What’s trending in landscape design? Here in San Diego and elsewhere, it’s outdoor rooms. The latest 2017 survey provided by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) lists outdoor rooms as the most popular type of room addition (37%) for homeowners thinking of adding rooms to their property, beating out mudrooms and man caves among others. No surprise here in the land of sunshine, outdoor living rooms have only become more popular in San Diego; the percentage of folks dreaming of a roofed overhead -- outdoor fireplace, outdoor kitchen, and a multitude of outdoor luxuries --increases daily.
The AIA survey shows more than two-thirds of architect firms seeing a rise in the demand for outdoor living spaces. Interestingly, 61% noticed more clients wanting their outdoor spaces to sync with the indoors. Mirroring elements in the outdoor landscape to the home and interior has always been a postulate of good home and garden design, so this high percentage is a sign that clients are becoming more educated and demanding spaces that mix harmoniously. Additionally, about one-third of the firms saw an uptick in the desire for outbuildings and also for exterior/security lighting.
Another interesting statistic to be gleaned, especially here in San Diego with our hills, mesas, and canyons, 56% of the respondents noted an increase in properties with complex grading and removal challenges. This is likely the result of homeowners (and developers) desiring as much usable outdoor space as possible. And the final trend at the heart of San Diego’s new landscapes: drought tolerant plantings, termed “low irrigation landscaping” presumably to also include drip and microspray irrigation, was noted by 55% of those included in the poll.
The trend continues in San Diego -- homeowners installing new landscapes want designers to plan highly functional outdoor living spaces with beautiful, drought tolerant gardens.