What’s Hot for Outdoor Living in 2012?

Each year, American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) reaches out to hundreds of industry professionals to find out what’s trending in the outdoor living arena. Their feedback is based on their clients (homeowners) and what outdoor features they’re requesting the most. So, here’s an overview of what’s hot in outdoor living for 2012:

Top Outdoor Design Elements  

Image from My Home Ideas


  1. Gardens and landscaped spaces
  2. Outdoor kitchens and entertaining areas
  3. Recreation amenities (pools, spas, tennis courts)
  4. Sustainable design features
  5. Turf lawns
  6. Accessible design for the disabled

Top Outdoor Living Features

Image from My Home Ideas


  1. Grills
  2. Seating/outdoor dining furniture
  3. Fire pits and fireplaces
  4. Landscape lighting
  5. Installed seating (benches, ledges)
  6. Weatherized or year-round outdoor furniture
  7. Counter space
  8. Utility storage
  9. Stereo systems
  10. Sinks

Top Outdoor Recreation Features

Image from Decor Pad


  1. Decorative water elements (ornamental pools, waterfalls)
  2. Swimming pools
  3. Spa features (hot tubs, Jacuzzi, Whirlpool, sauna)
  4. Sports (tennis or basketball court)
  5. Outdoor TV or theater

Top Landscape and Garden Elements

Image from My Home Ideas

  1. Low-maintenance landscapes
  2. Native plants
  3. Fountains and ornamental water features
  4. Food and vegetable gardens (orchards and vineyards)
  5. Water-saving xeriscaping
  6. Organic gardens
  7. Rain gardens
  8. Ponds and streams
  9. Rooftop gardens

Top Sustainable Design Features

Image from BHG


  1. Native or adapted drought-tolerant plants
  2. Drip or water-efficient irrigation
  3. Reduced lawn
  4. Permeable paving
  5. Recycled materials
  6. Rainwater/graywater harvesting
  7. Compost bins
  8. Geothermal-heated pools
  9. Solar-powered lights

Top Outdoor Structures

Image from Elle Decor


  1. Terraces and patios
  2. Fencing and gates
  3. Steps
  4. Ornamental water features and fountains
  5. Pergolas
  6. Arbors
  7. Decks
  8. Porches
  9. Outdoor kitchens and ovens
  10. Utility sheds
Bookmark and Share


  1. […] last week, we featured a massive list of this year’s most popular outdoor design trends. While decks, patios and sustainable gardens are all common to have, it’s important to […]

  2. […] in May, we featured a list of outdoor living trends that American landscape architects expect to continue to gain ground throughout 2012. One feature […]

  3. […] high-end facilities and using top of the line equipment, fitness fanatics right here in states can achieve a similar look at home. Image from Houzz Image from Home Design Decorate Image from Home Designing Image from Home […]

Speak Your Mind


− four = 2