Hardscaping, an essential part of landscape design, integrates inorganic elements such as stone, concrete, and wood to create visually appealing yet functional outdoor living spaces. Rethink an underused patio, worn pathways and driveway, a tired deck, or an old fence. New technologies, new techniques, new ways of seeing outdoor living spaces – hardscape design trends are always evolving. In 2024, expect the backyard to become even more multi-functional, the appearance of vertical hardscaping, and pavers with greenery.
Outdoor Art Installations
Outdoor art installations for residential properties can take many interesting forms. Incorporating a sculpture, a mosaic, or a mural into your front yard or backyard landscaping design adds a unique and personal touch to your property.
Transform a brick wall into a mural that will make your backyard an entertaining place to be. Turn blank fences into a canvas for a story told by mosaic tiles or painted characters from a favourite fairy tale or graphic novel. The goal here is to make typically “unseen” elements of landscaping design “useful” and visually appealing.
You want to enhance the beauty of your outdoor living spaces, not overwhelm the senses. When adding sculptures take into consideration the size and number. Will it fit in or will it dominate the area? Should you install just one or would a grouping look better?
Whether you add sculptures, mosaics, or murals, follow the principle of maintaining the balance between art and nature.
Another prominent trend for hardscaping in 2024 is multi-functional backyards serving more than one purpose. The focus of these multi-functional spaces is relaxation, entertainment, and dining alfresco. When form and function are given equal consideration, outdoor living spaces become more versatile and adaptable, making them popular choices with homeowners who want to enjoy them for many years to come while increasing the resale value of their homes.
Ways to maximize outdoor living spaces, particularly in the backyard, include patios with a fire pit, decks with built-in seating (with hidden storage, of course), and modular outdoor kitchens designed not just for cooking but gathering and socializing.
Today’s outdoor kitchens include standard elements such as eco-friendly, durable weatherproof materials, a functional but cozy cooking area, and practical appliances. But they can also include a bar island complete with a mini fridge or entertainment components like a TV or an outdoor gaming system.
Using Sustainable Materials
Sustainability is important to many homeowners today. More than ever in 2024, construction industry professionals, landscape designers, and homeowners are actively choosing sustainable materials such as recycled concrete, reclaimed wood, and permeable pavers. Using eco-friendly products minimize their environmental impact; it also reduces the amount of waste produced and the consumption of resources. Sustainable materials create a distinctive look and feel that is aesthetically pleasing in outdoor living spaces.
Living in urban areas can mean having to deal with small backyards or tiny front yards. You can make the most out of a small yard with vertical hardscaping. Use shed or garage walls as a place to install a gutter garden made from repurposed gutters. Fences are excellent backdrops for an herb garden housed in recycled pallets. Trellises can make the most of a tiny flowerbed by allowing plants to grow upwards as well as outwards. This hardscaping trend in 2024 maximizes available space while adding focal points to your landscaping design.
Another strategy for maximizing the growing areas of small properties is to plant a living wall. Living walls are typically created by planting a combination of plants, shrubs, and small trees to form a fence, privacy screen, or a divider between one area of your yard and another. You can also make a living wall from air plants using wall frames specifically designed for that purpose.
Hardscape Design Accents
Another hardscaping trend to watch out for in 2024 is design accents that bring harmony into outdoor living spaces while creating visual interest and memorable focal points. This trend can be seen in a number of different ways:
- Using irregularly shaped stones as pavers for pathways, patios and retaining walls
- Water features that add a meditative quality with their soothing sounds and sights of flowing, bubbling, or gently cascading water
- Installing a large birdbath or traditional tiered fountain made of natural stone
- Pergolas installed over a patio provide shade and a place for climbing plants
- Wrought iron gates with a themed design lend elegance to the entrance of your property
Pavers with Greenery
A growing hardscape trend is to place pavers used on patios and pathways with spaces in between to allow grass to grow. For additional visual interest, you don’t have to lay the paving stones in a symmetrical pattern.
Have fun, go wild – use a section of your lawn to create a checkerboard by alternating squares of grass with squares of concrete.