07 June 2019

Design Trends: Ideas to Help You Create Your Dream Backyard

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Finally, the time has come to bring out your patio furniture, prepare your flower beds, plant your cuttings and fire up the BBQ. Maybe you’re already daydreaming about how your yard and patio will look. To help you create your own little oasis to wow neighbours and guests, we’ve put together a list of some of the backyard design trends for summer 2019.

Bringing the indoors outdoors

With so little time to spend eating, reading, and relaxing out in the sun, you want to make the most of it! So why not make your patio and yard a second living room and dining room? But how? Choose furniture that makes you want to spend time in the space. Designate different areas for different uses.

You can set up a dining and cooking area near the BBQ so you can do all your meal prep outside. You could even add some storage for dishes and utensils. If you’ve got the space, how about a bread oven? And of course, don’t forget a large table with comfy chairs you won’t want to get out of.

A lounge area with sofas and plush cushions is a great place for chatting and relaxing. You’ll also want to have somewhere to put down your glass of wine or your book—or put up your feet. A relaxation area with an outdoor bed or a hammock is perfect for a peaceful nap in the shade, with a light breeze blowing and birds chirping nearby. You can even take the idea further and “build” outdoor rooms with walls that mimic your interior to extend your living spaces out into the fresh air.

Dream bigger than the deck!

Don’t stop at your patio. Make full use of your outdoor space (if you have a large yard, of course). How about creating a relaxation area near a water feature or hanging a hammock between a pair of trees? Or setting up a dining area in a pavilion near the garden or by the pool? Or why not build a fire pit in the middle of the yard with chairs, sofas, and cushions around it for people to sit on? In other words—make the most of your space and live it up!

Outdoor lighting

The trend right now is to hang out in your yard at night just as much as you do during the day. Take advantage of those fresh summer evenings and hang some strands of lights with pretty bulbs over your table or string them along a wall. Get some solar-powered landscape lights to light up your flower beds or mark the edge of the pool. You could also put some small lights or candles in hurricane lamps or lanterns and set them on the table. Make sure the lighting is soft or can be turned off easily so you can see the stars too. Do you like high-tech gadgets? You can install smart lighting and use an app to control the intensity and colour of the light.

Make the most of your space in the city

If you live in the city and don’t have a lot of yard space or only have a balcony, you can still create a beautiful outdoor space with what you have. You may even have room for a vegetable garden! Consider a green wall, a garden in a pot or tub, a corner couch, or a hammock chair. You can still bring indoor comforts outdoors, even if you aren’t out in the suburbs with a big yard.

Green walls and vertical gardens

Want to add more green to your life but don’t have a lot of outdoor space? Think vertical! Use a wall, a fence, a wooden or metal trellis, planters, or even one of those vertical garden systems sold in specialty stores to create a green wall or vertical vegetable garden.

A green wall is a good way to create a space with a more intimate feel, even in the middle of the city. Put hanging or climbing plants in pots and create your own private inner courtyard. You could even use this technique to separate your relaxation area from your pool.

Opt for vegetables and herbs over decorative plants

If you’re really tight on space and want to add a splash of green to your living space, get some vegetable plants and herbs instead of flowers. They smell nice, they’re beautiful, they’re green, and you can cook with them—two birds with one stone!

Plant vegetables out front

To maximize what little space you have and find a spot with the right amount of sun, consider planting your garden at the front of your house. But make sure to do a little research first—not all municipalities allow it! A few bold citizens have forced the issue in certain jurisdictions and some cities, like Québec, now allow residents to plant vegetable gardens in front of their homes under certain conditions.

A bohemian, natural look

For a number of years now, people have been moving towards more natural gardens. Gardens and flower beds with a mix of wildflowers, grasses, and other greenery create an intuitive rather than organized look that more closely mimics nature. This trend is also reflected in the use of materials such as stone, wood, grass, sand, and gravel. You can also use concrete and paving stones to complete the design by combining natural elements with a more conventional and orderly esthetic.

If you have room, trees are a great way to create pockets of natural shade and attract birds. Set up a birdfeeder or grow some plants with seed heads—they attract songbirds. Like hummingbirds? You can attract these beautiful migratory birds with certain annuals or a sugar water hummingbird feeder. Or how about butterflies? They love fragrant plants and flowers. Ask the horticulturalist at your local garden centre for tips. You could even build a pond and get some fish!

Recovered and reused objects

Concerns about the environment and over-consumption have led to a trend of people avoiding new materials and instead reusing and upcycling waste materials and second-hand items. Some people use found objects, such as:

  • Wood pallets to make outdoor beds and sofas
  • Old ladders to make vertical planters
  • Old benches for seating or as plant holders
  • Gravel someone doesn’t want anymore
  • Collected stones
  • Old kitchen or bathroom tiles
  • Old wooden flooring to make a fence, a green wall, or a small patio
  • Old barrels to collect rainwater for watering
  • Wood pallets to make outdoor beds and sofas
  • And many more. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Of course, you need to be comfortable with a hammer and screwdriver for this kind of project. Ask for help! In addition to saving money and giving new life to materials that would have ended up in the trash, it gives your yard a distinctive look.

That’s it! Now it’s up to you to decide which trends you’d like to try, or to come up with your own! If you end up purchasing new furniture or equipment while you’re building your oasis, remember to contact your insurer to adjust your policy and add the necessary coverage.