When it comes to home design, the focus is often on the indoors. We are always worried about what color to pick for the living room, which theme to use for the bedroom and how to design that perfect kitchen island. But with Memorial Day heralding the beginning of summer here in the US, it is time to think just beyond the four walls of the house for the next three months. Summer is all about spending some time outside, and while we took a look at giving the interior a summer style last weekend, now is the time to revamp the outdoors.
So why not take inspiration from the hottest and most celebrated outdoor design trends of summer 2014? From transforming those weary old lawns to giving your beautiful backyard that brilliant focal point, here is a look at how you can make the most of the outdoors this summer while you lazily wane away some warm evenings next to the pool!
1. An Outdoor Hot Tub
A lot of people jump to the misplaced conclusion that since summer is a time of warmth and sunshine, a hot tub is an unnecessary addition. But the modern hot tub, with its amazing array of features, hydrotherapy, pressure point treatments and whirlpools, offers much more than just a tub of hot water! No matter what the season, the hot tub is a perfect way to relax and rejuvenate after a long, hard day. And a hot tub in the backyard or on the deck complements the lovely weather outside by adding to the ambiance. Not to mention, it will serve you well even beyond the next few months.
by Brandon Architects
by Projects by Giffin & Crane
by Wanda Ely Architect
by CDI: Choice Designs
2. Casual Decor with Pops of Color
Summer is a time for that relaxed, holiday-like vibe even at home. One of the hottest trends making the rounds is the use of casual and playful outdoor decor with pops of vibrant color to enliven the place. The outdoor decor this summer needs to be visually light, engaging and almost nonchalant. Comfortable outdoor beds, some snazzy hanging day beds or even sleek poolside chaise lounge chairs will serve you just fine. While various shades of blue and white are the preferred hues, think of orange and yellow as smart accent additions.
by Linden L.A.N.D. Group
by Henarise Pty
by Phi Home Designs
3. The Flowing Energy of Water!
The ancient art of Feng Shui states that your home and the garden must present a delicate balance of elements. Even if you are not a big fan of Feng Shui, take the tip, as it might land you with a truly amazing backyard! Incorporating a flowing water feature as a part of the outdoors is gaining popularity by the day. This could be a breathtaking waterfall feature along with the pool, or simply a small fountain that fits your budgetary needs. In summer 2014, think beyond the refreshing pool. Be it Japanese-inspired Koi ponds or stunning and still reflecting pools, make sure you add some fluid magic to the backyard.
by Chipper Hatter Architectural Photographer
by Castanes Architects
by Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design
by Estate Pools & Landscapes
4. Indoor-Outdoor Interplay
When it comes to modern outdoor spaces, the most prominent feature is the way they seem to act as natural extensions of the living area. This is a trend that will continue through the summer of 2014 and well beyond. Design and decorate the outdoors to complement the indoors in a seamless fashion. The use of a similar color scheme in terms of the furnishings always helps. You can even use the same wood indoors as you do for the deck to induce a sense of visual continuity. Sliding and foldable glass doors, large glass windows and glass walls with operable blinds offer that ideal, unhindered interface between both worlds.
by Globus Builder
by Michael Kelley Photography
by Koch Architects, Joanne Koch
by Caputo Construction
5. Lighting that Steals the Show
Outdoor lighting is taking off in 2014 like never before! And this summer is the perfect time to give it a very different twist. Instead of the conventional string and recessed lights, opt for beautiful candle lanterns and colorful LED accent lighting to define the outdoors. For those who are looking to move away from the contemporary style, outdoor fire pits combined with Tiki torches offer an exciting and exotic alternative. Think of outdoor lighting from an aesthetic perspective this season, and if you have a spacious and lovely front yard, use the right lighting to announce it to the world in a dazzling manner!
by Harold Leidner Landscape Architects
by from BySteel
by Land & Water Design
by Utopia Landscape Design
by Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture
by Digs By Katie – Katie Leede & Company
6. Sustainability along with Style
Natural materials and textures are a custom fit for the cool summer evenings. With both homeowners and designers turning toward sustainable decor and design practices, the clear trend in outdoor design is to ‘go natural’. Replace that plastic furniture in the courtyard with a sofa set and some chairs made out of wicker and bamboo. You can even use simple stone benches and some throw pillows to achieve an unassuming yet fashionable look. Small herb gardens, a vegetable and flower garden. and plants that are drought-tolerant ensure that your garden is both hip and planet-friendly.
by Doering Landscape Company
As you will notice, embracing most of these trends will serve you well in creating a stunning outdoor space that you will enjoy beyond just a season or two. So, are you ready to give your home a major face-lift this summer?