Spring has officially sprung and for many of us it’s time to start thinking about getting outside.
If your yard didn’t weather the winter well (no pun intended!), or is just in need of a little TLC, here are some top outdoor trends to get you in-the-know and in the mood. From attracting more birds, to focusing on sustainability, or simply creating a Zen space from which to enjoy a coffee or entertain friends, spring is a time of rebirth, renewal and fun.
So, get out there and enjoy the sunshine!
#1 Black Aluminum Accents Rule
Want to bring the inside out? Think black aluminum. Whether it’s window casings, cupola roofs, or metal planters and containers, black aluminum - popularized by the farmhouse-style makeovers of the last decade - brings a level of sophistication and class to any home.
Matching the recent indoor design trends of black plumbing fixtures and black and crystal lighting, black metal boot trays, planter boxes, yard art and exterior lighting can easily be incorporated into any setting. If you’re looking to refresh the exterior of your home, consider using back-lit black house numbers in a modern font, or accenting your roofline with a black aluminum weathervane for interest.
And in the yard or on the patio, try mixing the black accents up with eclectic, jewel toned flowers or outdoor pillows inspired by pantone’s ‘color of the year’ – Viva Magenta - for a fresh, bright look!
Additionally, black aluminum accents are also great for creating contrast and visual interest in your outdoor space. They work especially well when combined with lighter colors or natural materials like wood and stone.
Consider adding a black aluminum pergola or trellis to your patio or deck to create a dramatic focal point. Or, use black aluminum fencing to define different areas of your yard or garden. The possibilities are endless!
#2 Make Your Yard Bird Friendly
Nothing says spring like the chirping of birds, and it’s really very easy to encourage them to come to your yard. With the increased interest in birdwatching, there are plenty of options to choose from when welcoming these vibrant animals into your space. A surefire way to make your yard bird friendly is by providing them with a unique birdfeeder. Don’t settle for the basic tube – there are so many creative options out there from fly-through feeders to unique perch feeders. You’re sure to find one that inspires you.
Summertime is also hot, and our feathered friends feel it too! Cool them off by adding a birdbath or provide shelter with multiple birdhouses. Remember, different birds nest in different ways, so be sure to do a little research if you’re trying to attract a specific type. In addition to their beauty, bringing birds to your yard can also help rid your lawn of weeds and assist in flower pollination.
To take your bird-friendly yard to the next level, consider creating a butterfly garden as well. Butterflies are not only beautiful, but they also play a crucial role in pollinating flowers and plants. You can attract butterflies to your yard by planting flowers like milkweed, zinnias, and coneflowers, as well as providing them with a shallow dish of water and a sunny spot to bask in.
With the right plants and a little patience, you can enjoy watching these graceful creatures flit around your yard all spring and summer long.
#3 Design A Purposeful Outdoors By Maximizing Your Zen
Every garden should be a place of respite and relaxation. Zen is a Japanese term emphasizing the value of meditation and intuition. A Zen garden has been more generically linked to a space that incites a feeling of peacefulness and calm. An easy way to bring Zen into your outdoor space is by introducing more greenery to the hardscape. Multiple planters and pots arranged around a patio can create designated spaces, and differing height and width planting boxes accentuated with annual blooms in bright colors or pot-bound trees such as hibiscus can frame out an ‘outdoor room’ in an interesting way. Remember - more is more when it comes to planters, so don’t be afraid to experiment with styles and materials!
If you’re really feeling creative, incorporate a sundial for interest or a firepit to relax during the long summer evenings; just don’t forget to provide a spark screen to prevent any embers from escaping! To enhance the feeling of comfort and calm, you can also add outdoor rugs, solar or LED accent lights, outdoor gauzy curtains, and pillows to complement and soften the look of the outdoor room.
Another way to maximize Zen in your outdoor space is by incorporating water features. The sound of trickling water can be incredibly soothing and can help drown out any unwanted noises from neighbors or nearby roads. Consider adding a small pond or fountain to your yard, or installing a simple water wall on your patio. You can even create a DIY water feature using a large pot, some stones, and a recirculating pump. Not only will it add to the overall Zen feel of your space, but it can also attract birds and other wildlife.
#4 Add A Cupola For Curb Appeal
Nothing is more important in a first impression of your home than its curb appeal. No matter what kind of home you own, the addition of a cupola is a simple way to enhance your home’s beauty and elegance. Often topped with a unique weathervane that reflects your personality, a cupola instantly adds interest to a home, barn, chicken coop, shed or any other roofline. Designed to be decorative in most instances, they can also be functional for ventilation with louvered sides. Homes and barns often have cupolas with windows to allow in additional light.
There are two styles of cupolas – square or octagon – and it’s important to have a professional size them correctly for your home. They are usually made with maintenance free materials such as high-quality vinyl, wood, black aluminum or pure copper and they can be painted, although are lot remain white with a contrasting copper or aluminum roof. If you are planning to update the exterior of your home, consider adding a cupola for maximum effect.
To really make your cupola stand out, consider adding some lighting to it. Outdoor accent lighting can be installed on or near the cupola to highlight its unique shape and add a warm glow to your home's exterior at night. You can also hang string lights or lanterns from the cupola's weathervane for a whimsical touch.
#5 Elegant, Sustainable Rain Chains
With a focus on sustainability, and the challenges and expense of watering yards and lawns in increasingly dry summers, a hot trend this spring is the addition of a rain chain. Long-lasting, functional and sustainable, rain chains move water away from the house as effectively as traditional downspouts, while also providing a relaxing, soothing sound. Made of premium quality copper and brass, they provide a stylish alternative and add a touch of class to any outdoor space. Multiple eye-catching styles and designs are available, including this Buddha-inspired rain chain, which perfectly pairs with the Zen trend above!
As an added bonus, funneling a rain chain into a decorative rain barrel allows you to collect water to irrigate your garden. Using this recycled water is a win-win for your pocketbook and for the planet!
Another way to make your rain chain even more sustainable is by incorporating it into a rain garden. A rain garden is a low-lying area in your yard that is designed to capture rainwater runoff and filter it back into the ground. By planting native plants and grasses in the rain garden, you can help prevent soil erosion, improve water quality, and provide a habitat for birds and other wildlife. You can even use your rain chain to direct water into the rain garden, creating a stunning and eco-friendly feature in your yard.
No matter what your taste or budget, your outdoor space should be as inviting and unique as you are. Taking a bit of time and money to invest and plan what you want to improve will result in hours of outdoor enjoyment for years to come!
Remember, outdoor design is all about creativity and self-expression. Don't be afraid to try new things and take risks with your outdoor space. Whether you're incorporating bold colors and patterns, experimenting with different materials and textures, or creating unique features like a living wall or outdoor kitchen, the most important thing is that your outdoor space reflects your personality and makes you happy. So go ahead and have some fun with it!