Apprise the Architectural Landscaping Trends for 2016.
See the Possibilities to Create Your Own Personalized Place of Joy.
Enjoying time together outside in the form of backyard barbecues, porch visits and parties has been a traditional way of American life but gone are the days when a yard was used only a few months of the year. Today, in America, outdoor living retreats are high in consumer demand, growing more convenient and elaborate than just a patio and grill. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) conducted a Residential Landscape Architectural Trend Survey for 2016 reporting that residential landscapes are attractively designed for relaxation and entertainment maintaining strong continuing growth in popularity towards sustainable, low-maintenance designs. As the demand for well-designed, low-maintenance and sustainable outdoor living spaces continues to increase manufacturers have acted in response by creating new and more innovative products.
Entertainment areas with amenities such as kitchens, installed dining and seating areas, lighting, fire pits and grills should be individualized to enjoy your own backyard living space just the way you like. Envision the possibilities of how you choose spend time in the outdoors.
Based on ASLA’s 2015 Residential Architectural Landscapers survey, new products and developments, 2016 outdoor living trends will likely include the following:
2016 Overall Architectural Landscaping Ratings
Before air conditioning there were porches. In the mid-1800’s, the porch was where the American home stood apart from English architecture. Today, porch parties are very popular.
Western Timber Frame™ pavilion-Photo courtesy of Alderwood Landscape Spokane Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers
Pavilions, like gazebos were places where an observer could take advantage of a view from under its protecting cover. In fact, pavilions and gazebos are used interchangeably usually it is the shape or design that determines whether someone chooses to call it a pavilion or a gazebo. Gazebos are traditionally hexagonal.
ShadeScape™ 8000 Series DIY Pergola Kit
This year water conservation is considered at the top of the list in demand, sustainable environmentally and low maintenance are to come in neck-to-neck. Western Timber Frame™ is all about sustainable products. We only source renewable timber directly from mills in the United States that have sustainable and renewable timber growth policies. We personally visit these sites to ensure the highest environmental standards are in place and that these mills use responsible harvesting and forest management. Timber is one of the earth’s most sustainable, renewable materials.
Gazebos have always been a place to take in the surround view from. Traditional gazebos are also a place to view with its hexagonal shaped roof so photographically scenic. Gazebos are usually free-standing with a fully covered roof to provide an umbrella-like shelter for protection from inclement weather. A gazebo is open to furnish comfort and convenience to indulge in the invigorating open air and delight the eyes with the vibrant ever-changing display of colors and magnificent beauties of nature.
A deck is a fantastic place to host a barbecue, party or just a family gathering. Add some furniture and the deck lets you enjoy the sunshine with the convenience and comforts of indoors. It is a great place to just hang out together and getting outside in the fresh air is so beneficial to the immune system as well as our happiness.
Structural Playground Equipment
The playground set here was built with solid wood timbers using the patent pending design The Dovetail Difference™ connection system making it an heirloom piece to be enjoyed for generations. I really enjoy landscape designs that incorporate more physically engaging structures or sensory appeal within the environment.
ADA Accessible, Ramps, Shelving, Bars etc.
Everyone benefits from clean fresh air and exercise. Landscapes designed to be accessible to people with all kinds of disabilities add to the value of a landscape. Creating landscapes that are more accessible for children with social, physical and emotional disabilities is recognized by many architectural landscapers as needing more emphasis.
Storage Utility Shed
A utility storage shed can help to open up for more living space inside the home and garage. Keeping a wheel barrow, lawn mowers, weed whackers and other yard and garden tools and equipment is great for safekeeping in an organized manner.
A pair of arbors with a bench or benches facing each other will provide a quiet place to sit and exquisite beauty to a garden, sandbox, park, landscape, residential or commercial area as well as camping or tourist areas. An arbor swing can also be an enchanting invitation to a garden or landscape as well as a welcome resting place at the end of a pathway or quiet secluded retreat. A pair of arbors with a bench or benches facing each other will provide a quiet place to sit and exquisite beauty to a garden, sandbox, park, landscape, residential or commercial area as well as camping or tourist areas.
A fence adds to property value in numerous ways. Fences add security and clearly defined property lines. Fences can also hide unsightly views such as a dumpster or create more privacy contain pets, impede excess wind or sunlight, buffer noise and create a safe area for children. Fences can be built from various materials. This is well-engineered, extremely durable timber frame fence from Western Timber Frame™. A timber frame fence can also be custom designed to reflect your personal taste.
Pool House • Cabana • Utility Storage
A pool house, cabana or pool utility storage area varies from a simple DIY project to luxurious style. For a pool, the extra space can be used for changing rooms, storage and lounging space. It also gives you the added benefit a spotless house, not dealing with water and mud in during a pool party. A pool house or pool storage area can act as a place to store pool toys, pool accessories and outdoor furniture not in use during the winter months. You can also keep pool chemicals and equipment locked safely out of sight.
There were no ratings listed for trellises and privacy lattices, however I am including them here as trellises and lattices are extremely popular in our experience in the manufacturing of outdoor living architectural shade structures.
Arbors and trellises are a natural element for walls; boundaries and enclosures while arbors serve as entryways, gateways and pathway coverings. From a very small or narrow area to a large expansive surrounding, arbors and trellises help create a defined landscape.
Outdoor Living Features & Recreational Amenities
2016 Overall Architectural Landscaping Ratings
Showers • Baths
An outdoor shower is wonderful to wash down kids or pets before coming into the house or tracking mud or whatever else in. It is also very convenient for washing off garden tools and patio furniture.
There have been a few studies on the wonderful health benefits of sleeping in a hammock. Timber frame pergolas are the perfect place to hang a hammock from and enjoy a wonderful snooze in the fresh air.
You can go wireless for outdoor speakers and eliminate the need for wires. Western Timber Frame™ offers pre-wired options with their TimberVolt™ power post series on all their outdoor shade structures.
Whether it is gas, electric grill, charcoal or a smoker, for anyone who believes food tastes better outdoors a grill is a natural choice for cooking. Grilling or broiling food outside can reduce energy costs and it is also healthier because the fats fall away from the cooked meats and food. Broiling or grilling also caramelizes the foods giving the food a distinct mouth-watering flavor.
Since the beginning of time it seems, a fire has been a place to sit at ease and swap stories around. It is an enjoyment that we all share watching the dance of hypnotizing flames that sparks camaraderie and closeness. A fireplace makes an outdoor living room more usable year-round, whether it is gas, charcoal or wood burning.
There are a variety of outdoor furniture options, wood, plastic, wicker, metal etc., with or without cushions. The important thing is that the style reflects your personality. Western Timber Frame™ also makes custom timber frame heirloom indoor and outdoor timber furniture, built to stand against nature’s harsher elements.
An outdoor sink lets you wash up outside the hoe without the hassle of back and forth to the inside kitchen. It also offers a place for guests to wash their hand before and after dinner. In addition, an outdoor sink is wonderfully convenient in the preparation of food with faster and easier clean up. My favorite use for an outdoor sink is in rinsing off freshly picked vegetables and washing my hands after working in the garden or around the yard. It is a nice way to rinse off work gloves and nozzles as well.
A well-designed outdoor seating space can do wonders for revitalizing and recharging your body’s batteries. A comfortable seating area with stylish furniture attracts people to come and sit. Sometimes a mix of seating types can be a nice option.
The flickering fire in an outdoor fire pit invites you to come and sit awhile. A fire pit can be a permanent fixture made from clay, stone or bricks that are fire resistant. They can also be portable, able to move around, and even use on a camping trip.
TV • Theater
Portable is in and a HDTV dish network system with built in satellite programming allows for high definition programming on the go. There was a time when it appeared as though the outdoor theater might become extinct as so few operating theaters were in existence.
Now, there are more outdoor theaters than ever before in the backyards of America. Backyard theater projections systems have also come a long ways without sagging or inflatable screens and many set ups are much more user friendly.
Who needs a designated place to sleep when the kid in us can crash almost anywhere? However, at 11%, there are some people who prefer a real bed or a more private outdoor room to sleep in.
There has been a rise in what is termed “She Sheds” or “Man Cave” backyard retreats. The fad began with refurbishing sheds into an outdoor bar or bedroom to new sheds, pergolas, pavilions and DIY outdoor structures. Outdoor suspended couch/beds are a great outdoor sleeping alternative.
It seems with so many busy distractions and schedules that much like an idling vehicle that’s engine is running when it is not in motion our body is often in an in-idle-mode even when we are still. So much so, that even dinner at the end of the day can be a rush. Eating outside helps us to physically turn off the outside commotion and allow ourselves to truly slow down in life down to enjoy each others company or just focus our mind on the important things in life. You don’t even have to splurge on anything fancy for a meal, eating outside is a can be a treat especially for kids. And lets face it, we are all better off to be kids at heart. Create a healthy living habit eating Alfresco style any and everyday with an outdoor dining area in your own backyard.
From the earliest antiquity labyrinths have been found in places all over the world and are making a comeback. Playful labyrinths are patterns that can meander or be in a circuitous path winding into the center. Walking within a labyrinth is thought to enhance brain activity; mostly it is for fun.
Staycation is a termed often repeated in outdoor living phrases today to mean a vacation at home. Motels and resorts often feature a swimming pool. A swimming pool can give a showcase vacation atmosphere for a backyard retreat.
Spa features: Hot tubs, saunas, etc.
Sports • Recreational Spaces
Sports and recreational have gone beyond the common driveway with a basketball hoop above the garage. It is amazing how a simple backyard can become a sports zone; tennis courts, Bocce ball, badminton, volley ball, ping pong, mini golf, oversize outdoor chess sets and more.
Sculptures Garden Accents
Although, studies have shown time in the outdoors alleviates symptoms of depression, reduces stress and improves our concentration, it isn’t rocket science to know it makes us happier and boosts our creativity. Outdoor art can be an expression of your individuality and personality.
Outdoor lighting is easier than ever before with Western Timber frame™ new TimberVolt™ series. No more hanging cords or strung electrical wires.
An outdoor heater extends the outdoor entertaining seasons and in some cases year-round. Heaters come in a wide variety of styles, and models which include free standing, ceiling mounts, wall mounts, portable and in-ground models.
With the convenience of the world wide web more people are able to work from home. What better place to work than at home in the outdoors? Western Timber Frame™ Inferno TimberVolt™ series makes WIFI connection and phone charging accessible and easy.
When incorporating an outdoor refrigerator I would strongly recommend one that features a lock for safety precautions. An outdoor refrigerator can be handy especially if you are marinating meat, having it all conveniently there and for cold drinks within reach.
Garden & Outdoor Sustainable Design Elements
2016 Overall Architectural Landscaping Ratings
Native Tolerant Plants
Geothermal Pool Heaters
Geothermal energy is naturally heated water that can power a home, bath or pool. Although, a spa is a modern invention, Icelandic peoples have been known to enjoy the benefits of geothermal bathing in as early as the twelfth century. Geothermal lower utility bills by transferring heat from the ground to a home or pool. It is like having virtually free hot water.
Low Maintenance Landscapes
A timber frame shade structure is a way to add shade to a low-maintenance landscape especially in places where trees aren’t practical. Rough-sawn timber naturally keeps human friendlier temperatures better than other materials.
Xeriscape Landscapes • Dry Gardens
The basis of xeriscaping is conserving water through the use of drought-resistant and native plants. Consider a timber frame pergola, pavilion or gazebo for buildings and property sites being cognizant of the shade and sun orientation.
Ponds • Streams
Water naturally gives life and a water feature in an outdoor setting is awakening and encourages people to come outside. We should still take our Mom’s words to heart and ‘go outside and play‘. Water tranquil, peaceful sound of water trickling is a soothing way to unwind after a long day.
Fountains & Decorative Water Elements
Decorative ornamental water elements such as waterfalls, splash pools, grottos and water runnels are a delight especially for children. Backyard bubblers and gurglers primarily stir the water around so they offer a nice feature for a small area without a need for a reservoir bowl beneath it. The idea behind a water runnel is give the sound of water without seeing the water, minimally seeing it or interspersing it with plantings. A grotto is usually an artificial structure or cave and it landscape designing today usually implies with water. Birdbaths, kio ponds, backyard soothers, gurglers and bubblers, anything water is a delightful ambience in a landscape design.