Americans want comfort, function and convenience, for the most part, in their outdoor home environments, according to the 2013 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends survey, but they also value sustainability. Commissioned by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the questionnaire found that grills are the most desired outdoor living feature, picked by 96 percent of the respondents. Outdoor living spaces came in a close second, at 95 percent, with installed seating at 90 percent.
Quality lighting, weatherized furniture, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and entertainment spaces also topped the list. Tennis courts and pools are still on a majority of homeowners’ wish lists.
Flashy and ostentatious is out; sustainable and efficient is in. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed indicated a desire to follow sustainable design practices in building their backyard oases.
Low-maintenance landscapes got a score of 94 percent, with native plants earning an 87 percent approval rating. The old-fashioned vegetable and fruit garden remains an outdoor staple, popular with 83 percent of survey respondents.