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Landscaping Ideas for Outdoor Living in 2018

Now is the perfect time to plan for the year to come and imagine the ways in which your Hingham, MA, backyard can evolve. Do you feel like your landscape could be more attractive, or that your outdoor entertainment could be more practical? Read on to discover a few trends that could take your landscape to the next level in 2018.

Beach-inspired walkways

You can make your home feel like a beach-side getaway by creating a charming walkway at its entrance. Landscape designers achieve a distinct beachy look with the use of small white pebbles. These pebbles can be used to frame a walkway consisting of grass, sand, or tumbled pavers. Alternatively, the stones can be assembled to form the body of the pathway, flanked by small shrubs, flowers and larger rocks.

When paired with a large untamed lawn and a Cape Cod style home, the relaxing and isolated atmosphere of a holiday beach-side house can be created. Shells can be scattered around large rocks or between plants to emphasize the theme.

Related: Some Stunning Alternatives to the Traditional Brick Walkway in Hingham

Making the most of small spaces

Is there a corner of your landscape that has remained unused for years, simply because its too small to turn into an outdoor room? Try making the most of your small, neglected spaces in 2018. One way to create an outdoor room free of crowded furniture, is by including multi-purpose retaining walls into the design. Retaining walls can outline the perimeter of the room, while serving as casual seating space or a surface upon which to place food and drinks.

Refrain from incorporating plants and flowers in many different colors, as they can make the room feel crowded. Opt for a monochromatic color scheme instead, filled with pops of cool color like blue, silver, and teal.

Turning small spaces into destinations doesn’t mean that they have to be able to accommodate many people. Consider creating a tranquil space where you can be alone and unwind or meditate. You could nestle a small water feature beside a snug bench and allow the surrounding plant life to envelop the rest of the space.

Related: Landscape Contractors Use These Techniques for Making Small Spaces Appear Larger

Incorporating Japanese influences

Japanese landscapes are inspiring works of art that incorporate many different elements of nature, water features, and organic materials like wood. They refrain from using materials that look artificial, like concrete, for example.

Consider creating a waterfall shrouded in plant life that empties into a large pond. A sophisticated wooden bridge may be constructed, leading to a small patio underneath a pair of large flowering trees. Japanese influences work best when you have a large landscape to experiment with, and are centered around creating harmonious shapes, sounds, and textures.

Related: Backyard Designs that Promote Serenity and Calm

Dining further from the home

Outdoor dining areas are generally situated snugly against the home so that trips to the indoor kitchen can be made unnoticed. However, more homeowners are creating distance between their al fresco dining and home. You could create a decked out kitchen right beside your dining area – with all the appliances and utilities you would ever need. Or you could simply carry your plate a bit further, from your indoor kitchen or existing grill to your new secluded dining area.

Related: Outdoor Lighting Ideas for Improving Safety in Your Hanover Backyard

An isolated dining area can help to make the ambience of dining under the stars more immersive and unique. Having a fire pit or hot tub nearby will ensure that pre- and post-dinner entertainment is always available.

Related: Advantages of Hiring a Design Build Company over a Basic Landscape Contractor in Milton

Backyard Designs for Creating Rustic Charm in Scituate, MA

Even though a rustic theme calls for a naturalistic look, a good design is just as important as it is for a more formal setting. Towne Tree and Landscaping can help you perfect your backyard design while injecting character and charm into the setting. Here we’ll take a look at some of the design elements you can include in your Scituate, MA, backyard to add that comforting, rustic feeling and authenticity.

Hardscapes

Natural stone, such as flagstone, is an obvious choice for rustic designs, providing irregular shapes and a high degree of visual interest. However concrete pavers should not be discounted. With their rich variations and a wide array of shapes and sizes, concrete pavers can be an excellent alternative to natural stone and are often indistinguishable from their natural counterparts. Their range of sizes means that although they may not offer the same irregularity of flagstone, visually interesting, randomized laying patterns can still be achieved. Both natural stone and concrete pavers can be woven into beautiful meandering country-esque walkways, and cozy rustic patios.

Related: Natural Stone vs Concrete Paver Patio for Your MA Home

Wood is also an important feature of rustic design and can be incorporated into hardscapes in the form of decking. This is an excellent solution for creating outdoor living spaces embedded in densely wooded backyards with the least impact on the environment.

Patio Furniture

Your backyard will definitely need seating space if it’s going to provide you with anything more than just good views. To maintain a rustic look, go for furniture that is rich in natural texture and warm, earthy coloring. For example, furniture made out of wood or wicker can help to complete the look. A picnic table or classic long, solid farmhouse style table with benches provides an excellent rustic addition to the landscape. Alternatively, permanent seating built with units steeped in rugged beauty is a great way to go.

Decorative Elements, Ornaments and Décor

Backyard ornaments and décor to complement a rustic theme include upcycled, vintage and natural elements. Old farm equipment and reclaimed wood are always great options for introducing a touch of rustic charm. Wagon wheels, railway sleepers, milk cans and raw timber can be repurposed to give your landscape a hint of the country. Consider, for example, including a railway sleeper walkway through a deep plant bed to allow easier access, or incorporating logs as casual landscape seating. Water features such as waterfalls, streams and ponds are also perfect elements for adding more natural beauty and serenity to your landscape. Similarly, natural stone, stone veneer, or naturalistic concrete fireplaces and fire pits are an excellent way to add comfort, warmth and an enjoyable rustic ambience.

Related: Capturing the Timeless Aesthetic of the Stone Wall

Flowers and Plants

A rustic backyard design would not be complete without plenty of plants and flowers. Large trees with richly textured bark are also a must. If space is available, why not have a vegetable garden installed and try your hand at growing produce such tomatoes, peppers, onions, and carrots. This not only adds to the rustic theme but contributes to the dinner table as well!

Trending Backyard Designs This Summer

Just as you update your Sciituate, MA, home’s interiors, an update to your outdoor areas every once in a while is a great way to give your landscape a fresh new look. So if it is time to give your outdoor living space a makeover, take a look at these top outdoor landscaping trends for this summer season:

Bringing the Indoors Out

Get ready to bring the indoors outside. The biggest trend this year is to create a seamless transition from the indoor living room or sunroom to your outdoor space. This can be done by matching your outdoor pavers to your indoor flooring, add an awning that extends your ceiling into your patio or by adding French or sliding doors that open out onto your patio. You can also use outdoor rugs, sofas, side tables and throw pillows to make it all the more inviting and give your patio a sense of indoor comfort. The backyard is now an extension of the indoor space, and you get to decorate it with fun outdoor furniture and decor just as if you were indoors.

Related: What’s Missing in your Landscaping Layout?

Fun Printed Pillows

A sure way to make the outdoors look more inviting is to add fun colored pillows. Look for bright colors to cozy up your patio space. These patterns and colors can be repeated in your plant beds with bright flowering shrubs or perennials for a cohesive look.

Keep Your Color Palette Cool

Some of the favorite fabric colors this season are soft coastal blues, bisque and ivory. And of course let’s not leave out the already trending bamboo and jute colors. These fabrics can provide a fresh new look to your outdoor areas in the form of outdoor curtains and shade cloths.

Related: 5 Most Important Landscape Design Essentials in Every Backyard

Retro Is Back

Forget that ornate outdoor furniture of a few years ago. Retro is this year’s summer trend. If you can’t find real retro furnishings, don’t worry! Many manufacturers are bringing the retro look back in their new furniture designs. Natural, woven styles and even crochet are hot items. Think 70’s with rattan and wicker inspired pieces.

Related: Backyard Designs for Creating Rustic Charm in MA

Non-Traditional Colors

Although rattan is back, modern manufactured materials are stronger and the new off-the-wall colors of woven furniture is fantastic. Think light blue distressed, or bright blues and oranges. These can be matched or contrasted with vibrant concrete pavers and brought to life after dark with an effective outdoor lighting system. Speaking of which, experimenting with outdoor lighting colors can also achieve some interesting effects and add a surprising new mood to your outdoor living areas.

Related: Backyard Designs that Promote Serenity and Calm

Natural Materials

By the same token natural is back when it comes to building materials as well. Patios and walkways in natural stone styles are the way to go. Up until recently installing natural stone was a challenging undertaking for homeowners because of availability, cost and the discrepancies in color and size. However with new precision cutting methods for natural stone, a larger global market, and the advancement of concrete pavers with stone-like finishes, these problems have been eliminated. Now the look of flagstone, bluestone, and sandstone is easily achieved.

Related: Natural Stone vs Concrete Paver Patio for Your MA Home

5 Essential Elements for Your MA Outdoor Kitchen

Adding an outdoor kitchen to your landscape is an investment that pays dividends in increasing property value and your family’s enjoyment of your backyard. If you’re confused about the range of essential elements for your outdoor kitchen in Westwood, MA, we’ve compiled a few vital considerations. Remember to choose materials that are complementary to the design of your home and other outdoor spaces, in order to keep the entire design unified and balanced.

A Place for Prep

Enjoying a meal with family or friends begins with the preparation stage. This initial part of the cooking process requires a surface area on which to season, cut, and otherwise get food ready for cooking. When it comes to prep room, the more the better. Whether you choose to incorporate a patio island or counters connected to your grill area, the choice should be made with an eye toward making the most efficient use of the space available.

Related Read: Finding an Outdoor Kitchen Design that Suits Your Style and Needs

A Place to Cook

The most obvious choice that you’ll have to make is your method of cooking. Whether you purchase an expensive grill, construct your own outdoor pizza oven, or create a construction that allows for a range of cooking methods, dedicate a space near the prep area for cooking alone. You might include a rotisserie, smoker, gas or wood burning grill. Consider your outdoor cooking habits and include the units best suited to your purposes.

Related Read: Natural Stone vs Concrete Paver Patio for Your MA Home

A Place to Clean

During and after cooking and enjoying your meal, you’ll need a place to clean the mess. Requiring a sink and a trash receptacle, this area should be designed for efficient and quick cleanup. Whether you typically clean as you cook or save the mess for after the meal, with a nearby clean up area with running water, sink, appropriate cleaners, and tools, you’ll find that the clean up is much quicker and easier than if you were to have to travel back and forth inside the house carrying dirty dishes and wet cloths.

A Place for Storage

Storing food outside requires some form of cabinetry for non-perishables, as well as a refrigerator for perishables. Being able to prepare meals without running inside and out for ingredients and tools is an essential requirement of a truly independent outdoor kitchen space. While you will likely use the fridge space mostly for refreshments and pre-made foods before a celebration, the extra space and cold drinks for your guests is a huge convenience. Moreover, for those who cook regularly outdoors during the summer, it simply makes sense to keep commonly used ingredients within the space where they’ll be used.

Related Read: Trending Backyard Designs This Summer

A Place to Eat

Finally, the point of your outdoor kitchen will be to share a meal with family and friends. You’ll need a dining area specifically for this purpose. The floor space should be stain resistant and easy to clean, and the seating should be comfortable with a nearby surface space for eating. You can choose to purchase luxurious outdoor furniture or construct a permanent dining space. Either way, consult a landscape design professional to ensure that the space complements the rest of your outdoor space, as well as your existing home’s architecture.

Related Read: Creating Privacy in Your Massachusetts Backyard