Every 2021 Outdoor Living Design Trend in One Place

After a year of uncertainty one thing is clear; everyone is ready for change this year. Bright, thoughtful design is in this year, as we discover the latest design trends for 2021. See what the creative design pros (including our team!) are predicting will be the hottest trends in outdoor living design for 2021. 

The “Year of the Pergola” – An outdoor paradise favorite feature

The design pros over at Houzz are calling 2021 the “Year of the Pergola”. If your yard needs an inviting outdoor space, then shade will be your most in-demand element. An affordable way to add immediate shade to any outdoor space is with a pergola. They are big enough to cover entire living spaces with plenty of comfortable shade from the sun or protection from rain (and even snow!). Pergolas can be designed or styled to provide everything from dabbled shade or full shade protection, customizable for the seasons or weather conditions outside. See some of our recent pergola projects online, or consult one of our landscape designers to see if a new pergola would be the perfect addition to your yard this year. 

pergola design st louis

The Year of the Sunflower (and Hardy Hibiscus!) – Bright flowers for an optimistic 2021 outlook

Each year The National Garden Bureau select different plants in their “Year of the Crops”. 2021’s plant selections included some of our favorites to use in landscape designs. This year, we celebrate Sunflowers and Hardy Hibiscus. Both plants can be grown easily in the Midwest, with perennial options available for both flowering plants. Sunflowers are bright, cheerful, and available for outdoor living designs in a variety of sizes and specimens (not just the giant variety pictured here that is so popular in photography). Hardy Hibiscus has long been a St. Louis favorite for adding tropical summer interest with big, dramatic blossoms that are perfect for St. Louis pool designs and the surrounding landscaping. Anyone who loves tropical getaways and exotic vacations away from St. Louis will love this plant that grows back year after year, as one of the most tropical perennial plants that survive winters. 

Bright cheerful yellows aren’t just trending for landscapes; it’s also one of the featured Pantone Color of the Year for 2021. Illuminating Yellow is paired with Ultimate Gray that is meant to convey strength and hopefulness. Interior and exterior designs will see more use of bright yellow in plant selections, outdoor décor and landscape designs. In Missouri, we have several native Sunflower options with long bloom-times to maximize the days you’ll see these beautiful blooms in action when added to your own home garden. Ox-eye Sunflower is a favorite at Quiet Village Landscaping

2021 Missouri Native Plant of the Year – Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)

Bright yellow continues in 2021 trends with the Missouri Native Plant of the Year, Lanceleaf Coreopsis. This native perennial plant has attractive flowers that are especially important to pollinators in the early growing season, when they begin to bloom around May & June in the St. Louis area. Also referred to as Tickseed, this is a great option for most gardens. We usually plant these in dry or low-maintenance garden designs, because they are drought tolerant and can grow well in average to poor soil conditions. It’s a tolerant and cheerful plant… what every 2021 garden space needs!

Pictured above: 2021 Missouri Native Plant of the Year – Lanceleaf Coreopsis, photo taken in 2014

Quiet Village Landscaping specializes in eco-friendly landscape design practices, including selection of top performing native plants. Talk to your landscape designer about incorporating the best native plants for you yard, into your custom landscape design!

2021 Gardening Trends – Bringing the indoors outside

Virtually everyone was spending more time at home last year, and getting more enjoyment out of your home has never been more important. You’re home, so why not enjoy it?! That’s why we are all about Better Homes & Gardens number two pick for 2021 Gardening Trendsbringing the indoors outside with outdoor living spaces. They are calling backyards the new living room, and as outdoor living designers, we’re all about enhancing and beautifying bare or unused outdoor spaces. If we learned anything from the past year it’s that homes, restaurants, and business have a lot to gain from a functional outdoor space. So, it’s no surprise that the Norwegian term for this – frilufsliv – is trending. 2021 will be full of backyard renovations and focus on patios, fire pits, outdoor lighting and comfortable outdoor entertaining areas that delight. 

Bringing the indoors outside, by creating inviting outdoor living spaces.

Large Scale Outdoor Living Projects – Creating multiple rooms outside

A growing trend in outdoor living design is creating multiple spaces, or “outdoor rooms”. Natural stone and paving producer Belgard has found that more homeowners are interested in outdoor areas with multiple rooms that can be used for entertaining, relaxing, and even at-home schooling and remote work. More time at home means you need also want close places to move into, or spend time away from your typical indoor hangout spaces or at-home office. Extending living spaces into the yard can be a creative way to add square footage to the spaces you can enjoy at home. With the right design, anyone can spend more time outside during their daily routines. Yoga, reading, texting, emailing, cooking, and unwinding all come to mind! 

One popular request for our clients in St. Louis and Chesterfield continues to be an outdoor fireplace or firepit. A source of heat extends both the number of days and amount of time that can be spent outdoors comfortably. A wood or gas firepit gives added ambiance to even small backyard patio spaces. We’ve also seen an increase in multiple outdoor features as a way to create additional places for groups to gather outside, like the photo below. 

Outdoor spaces provide valuable entertaining spaces that are social distancing friendly, no matter what special features they include. 

We’ll continue to add to this list as we see more outdoor living design trends develop over the year. To see more outdoor living trends, check out our Instagram page. We post trendy concepts, landscape design inspiration, and completed projects from our team of landscape architects, designers, and gardeners. If you’re ready to start planning your new outdoor living space, then you might be interested to read our article discussing price points for outdoor living spaces, like a new patio. The cost to create a new outdoor living space can vary widely depending on the project scope, material selection, and more. We work to guide you through this process from idea to installation, and look forward to working with you to create an outdoor oasis you’ll enjoy!