If you hope to change things up with your curb appeal, your lawn or backyard, several organizations, and companies have researched the biggest trends coming next year. They found the most popular ways to enhance your property along with the latest technology for your outdoor upkeep.

“It’s important for people to at least understand the trends that are being talked about around the country and in their area,” says Jim Sweeney, founder, and CEO of Mom’s Design Build in Shakopee, Minn.

Those trends also help landscape designers plus lawn and landscaping shop owners to listen and participate in what the market will want in the future. They then can respond with those products and landscape design offerings as it becomes a need and want in their particular areas of the country.

“For example, synthetic turf became popular across the country,” Sweeney states. “It specifically hit the Minneapolis market this year. This is a cool trend that will continue with lots of places to put it such as in a shady area or a dog run.” People also choose it for athletic situations such as a surface for their kids to play on.

If you are looking to modify or completely change your outdoor spaces, look for these 10 developments that experts say top the list of lawn and landscaping trends next year:

1. Blazing backyards

Whether with fire pits or creative hardscaping, many homeowners and condo dwellers use their outdoor patios as primary kitchens and dining rooms, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA). “Manufacturers continue to present innovative, tech-enhanced outdoor kitchen islands built around premium barbecues — as well as hearth-centered tables, outdoor built-in audio/TV systems, and other accents that meet consumers’ desires for a full outdoor living experience in their backyard,” the hearth association says.

2. Easy peasy lawns

Landscape maintenance takes time, and who has a lot of that to spare? Home designers will be playing with low maintenance turf and options that will not make the homeowner fuss and feud with their lawn, Sweeney says. “If folks care for their lawn themselves, they want easily mowed areas so they can do the mowing quickly. We train them to have healthy lawns by aeration instead of using a lot of chemicals,” he adds. You also need to own the appropriate lawn equipment along with continually sharpened lawn mower bladesGrass alternatives for those not wanting to mow at all include plant ground cover, mulch or cobblestone patios.

3. Disappearing phantom screens

Retractable screens can become a life-changer for those wanting to enjoy the outdoor spaces year-round without being bugged by bugs. They can be placed on windows, doors and outdoor spaces such as patios, porches, and lanais. “They are easy to install and make indoor/outdoor living more convenient without the bugs,” Sweeney says. “You can let the fresh air in and keep bugs out. Our mosquitos are aggressive here in Minnesota.”

4. Gardening popularity

The 2020 Garden Trends Report, titled “Seeing 20/20, offers a look into some horticulture trends for the next year and beyond. Many of these trends come from yesteryear’s trends such as getting closer to nature, rejuvenating the soil and allowing for a more thoughtful way of life. For instance, the popularity of gardening will continue to grow to a $49.3 billion industry by 2023 from $40.2 billion in 2018. Houseplants show the biggest jump with a 10 percent growth in 2018 with succulents as the largest proportion of plants sold. These can be used to beautify outdoor spaces, too. If you want to start small, your garden design can start with a few outdoor pots filled with tomatoes or native plants.

5. Covered pergola

Covered pergolaSmart louvered pergolas allow spaces to be truly transformed, Sweeney states. Your living space can extend outside, with outdoor furniture protected from the rain or sun. The louvers can close with the touch of a button. “The pergola becomes watertight and allows you to extend the stay outside.  It can be costly, though, starting at $125 to $150 square foot installed,” he says.

6. Mushroom mania

They have been touted as one of the superfoods. But these gems you put on your pizza can also clean up oil spills, absorb pollution and fight smallpox and flu viruses, according to the Garden Trends Report.

7. Lighting the way

Homeowners will be wanting more sleek, minimalist and linear lighting for their outdoors, Sweeney forecasts. The lighting that illuminates paths will be all about hiding the lighting so it softens the hard design elements. LED light channels playing hide-and-seek under sidewalks and patios gives guests a more calming feeling. One trending landscaping idea is placing lights under structures. It creates an illusion of floating paver steps, benches or bridges. If you like something little fancier, outdoor chandeliers can get you some jaw-dropping responses.

8. Barbecue downsized

Barbecue manufacturers expand product lines for smaller, more mobile grills for the patio and wherever you want to go, HPBA says. This change comes from consumers’ desire to downsize their homes plus the ability to take their picnic and patio experience with them while tailgating or camping. Plus, grill manufacturers return to the traditional black and chrome schemes. That helps consumers update their patio spaces around with more traditional grill colors.

9. Blue blossoming

The popularity of blue plants will continue with hydrangeas to salvia. Add them into your flower gardens and pots for show-stopping looks. According to “6 Landscape Trends for 2020 and Beyond” from the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), “You should also expect to see indigo in containers/pots, pillows, and other outdoor decor.”

10. Versatile porcelain tile

These tiles work great for a patio. They don’t absorb moisture when it freezes allowing for expansion. It is versatile and lasts a long time, Sweeney adds. “It’s so durable and so cool. It has a luxurious feel to it but can be casual, too, with many different patterns and colors. It also can look like marble.” The material remains resistant to scratches and stains.  You can put it down under your outdoor kitchen, around your pool — anywhere you want to extend indoor living outdoors.

“People are looking for creature comforts used for the inside of their homes but now for part of their outdoor living,” Sweeney says. “As a business, we try to anticipate what the clients will want today and into the future. It’s an exciting time in our industry with all the new trends.”

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