Hot trends / What's new in backyards

Photo by kc kratt


Because we never want to encourage replacing for replacement’s sake, or denigrate anybody’s choice of décor because it doesn’t fit with what’s currently on the market, we’re changing the name of this department (formerly In/Out). From now on, we’ll share the hottest trends—no judgment. 




Vanishing edges: 

Also known as infinity pools or negative edge pools, the design of these pools makes it almost look like a lake in your backyard, which, if you have a gorgeous view, can make it all look like one contiguous vista. The pools are gorgeous, but pricey.


Resort-like amenities: 

Firepits, lounge chairs that rest in shallow water, tanning perches, swim-up bars, and multilevel decks are hot.


Darker colors: 

Either through pool surface or LED lighting systems, pools are no longer restricted to light blue. Different colors have a dramatic effect on backyard ambiance.


Small pools: 

Just enough for cooling and lounging, these pools are perfect for both aesthetics and nonswimmers.




Bright colors: 

Perhaps because neutrals continue to be popular for interior décor, color lovers are taking it outside and planting colors that might only be reserved for accents in indoor living spaces.


Paying attention to climate: 

More than using native plants, this includes checking zones to see what plants will thrive in our four-season climate.


Statement plants: 

It was only a matter of time before the “statement” trend hit the backyard. Even if you don’t have a garden at all, a huge and impressive plant makes visitors feel like you know all about green thumbs.



Don’t have room for shrubs and hydrangeas? Now you can get them in pots, in sizes to accommodate whatever space you have.




Paver stones: 

Stronger than concrete and easy to replace without leaving a patchy look, paver stones are gaining in popularity. They’re also porous, which means easy draining in wetter areas. Like concrete, pavers are a good choice for our four-season climate. Concrete is still an economical option that can be poured or stamped in different shapes and textures, but it’s harder to repair, and, when it cracks, it’s unsightly. If you choose concrete, be sure to seal it so water doesn’t get in.


Patio covers: 

Patios and decks are becoming so opulent, they’re like outdoor rooms. Awnings and hard covers help protect more delicate furnishings from the elements—especially when you remember, in the middle of a downpour, that you never stored the cushions. And anytime it’s warm enough to be outside, covers protect you from sun and mild rain.


Hardy furniture:

Aluminum and other weather-resistant furniture is not only trendy for its practicality; some even mimic wood or wicker. Cushions that resist moisture and mildew are best.


Water features:

Trickling fountain or faux ponds lend atmosphere to your outdoor relaxation spot.


Outdoor kitchens:

From low-budget to top-of-the-line, kitchens make patio entertaining easier by offering more cooking options. (Don’t worry; nobody’s taking away your grill.)


Donna Hoke is the editor of Spree Home.


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