A recent survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) found that sustainable, low-maintenance designs are top trends among residential landscape projects. The study, which asked landscape architects to rate the expected popularity of outdoor design elements, points to a great demand for ecologically sensitive upgrades intended to preserve the environment, conserve water and reduce landscape maintenance.
According to the study, the top five upgrades are native plantings, adapted drought plantings, food or vegetable gardens, fire pits and fireplaces and low-maintenance landscapes. Others include permeable paving, drip/water-efficient irrigation, rain gardens, outdoor lighting and rainwater/graywater harvesting.
The majority of respondents reported the most popular outdoor recreation amenities will include spa features—hot tubs, Jacuzzis, whirlpools and indoor/outdoor saunas—and swimming pools. Another anticipated amenity is a sport court, such as for tennis or bocce.
Among the results, the top three most popular outdoor design elements include fire pits or fireplaces, grills and lighting. Pergolas, decks and fencing are expected to be the most popular outdoor structures. In terms of sustainable features, respondents named compost bins, geothermal heated pools and solar-powered lights.
If you’d like to incorporate these ideas into your outdoor space, it’s best to hire a professional. Here’s why:
1. A landscape architect is well equipped to design an outdoor living space that will add value to your home, extend your living space and allow you to enjoy all that nature has to offer in a controlled setting. From arbors to fountains, they can create a space that is both inviting and environmentally sustainable.
2. Hiring a landscape architect is a terrific investment for your home. Research from Virginia Tech shows that landscapes literally grow in value over time, while traditional home additions or remodels start to lose value the minute the dust settles.
3. Landscape architects are licensed professionals who often work with landscaping or other construction companies to install their designs. Think of the fashion designer imagining an outfit while a clothing manufacturer makes the apparel, or an artist designing a wall poster that’s printed by another company.
4. Landscape architects are trained to think about landscapes as systems. They will assess your property’s problem areas, as well as possibilities, and create a solid plan that addresses both the big picture and exact details of how your landscape will look. They will handle all the details, saving you time and stress.
5. Landscape architects will deliver a finished project that you will love and that will comply with regulations and codes. It will be a special place that you and your family and friends will enjoy for years to come.