As we have worked closely with our clients on our 2017 projects, it has become obvious that people crave outdoor spaces that invite activity, that are unique, and that complement the style of their house and their personal preferences. 2017 is all about customization!
This is the area of the landscape that is low maintenance, and generally used for patios, decks, sidewalks and gathering areas. Because of the harsh Utah environment, most people are avoiding cement because it cracks.
Pavers and natural stone have become the new standard. These products look amazing, and handle the elements nicely. Of course, installation techniques and using the right product for our climate is critical. These hardscape spaces set the tone for the rest of the landscape. Upgrading in these areas is money well spent!
We are also designing seat walls, or privacy walls, into every project we work on. These walls, while informal, provide a smooth transition through spaces. Again, these walls can be built with pavers, stone, stucco or brick. Stone usually works best for the seat wall cap as it is smoother, and can have the edges smoothed, like a bullnose. Additionally, low voltage LED lights can be placed under the cap providing a dramatic impact.
Most of these walls, or structures, will use similar materials as found on the house. If the materials differ too much, the harmony and complementary nature of finishes creates imbalance.
Now that LED lights have become more affordable, and more pleasing with the color spectrum illumination, every project we are working on has lights. This investment pays dividends as the sun sets and the sky darkens. Working with a designer who knows what products are available in the market, the impact light can have whether as an uplight, downlight, or moodlight makes all the difference.
Lights can be installed in zones and from your smart phone, you can have total control over light quality (bright or dim) and even color. Some zones can be brighter while others are more soft. If you are looking to add something special to your landscape, DO NOT overlook lights. And, because of the technology, LED lights last 10-15 years and have minimal electrical demands.
We are seeing the biggest growth in this area. Our clients are demanding well designed, and structurally reliable and elegant solutions for their outdoor spaces. Whether it’s a pool house, a covered pavilion, a covered outdoor kitchen, tree houses or even private shooting ranges, we are being asked to design, locate and construct these structures as part of an integrated solution.
Rarely are vinyl pavilions or low budget timber structures discussed. They simply don’t perform or produce the desired results. Fully enclosed is now the norm- no more trellis and lattice construction. Our clients want protected places, shingled roofs that offer respite from sun, rain and snow. These outdoor structures are being “classed up”, with custom curtains and hardware, recessed LED lighting, articulating ceiling fans, fireplaces, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances that perform in outdoor environments.