Outdoor Design Ideas

Summer is officially here which means many of us will be spending quite a bit of time outside!  For DIYers still scratching their heads on how to make the most of their backyard or patio, we have a few tips and tricks for an amazing outdoor oasis!

Outdoor Spaces

Pinterest has no shortage of inspiring design ideas, but don’t forget functionality when prepping your space.  Ask yourself, will you be using it to dine outdoors, or are you going for more of a lounge look?  Also, think about the location and materials of your seating area. Is the space covered?  If you have your heart set on a gorgeous wooden patio set with custom cushions, consider how direct sunlight and rain may impact the materials’ appearance over time. Finally, the old adage is true: Quality over quantity.  Invest in your space now to enjoy it for years to come.

Flowers and plantings can really set your outdoor area apart, but according to Garden Design Magazineone of the top trends in 2016 is being subtle. Experts say instead of going over the top with a wide variety of colors and plants, consider complimentary colors, or one tone, as well as plantings that can transition into fall/winter.

Given the unpredictability of Chicago area weather, another trend is to pick hearty, highly-tolerant plants.  Doing so can give your garden vitality through dry summers and wet winters.  Landscapers are calling this concept “naturescaping”. Using native plants which will attract birds, insects and other wildlife is an environmentally friendly plan.  It also has low-maintenance appeal while providing the beauty you desire.

Fountains have long been used to add an element of dimension to  your space. This year, however, instead of installing a pricey water feature, think about utilizing storm water in a new way.  Rain barrels or rock walls can be designed to add a relaxing focal point and act as a collection and distribution system for other areas in the garden.  Stone sculptures and pottery are also popular centerpieces this year.

We recognize there will always be experts telling you what is IN and what is OUT. While we have mentioned just a few of the latest trends in outdoor and landscape design, it ultimately is up to you to settle on your own style.  If you don’t know where to begin, we recommend starting small.  Over time, your space will grow into the oasis you’ve been waiting for.

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