australian gardening, fire pits, land art, landscaping, matt leacy, outdoor rooms
Matt Leacy, founder and creative director of Landart Landscapes, shares his landscape-design trend forecasts.
Texture in flooring is definitely coming back into vogue, and I see this becoming more popular in 2018. For a while now, we’ve been in a bit of a minimalist period. While I think that many consumers will continue to choose minimalist flooring, plenty of others will head to the other end of the spectrum and go very textural.
We expect to see different stones being used for flagging and cobbles to break up large are
as. There are lots of exciting new stones on the market including different variations on porphyry, limestone and granite. Their finishes, shapes and sizes are also changing. Cobblestones will be used in interesting ways, mixing lines with rounded shapes and the like. We’ll see consumers continue to shift away from large- format, clean-line finishes towards textured smaller tiles.
Timber will be popular in 2018. It can fit into any design aesthetic and can be left to weather and silver, or be kept vibrant and fresh depending on personal taste and time available for maintenance.
We’ll also start to see more raw and finished concrete being used both in and out of the pool, on seating, barbecues and general flooring.
In: Fire pits
Over the past year, we’ve seen consumer demand for fire pits reach an all-time high and we expect that to reach its peak this year as they become more mainstream and people realise the range on the market at different price points.
I think fire pits will be a trend that sticks around; they can be super stylish and multifunctional – and they’re a great way to generate outdoor heat, light and ambience, while saving on electricity. You’ve got built-in fire pits, which can also function as coffee tables, or you’ve got more basic iron and steel bowls. We’ll especially see uptake at the beginning of autumn as the cooler months begin to set in. They basically keep you out in the garden chatting with friends and family instead of retreating indoors.
Obviously, you’ve just got to be wary of weather conditions and any fire bans that might be in place when you’re using them.
In: Outdoor rooms
The idea of creating outdoor rooms that mirror the functionality of traditional indoor spaces will continue to pick up steam this year. Outdoor kitchens, showers, daybeds, sunken lounges, comfy outdoor furniture – they’ve all become an expectation rather than a luxury in many of the markets we’re working in.
As additional consumers see outdoor rooms on the market, they will likely become the perceived norm and the real estate market will have to respond to meet buyer demand.
We’ll likely see more vendors installing outdoor room elements pre-sale to maximise sale price and also property developers installing them at the build stage.
In: Strip lighting
Strip lighting under steps, seats and benchtops creates an amazing feel and is becoming increasingly popular.
This will become even trendier in 2018 as a complement to outdoor room elements.
In: Interesting plants
Interesting succulents and cactus plants will continue to be really popular both indoors and outdoors. The architectural structure they canprovide to any garden is impressive.
Some of the larger varieties such as agave americana and blue cactus are becoming difficult to find in nurseries, so getting the signature piece for the garden can be a challenge.
As such, if you’re planning to renovate or sell in 2018, it will be smart to plan the garden early on so that you can grow or take the time to find what you need.
I think we’ll also see some old classics featured more. Cloud- and sphere-pruned plants are a favourite of mine. They have been around for centuries; we have been using them for many years and can see them growing in popularity. They go well in most styles of gardens we do.
Out: Metal “timber”
What we should say goodbye to this year is metal imitating timber. The main offenders are front boundary fences where metal slats or pickets are used.
Metal is metal and timber is timber; it never works when you try to pass one off as the other.
To view a selection of Matt Leacy’s work, visit www.landart.com.au. Photos: Jason Busch