The biggest trends for outdoor living are function, efficiency and fire pits according to the 2011 American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Residential Trends Survey. While in the past extravagant backyards were trendy even when the economy forced us to enjoy staycations, today most of us are going back to basics and we want light, fire, food and a place to sit and enjoy it all.
According to ASLA’s research over 96% of respondents rated exterior lighting as somewhat or very popular for this year making it the most coveted trend for outdoor living for 2011. Good lighting allows you to enjoy the backyard longer to the night and creates a warm atmosphere. The trendiest and the eco-friendliest way to go with the lighting is using solar powered LED lighting. You can also add lighting to your backyard with torches and lanterns, which will add ambiance as well.
FIRE PITS AND OUTDOOR FIREPLACES
The small flame in the outdoor candles isn’t enough for most of us. Over 94% of people also wish to have a fire pit in their backyard. The availability for ready made fire pits is vast, and you can find them in almost any large retailer. Portable ventless fireplaces are also very trendy, you can use them both indoors and outdoors on covered decks making them usable year long.
SEATING & EATING
Nothing beats BBQ during summer and extending our kitchen outdoors for summer time will probably never go away! Dining table and grill are backyard stables, but this year consider also adding additional seating like benches or lounge chairs (around that fire pit) to make your backyard not just summer kitchen but living room as well.
EASY UPKEEP & SUSTAINABILITY
Keeping it simple and sustainable is one of the top trends for 2011. Gardens that tolerate drought, and plants and flowers that don’t need constant watering are in. Sustainable design in our backyards is trendy, and hooray for that, both for economic and environmental reasons. Also fruit trees, vegetables and berries and other edible plants are taking center stage on most backyards this summer. The double duty plants that look good and you can eat too are a welcomed feature in most backyards.