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Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:01 am

The latest in landscaping

Outdoor design trends enhance your home’s value

Expand your entertaining area with a flagstone patio, sitting wall and lighting.

 

As with any industry, the landscape industry works to keep up with popular trends over the years – from xeriscaping to hedges surrounding a property. Trends come and go, but the job of a landscape designer is to stay current with the latest.

Keeping up with trends, whether in landscaping or in fashion, makes for better appeal to the consumer. Improving your home’s landscaping offers a win-win for everyone involved – increased home values, increased outdoor activity and enhanced curb appeal that could help attract potential buyers.

A few of the trends for the coming year include:

Outdoor living

Taking the indoors out continues to be a craze within the landscaping industry. Homeowners want the additional space to entertain and have a place to unwind and relax. To accommodate this need, homeowners are having decks and patios installed.

The options are endless. What once were only natural stone patios, today’s manmade pavers have opened the doors to a wide array of choices, patterns and colors. These are also more economical. 

A natural setting complete with a waterfall and pond, along with a flagstone stepper walkway and accent lighting.

Cooking and entertaining

Outdoor kitchens continue to increase in popularity with homeowners. The choices for a homeowner range from a small, limited kitchen with a grill to an extensive fully functioning kitchen which includes cooking and refrigeration equipment.

Specialized hobbies have played a major part in making outdoor kitchens a mainstay in the landscaping world. Smoking and barbequing are sweeping the United States with the help of television and the Internet. People are taking up these hobbies and turning them into professions.

Extending use

Lives have become somewhat busy and chaotic for many families, leaving little time for them to enjoy their homes. By offering lighting choices and means of heating, the time to enjoy the yard can be extended into the night and longer in the season as well.

Landscape lighting is becoming a mainstay. Lights are used not only to illuminate walking paths, but are being used to accent specimen trees and architectural details of the home’s exterior. The efficiency and ease of installation has made landscape lighting more appealing to the average homeowner. While cost is still a factor, prices have come down over the years.

Homeowners are adding fire pits and fireplaces to their outdoors to ward off the chills of cool nights. Fire pits are an affordable option to add the beauty and warmth of fire, but if a person is planning to stay in their home for many years, a permanent outdoor fireplace will bring many years of enjoyment.

To add value and extended use to your home, consider a fireplace and paver patio area complete with a sitting wall. These features provide the warmth, area and lighting needed to enjoy the day well into the evening

Homesteading

As millennials graduate from college and settle down in their first home, they are looking to be more self-sufficient. An addition to the homestead that is gaining momentum is raised garden beds, or incorporating edible plants and vegetables into the landscaping. Millennials want to leave the world a better place and choose to be more sustaining.

Raised garden beds help keep weeds to a minimum while also helping ward off some animals from destroying the garden. Raised gardens are ideal solutions in urban areas where space is limited. Even apartment dwellers can reap the benefits of a garden through container gardening.

Water

Water features continue to grace the landscapes of many homes. While recent droughts have curbed the installation of large-scale ponds and waterfalls, newer, more water efficient water features, such as bubbling boulders or recirculating pumps, are taking the stage. These features use little water, but still offer the sound and sight of running water. The smaller water features are easily adaptable to any landscape.

Justin Enrietta is the operations manager and one of the landscape designers for Designer Landscapes, Inc., of Farmersville. He has recently joined the landscaping industry after a career in government and higher education. He has received education and training from Blackburn College, Carlinville, and Lincoln Land Community College.

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