.”
Strip lighting enhances both the functionality and detail of an outdoor landscape and is being used in more and more designs.
“Strip lighting under steps, seats and bench tops creates an amazing feel and is becoming increasingly popular,” says Matt.
Succulents & cactuses continue to feature in our urban landscape but as they’re slow growing, mature plants that make a statement are becoming increasingly difficult to find. “The architectural structure they can provide to any garden is impressive,” says Matt.
“Cloud and sphere pruned plants are a favourite of mine and we have been using them for many years and can see them growing in popularity. They go well in most styles of gardens we do.”
What design trends are being phased out?
“What we should say goodbye to in 2018 is metal imitating timber,” says Matt. “The main offenders are front boundary fences where metal slats or pickets are used.”
“Metal is metal and timber is timber; it never works when you try to pass one off as the other.”
Timber remains at the forefront of materials used in our outdoor spaces. “It can fit into any design aesthetic,” says Matt.
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