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Survey Identifies Top Outdoor Living Trends

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The 2013 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey, conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects, shows a growing trend in outdoor living. More American homeowners are adding outdoor rooms for entertainment and recreational use.

Landscape architects who specialize in residential design across the country were asked to rate the expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor design elements. The category of outdoor living spaces, defined as kitchens and entertainment spaces, received a 94.5 percent rating as somewhat or very popular. It all but tied with gardens and landscaped spaces, at 94.4 percent.

Across all categories, 97 percent of respondents rated fire pits and fireplaces as somewhat or very in demand for 2013, followed by grills (96.3 percent), seating and dining areas (96.3 percent) and lighting (95.1 percent).

In the category of home landscapes, decorative water elements, including waterfalls, ornamental pools and splash pools, were predicted to be in demand (90.9 percent). Spas (81.5 percent) and pools (75.3 percent) are also expected to be popular. Terraces, patios and decks are high on people's lists (97.6 percent), as are fencing (89.6 percent) and ornamental water features (84.2 percent).

The survey also shows an increasing demand for both sustainable and low-maintenance design. Americans still prefer practical yet striking design elements for their gardens. Low-maintenance landscapes (93.9 percent) and native plants (86.6 percent) were predicted to be desired, with organic slightly increasing in popularity (65.3 percent compared to 61.2 percent in 2011).

Other sustainable elements, such as native or drought-tolerant plants (83 percent), drip irrigation (82.5 percent), permeable paving (72.8 percent) and reduced lawns (72.6 percent) are making their way into outdoor living spaces across the country.

 
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