Artificial turf has been greatly associated with sporting events, and not as much for use at home. But, in the 21st century, things are changing in that regard.
Some of this has to do with how thirsty real lawns can be. In some climates where there’s a lot of rain, this works out fine. But in other climates where water and rainfall to replenish it is becoming scarce, a real lawn can be a drain on resources. In places where water restrictions are in effect, this can defeat the purpose of even having a lawn. Perhaps this is the reason why artificial turf is becoming more common in all kinds of contexts and climates.
But, how is it being used? And how has it evolved for a new century? Well, here are a few points to consider.
Outdoor accent pieces
A lot of homeowners are cottoning on to the advantage of using native plants in their front and back yards. It’s much easier to manage water restrictions when the plants you’ve got in your yards don’t need as much of your intervention. But, the traditional lawn as a visual texture is still desirable.
This is where artificial turf comes in, not as a dominant landscaping surface, but more as an accent piece to help define an outdoor space in a supporting role to native plants or rock gardens that are low-maintenance, and require less watering.
Balcony and rooftop covering
Within an urban setting, an expanse of artificial turf on a rooftop or balcony setting can add a more welcoming and organic feel and atmosphere. Sometimes, it’s just the illusion of grass that makes the difference, and in the end all that is required.
The advantage here is that quality artificial turf can be installed over any outdoor surface, allowing for drainage. If you’re looking for the feel of having a real backyard for kids play areas, or just for the look of grass on a balcony or rooftop, artificial turf is helping a lot of condo owners bridge the gap.
Recently, Nan Fischer wrote about permeable driveways as yet another way to conserve water. There are a number of surfacing options for this strategy. But, artificial turf is certainly one of those, allowing rainfall to return to the water table instead of becoming run-off.
This is integral to the design of quality turf, with a permeable backing that is sturdy, and lets rainwater flow through it, and back into the ground where it is potable instead of having to flow over asphalt and down a drain.
There is no rule that says that turf like this is strictly an outdoor surface. For playrooms, or rooms for pets, artificial turf can open up all kinds of design possibilities and with the practical features to make it low maintenance, too.
And speaking of interiors, and even exteriors, modern artificial turf can support all kinds of themed spaces. This can range from turf designed for those of us who want a place to practice our putting skills. But, beyond that, artificial turf can go beyond the green, too.
To go along with a vibrant and bold choice in wall coverings and color palettes, what about brightly colored turf to go along with it? The rules of design are up to you.
Creativity and practicality
This is a takeaway when it comes to modern artificial turf. That, it’s gone far beyond sports fields and has come to have a number of applications for residential spaces, inside and out. With more and more homeowners looking for low-maintenance surfaces, and those surfaces that allow for water conservation, artificial turf has risen in prominence.
But, even if there are a number of practical considerations, there are also those that spark the imagination for visual effects and theme spaces, too. Artificial turf represents another avenue of exploration as you create the spaces that reflect your personality the most.