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Modern Design, Outdoor Living Leads 2014 Trends

Outdoor living trends in 2014 will include homeowners seeking contemporary design both within and outside the home, according to this year's Garden Trends consumer report. Homeowners are adding contemporary flair outdoors by mixing materials in their patios, walkways, driveways and garden areas, such as combining pavers with wood, natural stone or metal frames. Outdoor cooking also continues to grow in popularity, as homeowners customize their outdoor kitchens with the indoor modern conveniences that fit their lifestyles, from built-in gourmet cooking stations and brick ovens to wine coolers and beer taps.

The 2014 Garden Trends Report says consumers are not only "decorating" their homes, they're looking for additions that help them extend their outdoor season, from fire features to outdoor kitchens to vegetable and floral gardens.

"Homeowners are using their outdoor living spaces in so many different ways - entertaining, family time, gardening, cooking," said Fernanda Pedroso, a consumer research expert for Belgard Hardscapes. "Outdoor spaces in 2014 will be thoughtfully designed for how we use them but will be influenced by contemporary design with modern conveniences for the way we live today."

The worldwide gardening and outdoor living market is expected to increase yearly by almost 3.5 percent through 2016, when it should reach almost $220 billion. In North America, where the market was flat for the past four years at $58 billion, annual growth is expected at one percent over four years.

Regardless of the size of a patio or driveway, homeowners are still gravitating to oversized pavers. Oversized pavers can make small areas appear more spacious, and large spaces take on a new look. This trend toward large pavers began in 2012 and continues to grow in appeal as homeowners look to make their outdoor living spaces more contemporary in design and function. Reflecting the trend of geometric patterns in home decor, homeowners will incorporate patterns into their outdoor spaces. The varying shapes and colors of concrete pavers allow homeowners to create designs in their outdoor flooring as a decor accent or to create designated social spaces much like an area rug does inside the home. Homeowners are also creating visually appealing vegetable and floral garden areas that seamlessly integrate into their social spaces through landscape design of walkways, retaining walls and lighting.

As homeowners make upgrades to their outdoor living spaces, fire features like fireplaces, fire pits, and fire tables allow homeowners to enjoy their patios in colder months. Similarly, while Americans still love their pools, they are starting to enjoy their spas more, as they offer four-season outdoor usage. Kidney and oval shaped pools are replacing rectangular shapes, and water features like waterfalls, ornamental pools and splash pools are growing in demand for landscapes.

Finally, homeowners continue to seek out access to landscaping products that are friendly to the environment. Some homeowners are combining environmental benefits and aesthetics with permeable pavers, which can feature built-in water spouts that allow for a design element or children's play area, or help with drainage and stormwater retention in driveways. Drought conditions in some parts of the country have resulted in water restrictions, which have led to greater use of paver products instead of water intensive grass lawns.

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October 17, 2019, 9:34 am PDT

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