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Top Outdoor Design Trends for 2014
Patty Vaughan | March 3, 2014

ASLA-Honor-Award---Sonoma-Retreat-by-Aidlin-Darling---photo-by-Marion-Brenner-PR-Newswire(ID-93581df27bb0)

Residential landscapes designed for entertaining and relaxing are still a popular trend through 2014, according to the 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey.

The survey, conducted by the , also shows a continuing trend for sustainable and low-maintenance designs.

The survey results came from landscape architects who specialize in residential design and were asked to rate the expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor design elements in 2014.

A key survey finding for landscapers is 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).

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. Outdoor recreation came in third at 75.8 percent.

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 and boulders.

Outdoor Design Elements (Overall rating for 2014)

  • Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular: 
  • Gardens/landscaped spaces – 94.2%
  • Outdoor living spaces (kitchens, entertainment spaces) – 92%
  • Outdoor recreation amenities (pools, spas, tennis courts) – 75.8%
  • Sustainable design practices – 74.2%
  • Vegetable/fruit gardens – 72.4%
  • Turf lawns – 54%
  • ADA/accessible design – 29.7%

Outdoor Living Features (Overall rating for 2014)
Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

  • 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%
  • 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 for 2014)
Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

  • 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 theaters – 42.3%

Landscape/Garden Elements (Overall rating for 2014)
Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

  • 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%
  • Ponds/streams – 60%
  • Rain gardens – 58.3%
  • Rooftop gardens – 53.1%
  • Plant walls/vertical gardens – 49.7%

Sustainable Design Elements (Overall rating for 2014)
Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

  • Native/adapted drought-tolerant plants – 88%
  • 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 for 2014)
Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

  • 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%
  • Pavilions – 56.6%
  • Gazebos – 48.5%
  • Awnings, including retractable – 47.7%
  • Columns – 45.4%
  • ADA-accessible structures (ramps, bars, accessible shelving, etc.) – 33.1%

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