Time spent at home has compelled us to take a closer look at our landscapes, then turn to the pros for ways to make them more functional, beautiful and restorative. Here, nine design experts break down outdoor living trends for 2022—yes, pools and water features are a hot request coast to coast—and the innovative features making these spaces more comfortable, livable and luxurious than ever.
Water is the feature
Anne Daigh, Daigh Rick Landscape Architects
The time we’ve all spent at home has made swimming pools more popular than ever. Unlike in the past, pools are more likely to add to the resale value of a home, too. For us, no pool is too small; recently we have designed small dipping pools, lap pools for exercise, pools with infinity edges and grander pools for large family properties.
PHOTO: CAROLINE ALLISON PHOTOGRAPHY
Nothing beats a good rinse
Renée Byers, Renée Byers Landscape Architect
Outdoor showers are enormously popular. Waterside homes have long had these features; but now even suburban clients are asking for this amenity—which they use all season long. They come in handy after workouts, children’s athletic activities or even bathing a family pet.
PHOTO: GEORGE BYERS
Extend the season
Richard Hartlage, Land Morphology
Our clients are asking for more rain-protecting arbors. In the Northwest, we have a summer-dry climate, and by using rain protection and heaters, we can extend the use of these structures by a month or more on either end of the outdoor season.
PHOTO: MIRANDA ESTES
Conserve in style
Gretchen Whittier, Arterra Landscape Architects
As we head into another year of drought, our clients are definitely paying attention. More often they’re shying away from lawns—which are the biggest culprits of water use per household. In place of these, our clients are welcoming bocce and pickle ball courts, sitting areas and dry gardens. And as the climate warms and rainy seasons become less predictable, zones south of the Bay Area are providing insight with plant palettes such as succulents and cacti. The results are stunning!
PHOTO: PAUL DYER
What’s old is new again
Craig Bergmann, Craig Bergmann Landscape Design, Inc.
Supply chain issues have created shortages of quality materials. And with the glut of demand for furniture and lumber, reclaimed and vintage materials are being used regularly.
PHOTO: SCOTT SHIGLEY
William Mungall, Landry Design Group
Outdoor workspaces are the top request. We got out of the office, and now it’s time to get out of the home office! Having a comfortable, convenient—and not overly sunny—spot to mark up drawings or take a Zoom call on your laptop is a new necessity.
PHOTO: MANOLO LANGIS
Less pruning, more appreciating
Gavin Duke, Duke Design Group
Low-maintenance plantings are the most-requested “ask.” We strive to develop a year-round bulletproof palette of plants that offers seasonal interest with aesthetically pleasing textures, blooms and a low level of required care. In the coming years we will see more sustainable meadows for pollinators and wildlife.
PHOTO: REED BROWN
Nature at your fingertips
Douglas Hoerr, Hoerr Schaudt | Landscape Architects
In this post-pandemic world, people crave bespoke and interactive outdoor spaces. Many of us have a newfound appreciation for spending time in our yards and interacting with our landscapes: growing produce, incorporating pollinator gardens or adding bird and owl boxes to welcome wildlife.
PHOTO: SCOTT SHIGLEY
A sunnier outlook
Janice Parker, Janice Parker Landscape Architects
The future I see is one of landscape design diversity: a true reflection of our cultural values. There will be more design synthesis—an overlapping of formal and informal elements and “green” approaches to planning and maintenance. The new landscapes will defy any single definition. There will be more color, exuberance and outdoor cooking and living spaces with the inclusion of organic vegetable, flower and soft fruit gardens.