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What’s Hot, What’s Cool: Landscape Architects Rate Top Design Features

Monday, May 7, 2012

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The American love affair with the back yard shows no signs of cooling, a survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects indicates.

 Popular residential landscape designs and features reflect the American love affair with the outside of the home. This video shows the 2011 ASLA Professional Awards Residential Winners.
Popular residential landscape designs and features reflect the American love affair with the outside of the home. This video shows the 2011 ASLA Professional Awards Residential Winners.

Not surprisingly, grills and other features related to outdoor cooking and entertaining remain hot items.

On the other hand, water-oriented design features are also seen as adding an element of “cool” to the residential setting.

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), in a review of its 2012 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends survey, said the survey shows a “preference for an undemanding outdoor space for lots of entertaining.”

In the survey, landscape architects with a specialization in residential design across the country were asked to rate the expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor design elements. The category of gardens and landscape spaces, with 94.9% of those responding rating somewhat or very popular. That was followed closely by outdoor living—defined as kitchen and entertainment areas—at 91.5%.

Across all categories, 97.4% of respondents rated grills as somewhat or very in demand for 2012, followed by low-maintenance landscapes (96.6%), fireplaces/fire pits (95.8%), and dining areas (95.7%). Lighting features remained a popular choice, as they did in 2011, at 93.1%, as Americans plan to take more of their lives outside once the sun sets—to an extent.

“The economic recovery continues to struggle, but residential design has remained stronger than other categories throughout the recession,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville.

Americans also love their pools (79.2%), but not quite as much as their spas (80.4%) and other decorative water elements (89.9%) such as waterfalls or bubblers.

Seating and dining areas remain high on people’s lists (95.7%), as do installed seating at 86.9% and weatherized outdoor furniture at 81.2%.

When thoughts turn to gardening, Americans tend toward the practical and sustainable with native plants (86.3%) and food/vegetable gardens (81.2%), with more than half of them preferred to be organic (61.2%).

Besides planting locally and organically, other sustainable elements continue to retain popularity with owners. Native or drought-tolerant plants (85.4%), drip irrigation (81.7%) and permeable paving (71.6%) are making their way into outdoor living spaces across the country.

The following charts provide a look at the results of the ASLA survey (5=100%). Additional information on residential landscape architecture can be found at ASLA residential.

 Outdoor Design Elements (Percent rating somewhat or very popular for 2012)
Outdoor Design Elements (Percent rating somewhat or very popular for 2012)

 
 

Outdoor Living Features (Percent rating somewhat or very popular for 2012

Outdoor Living Features (Percent rating somewhat or very popular for 2012

 

 Outdoor Recreation Amenities (Percent rating somewhat or very popular for 2012)
 Outdoor Recreation Amenities (Percent rating somewhat or very popular for 2012)

 Landscape/Garden Elements (Percent rating somewhat or very popular for 2012)
 Landscape/Garden Elements (Percent rating somewhat or very popular for 2012)

 Sustainable Design Elements (Percent rating somewhat or very popular for 2012)
 Sustainable Design Elements (Percent rating somewhat or very popular for 2012)

 Outdoor Structures (Percent rating somewhat or very popular for 2012)
 Outdoor Structures (Percent rating somewhat or very popular for 2012)

   

Tagged categories: American Society of Landscape Architects; Architecture; Landscape architects

Comment from Iris Baron, (5/14/2012, 4:49 PM)

If only we could all create edible cities! This video is wonderful!


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