Design trends come and go but your backyard is forever. Keeping up with style changes doesn’t need to be a chore. Everything you need for a stellar outdoor revamp can be found in MyDeal home and garden. The only question is; what are you looking for? Here’s all the experts predictions for outdoor design trends in 2018.
Ask the builders
With over 25 years experience building homes in Melbourne’s inner eastern suburbs, Brett Ramsay, director of Ramsay Builders, has seen many trends come and go. Here’s what he expects to see this year:
“Firepits for heating
You may not feel like a firepit in the middle of summer, but come June, you’ll be very happy you’ve installed one. The natural heating source has risen in popularity over the last 12 months and is here to stay. There are plenty of ways to integrate a firepit into a space, but two of the more popular options we’ve seen are as a featured piece of art (bowl) or as a table, with a strip through the centre.
Wicker and woven materials
The home-made atmosphere is back in a big way, introducing an added element of comfort into outdoor spaces. Woven cushions and wicker furniture are two of the ways to do this, sitting alongside woven placemats and day beds/lounges.”
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Or head straight to the shopping cart and pick out some on-trend outdoor furniture.
The best natural stones
Natural stone is making a comeback according to Matt Nash, founder of Prestige Surfaces Australia. Here’s his top outdoor pavers for 2018:
“1. BLUESTONE (BASALT)
Commonly found in facades and flooring, bluestone is one of Australia’s most popular choices. Always choose a "sawn cut" bluestone for external flooring and honed or polished for internal use.
A form of limestone, travertine is a natural, earthy stone, popular in paving or indoor flooring for its light colour and motley texture. Available in a variety of finishes, travertine is relatively easy to maintain.
Best used for outdoor paving, granite is very hard wearing and resistant to salt so is perfect for pool paving and coastal properties. Flamed granite is particularly popular outdoors.
A soft, sedimentary rock, limestone is not resistant to salts and contact will cause it to break down. Prestige Surfaces Australia sealants penetrate deep within the material and completely inhibit corrosion, so correctly treated limestone can be used around swimming pools and in coastal areas.”
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Looking to the future, embracing the past
Garden expert Jane Clarke, from Fantastic Gardeners Melbourne, expects to see some classic trends stand the test of time and a forward-thinking move toward environmental features.
“One of the trends, which gets more and more popular is the water feature. Years ago, water features were affordable only for people with pretty high income. However, now, water features vary from inexpensive self-contained systems in an urn through portable fountain to a high-end water wall. And they’re popular across all budgets because we all love the sound of water in the garden.
Finally, maybe the most important trend. People are transferring to mainstream sustainability and natural materials. After years of minimalist dominance in hardscaping materials and decor, designers are noticing a renewed interest in natural materials. And the shift can be seen in the choice of plants, too. Low-maintenance gardens, drought-tolerant plants and less turfgrass have become the norm in outdoor decor. People are looking for something more authentic and real.”
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If a magazine-perfect outdoor area is not your cup of tea then you’ll be glad to hear the term wabi-sabi. The concept originated in Japan and means to find beauty in imperfections. It’s all about authenticity in your design. Found a beautiful urn with a slight crack? Put it on display. Can’t find two perfectly matched succulents? Buy the tall one and the short one anyway. You’re embracing wabi-sabi if you have an aesthetically pleasing, imperfect space that feels real and lived in.
We may be writing in English but the term ‘outdoor room’ seems more confusing than wabi-sabi. How can you have a room outside? With a truly functional and beautiful garden design. Think daybeds, shower spaces, dining tables and ample lighting. If walking into your backyard feels like still being in your home then you’ve pulled off this trend.
Your garden and outdoor living spaces will be the toast of the town now that you’ve updated for this year.