Many elements come together to create a perfectly picturesque landscape. Basically, there are two types of elements which are used in landscaping softscape and hardscape. The hardscape is anything that would be built or constructed. It consists of areas like brick or concrete patios, rock paths, stone walls, wooden decks for a few examples. Paved areas, pools and fountains are also examples of items that might be included in a hardscape design. As with any type of artistic design there are trends that change over the years. This year there are several features that are trending in hardscape design.
Outdoor Kitchens and Bars
Outdoor living spaces like kitchens have been very popular for several years and interest seems to be building rather than diminishing. These areas are great for hosting a variety of social events and are set up so that the host doesn’t ever have to be separated from guests due to food preparation. An outdoor kitchen has all of the needed equipment for preparing foods and serving them. This includes common indoor kitchen appliances like refrigerators, burners or stoves, a kitchen sink, and warming drawers. This outdoor area is designed to fulfill the needs for basic cooking, storing and serving foods. One outdoor kitchen trend that has begun to emerge recently is the outdoor bar. Many homeowners in Wall Township, NJ have begun save some expense and create an outdoor bar, or a mini kitchen to accommodate their serving needs.
Outdoor Fire Units
The fire pit has continued to be a huge landscaping feature for several years and the current trends show that homeowners are continuing to choose different ways to feature fire in their outdoor living spaces. There are a variety of fire elements that can be incorporated into outdoor patios or living spaces and they provide the perfect spot for enjoying the outdoors with family and friends. Fire elements used in the landscaping of a home might include items such as an outdoor fireplace or a fire pit. Sometimes these elements are pre-built but some homeowners prefer to have them customized for their particular interests.
Large Area Paved Patterns
One of the fastest growing trends in hardscapes is using slabs and scale pavers. Homeowners enjoy using slabs to create a modern look and contemporary feel. One of the advantages to using paver patterns is that they are very quick to install this can save a lot of time. Many of the paver systems are favored because they are very good at mimicking indoor tile. Paver slabs are larger than the traditional pavers that were 3” by 8” so they offer a nice streamlined style that is preferred. The smaller paver patterns work well on areas less than 500 square feet. Larger paver systems are used and look best when they are used on surfaces larger than 500 square feet.
Customized Seating Areas
In many outdoor living spaces, seating is incorporated into the design. This makes hosting much simpler and provides a comfortable outdoor area for socializing with one another. In many cases hardscapes will build seating into a patio setting or around a fire pit or fireplace. For some homeowners installed outdoor seating can be built right into the landscape. One of the growing trends is a seat wall or built-in benches. This allows for live entertainment when needed and can be fully customized to meet the specific needs of the homeowner’s outdoor living space.
Pools, Spas And Water Features
Backyard swimming pools have been very popular for a long time and this has not changed much as part of today’s’ backyard landscape design. But one of the growing trends is to incorporate a spa into the backyard design. This offers four season usage. The biggest changes to spas is that they are changing in shape from the traditional oval and kidney shapes to rectangular ones. Ornamental pools are still very popular and splash pools are starting to grow in demand for modern landscapes. In general, any type of water feature is a preferred option for homeowners. Waterfalls are among one of the fastest growing trends. All of these backyard features incorporate and basically require the use of hardscape design to help ensure they are fully functional.