Looking for creative inspiration for your outdoor space? These are the hottest trends in hardscapes – the non-living elements of your landscape – seen in new designs, material selections, and in-demand outdoor amenities, to inspire your landscaping renovation project.
Play with Fire
Fire features are becoming essential in landscape planning. Modern fire bowls and fire tables are trending to serve as cozy gathering places, especially for evenings. Natural gas makes igniting the spark easy, and wood can be burned in a rustic fire ring or free-standing outdoor fireplace. Seating can take the shape of a terraced retaining wall, natural boulders, or surrounding all-weather chairs.
“Gray is trending in a big way, with ivory, black, and sand tones being featured in modern landscape designs” says Tom Johnson, Senior Landscape Designer at Quiet Village Landscaping. Monochrome mixed with contrasting color statements are also popular in hardscaping materials, bringing a resort-like quality to new outdoor living spaces.
Drainage issues have come to light for many homeowners affected by the historic flash-flooding we experienced last summer in July, when St. Louis received its heaviest recorded rainfall in over a century. A landscape renovation should always take stormwater drainage into account. Permeable pavers, gravel, wood chip / cedar chip, and stone can be used instead of concrete to allow for improved drainage. Trees, shrubs, and native grasses can also work wonders to soak up water.
Large Format Pavers
While bricks and pavers several years ago tended to be smaller in size, larger pavers have become increasingly popular. Bigger pavers have fewer jointing lines to break up the surface, making your patio or walkway appear more expansive. Contrasting colors, textures, graphic patterns and mosaics can be used to create separation and define spaces.
Not only are large pavers in style, they also require less labor to install. That could save you money for your next patio, driveway paving, or walkway project. Already have bricks? Historical clay bricks can be used in borders or in accent patterns for a unique Brick City style that repurposes materials.
Current outdoor kitchen trends have seen the experience go upscale. Convenient amenities make cooking outside more enjoyable, and every kitchen needs an island with countertops to serve as a place for all of the magic to happen. A daytime snack bar turns into a happy hour hotspot at night. Some favorites:
- Refrigerator and ice-maker
- Warming drawers
- Built-in countertop side burners
- Faucet and sink
- Outdoor pizza oven
- Ceramic grill / Charcoal smoker
- Herb garden close to the food prep area
Sustainability and resourcefulness is also becoming more popular, with an increased concern for environmental impact and requests for native plants. Homeowners are also seeking to remove invasive species, particularly aggressive ones. Bush honeysuckle, Callery pear trees, Wintercreeper euonymus, Japanese honeysuckle, and Bamboo are all recommended for removal by the MO Department of Conservation, with municipalities like Olivette adding these to their “No Plant” lists.
Belgard, Techo-Bloc, and Unilock all make high-quality hardscaping materials, and Primo Ceramic Grills make an excellent choice for a locally crafted charcoal grill. Some new hardscape projects may require permitting, and it’s best to check your municipality’s website for information, or partner with an authorized contractor. Quiet Village provides consultations on hardscape projects in St. Louis, Chesterfield, St. Louis County and St. Louis City. Looking to modernize your outdoor spaces? Get it touch with us!