Cozy Outdoor Spaces Top the List of Landscaping Trends in 2018

Cozy is the hottest trend in landscaping this year. A report from Houzz found that 88% of homeowners who are renovating their outdoor spaces are investing in upgrades that make the space more comfortable, like new furniture and heating elements.

The trend follows in the footsteps of the commercial outdoor furniture market. More commercial establishments are offering outdoor spaces with comfortable seating and even heating elements, such as fire pits and outdoor heaters, to make guests more comfortable. People are taking these trends home, creating the same comforts in their own backyards.

In the Houzz survey, 43% of respondents invested in lounge furniture, while 34% were bringing dining furniture outdoors. Other popular items included benches, string lights, rugs and ceiling fans.

Heating sources are also popular with homeowners. According to Easy House Remodeling, Nearly 40% of respondents said they had fire pits or another heating source installed or are thinking of installing one.

Homeowners are also bringing their entertainment outdoors to enhance the cozy atmosphere. Among all respondents, 59% were installing TVs in their outdoor spaces and 42% were adding wireless speakers. Another 11% were installing wired charging hubs.

Along with entertainment and comfort, homeowners are also looking for more privacy. Landscapers are seeing more requests for decorative feature walls, pergolas, tiered landscaping and outdoor blinds to enhance privacy. Some homeowners are investing in noise-canceling barriers and privacy fences to minimize disturbance to neighbors while enjoying late-night parties.

While fences are a practical solution – they prevent trespassing and contain pets – some homeowners prefer to have a more attractive enclosure. Lush plantings can provide privacy while creating a welcoming and attractive space.

Outdoor renovations can be costly, but it’s a price that homeowners are willing to pay. According to the survey, 56% of homeowners spent over $10,000 on renovating their outdoor spaces. Nearly a third of respondents, or 32%, spent less than $5,000.

Once the renovations have been made, most homeowners said they increased their time spent outdoors. Approximately 62% of homeowners spent their time relaxing in their outdoor space, while 44% spent their time gardening.

Outdoor kitchens are still a focal point of many outdoor renovation projects, taking outdoor cooking to a new level.

As far as gardens go, many homeowners are making changes to support local wildlife. Along with reducing or eliminating the use of insecticides, many are planting plants that help local species thrive, like berry-bearing and seed-producing plants.

Much of the focus this year has been on creating a cozy outdoor oasis. Zen gardens, meditation gardens and areas that allow for “forest bathing,” a Japanese concept, support this idea that surrounding oneself in nature can be therapeutic.

Design is an important consideration when homeowners transform their outdoor spaces, according to Easy House Remodeling, but many are also focusing on how they maintain their outdoor spaces. According to the NALP, there is a high demand for systems that allow for eco-friendly watering practices. Many homeowners are planting native plants, which generally require less water, and using smarter irrigation technology. Xeriscaping is also popular, which is the planning of a landscape to use low-water plants.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.