People are still fond of spending time in their backyards.
Washington, D.C. – The American love affair with the back yard shows no signs of slowing, according to the 2012 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Landscape architects with a specialization in residential design across the country were asked to rate the expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor design elements. The category of gardens and landscape spaces, with 94.9 percent rating somewhat or very popular, was followed closely by outdoor livings spaces at 91.5 percent, which were defined as kitchen and entertainment spaces.
Across all categories, 97.4 percent of respondents rated grills as somewhat or very in-demand for 2012, followed by low-maintenance landscapes (96.6 percent), fireplaces/fire pits (95.8 percent), and dining areas (95.7 percent). Lighting features remained a popular choice from 2011 at 93.1 percent, as Americans plan to take more of their lives outside once the sun sets – to an extent.
“The economic recovery continues to struggle, but residential design has remained stronger than other categories throughout the recession,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA.
Americans also love their pools (79.2 percent), but not quite as much as their spas (80.4 percent) and other decorative water elements (89.9 percent), such as waterfalls or bubblers.
Seating and dining areas remain high on people’s lists (95.7 percent), as do installed seating at 86.9 percent and weatherized outdoor furniture at 81.2 percent.
When thinking of gardening, Americans tend toward the practical and sustainable with native plants (86.3 percent) and food/vegetable gardens (81.2 percent), with over half of them preferred to be organic (61.2 percent).
Besides planting locally and organically, other sustainable elements continue their popularity with homeowners. Native or drought-tolerant plants (85.4 percent), drip irrigation (81.7 percent), and permeable paving (71.6 percent) are making their way into outdoor living spaces across the country.