It’s shaping up to be a beautiful spring, and the warm weather and sunshine are probably inspiring you to get your outdoor living space whipped into shape and ready for a summer of entertaining and relaxing. Before you roll up your sleeves and get to work, consider these 10 outdoor living trends for 2019, and incorporate whatever strikes your fancy into your backyard oasis this season.
Low-Maintenance is Key
If you’re heading outside to relax, the last thing you want to see is a whole bunch of work waiting for you. Keeping your outdoor space as low-maintenance as possible will leave more time for you to kick up your feet and enjoy those summer breezes.
- To minimize work during planting season, opt mostly for perennials, which come back every year. Choose native plants whenever possible, since they tend to do well without a lot of care.
- Think about removing or replacing plants that make your life harder, such as a tree that sheds matter all over the yard or high-maintenance flowers that you have to constantly deadhead.
- Install a sprinkler or irrigation system to make watering as hands-off as possible.
- Use quality materials for your landscaping to stave off repairs and maintenance. Choose quality porcelain tiles or pavers that won’t need to be cleaned or repaired often, or opt for decking materials that won’t require frequent sealing.
Secret Spots Are “In”
Little hideaways in the yard provide spaces to get away from it all and become one with nature without having to leave the house. Find an ideal spot in the yard for a secret space, and surround it with lush, tall greenery to act as a screen. Include comfy seating, whether it’s a bench, a glider for two or a grouping of pretty vintage patio chairs. Consider an arbor or pergola to provide a sense of enclosure overhead, or build a wall of stone or wood to separate your space from the rest of the garden or yard.
Get Creative with Concrete
Gone are the days of the concrete slab patio. Nowadays, the patio floor is a major consideration, but you don’t have to spend a fortune on pavers or tiles to get a unique, finished look. Concrete is having a moment in backyard design in 2019. Inexpensive and super durable, concrete can be stamped to resemble pavers, and it can be infused with colored particles to accent your décor. It can be dyed, acid-etched, or embedded with stone or tile mosaics. If you like the look of concrete but want the durability of tile, you can also purchase concrete-look porcelain tile. The sky’s the limit with concrete, so flex your creative muscles and make it your own.
Extend Your Outdoor Living Space to the Front Yard
Unless you have a sprawling porch, you probably don’t spend a lot of time relaxing in the front yard. But more and more homeowners are creating outdoor living spaces out front, where they can greet their neighbors and watch the goings on in the neighborhood. An outdoor living space in front adds curb appeal and gives your home an inviting and well lived-in look. Build a little patio area near the front door, and add plants and containers of flowers to delineate it. Paint a couple of rocking chairs to sit in, or find a sweet antique patio set to add visual interest to your little space.
Green living is increasingly a mainstream endeavor, and folks are taking sustainability out into the yard in 2019. Composite decking made of recycled materials is a great choice for an eco-friendly outdoor living space, and it’s extremely low-maintenance. Instead of buying new patio furniture, shop for vintage furniture and accessories, or visit garage sales for interesting pieces and get creative with a can of spray paint. Plant shrubs and flowers that don’t require a lot of water, and choose solar LED lights to illuminate your space.
Unobstructed Views are Ideal
Old-style, clunky deck railings are making way for newer, wire or spindle railings that offer better views and make the deck feel more open and connected to the yard. Newer railings don’t require the tedious maintenance of the older wooden versions, and they add a more modern vibe to your deck.
Lighting is Crucial
If your back yard is pitch-black at night, you probably don’t spend a lot of time out there once the sun goes down. But you can make your outdoor space an all-hours oasis with a targeted lighting scheme. A hot 2019 trend is patio string lighting featuring Edison bulbs, which provide soft, romantic lighting for your main outdoor gathering spot. Accent lights strung up in trees and bushes around the yard give your space depth at night without creating too much light pollution. The large selection of solar string lighting you’ll find on the market today gives you plenty of options for creating just the right mood for all of your backyard spaces.
Consider Edible Landscaping
Vegetable gardens are always in vogue, but not everyone has the space or the ideal soil to grow food. But you don’t need a lot of space or perfect soil to incorporate edible plants into the landscape. A trend this summer is to grow veggies wherever you can, such as planting lettuce or Brussels sprouts among your flowers and ornamentals or a cherry tomato plant between a couple of bushes. A sturdy table in a sunny spot can hold enough large and small containers to grow all sorts of vegetables and fruits. Grow vertically using wall planters, hanging planters, and trellises for peas, cucumbers, or squash. Look for plant varieties created for the patio, including tomatoes and cucumbers, which are smaller and won’t overtake your space.
Entangle Your Hardscape with Nature
An outdoor living trend for 2019 is to let nature encroach upon your hardscapes. You can do this in several ways. If you’re laying a new patio, leave some open spaces in the floor plan for plants, or create a “fade away” effect by staggering and entangling pavers with adjacent grass or flower beds. Create a path by spacing out pavers in a checkerboard pattern, and plant grass or another ground cover between them. Grow vines on a wall, incorporate hanging or vertical gardens on the patio, or plant flower boxes along your deck railing.
Add a Water Feature
The trend toward water features in the back yard continues in 2019. A water feature can be as simple as a pre-fab, plug-and-play birdbath-style fountain or as complex as a babbling brook with a waterfall. Water walls are popular and beautiful, and pond liners make creating a fish pond as easy as digging a hole. A water feature cools the surrounding air, and it creates pleasant background noise, which can reduce the impact of other sounds in the neighborhood. A water feature should involve some type of running water so that it doesn’t become a breeding ground for mosquitos.
Creating the ideal outdoor living space is largely a matter of honoring your design preferences and making the space work harmoniously with the way you live. Whatever you do, strive for quality so that your back yard oasis is easy to maintain and a joy to spend time in.