Tips and Trends for Outdoor Spaces
Central Virginians love their outdoor spaces. The options for enhancing and customizing these areas are as limitless as options for interiors. But don’t take our word for it. Here, read what several local companies have to say about trends and remarkable projects completed in our area to inspire you to make the most of your own outdoor space.
More Than Just a Place to Grill
“I see more and more people using their backyards as outdoor living spaces. Seating areas, fire pits, and outdoor kitchens are becoming as popular as decks have been in the past—but the benefit is that these permanent fixtures don’t need to be replaced over time like decks do. We are also implementing a lot of grills and cooking areas in outdoor spaces as well.”
-Jimmy Henderson, A-Plus Lawn Care
“There is no doubt that multi-functional outdoor living spaces are trendy. With clients holding on to their homes now and investing in them, we find they are looking to create a space that they can use with their kids and family to eat, entertain, cook, watch TV and swim. It used to be that clients would only pick one or two of those items to install.”
-Mark Maslow, Southern Landscape Group
Using Landscape, Hardscape to Improve Your Space
“When enhancing your outdoor space, it doesn’t have to be all about total removal or starting from scratch to beautify your space. Your house is your castle, and it can be enhanced by working with your natural landscape—blending new ideas with your surroundings or troubleshooting problem areas. As a landscape renovation company, we transform spaces through natural pruning, transplanting, shifting trees or plants around, downsizing, and adding new plant stock that can give your outdoor space that distinguished flair.”
-Tony Rini, 4 Seasons Landscape
“We’ve noticed several trends in hardscaping. Since so many customers have been asking us for retaining wall and paver colors that match each other, we now produce pavers that match our most popular wall colors. Instead of picking two different-colored products that will hopefully look good together, customers are after one, more continuous look from the wall to the flatwork. We are also seeing an increase in the use of manufactured veneer stone—an inexpensive way to jazz up an existing concrete, block or wood wall or structure. The use of permeable concrete and clay pavers is also on the rise; these products allow water to drain through the surface rather than running off. Tighter restrictions on water runoff have made these products more popular.”
-Brent Gleason, Boxley Block, Brick and Hardscape Center
Consider a Dream Project
“We see a trend toward tying interior space and design elements into exterior hardscape areas. One recent project featured a remodel of a master bedroom suite and bath, which opened out onto a beautiful raised patio area with a babbling stream water feature, matching indoor and outdoor fireplaces, seat walls, and an outdoor kitchen. We used the same stone veneer for the fireplaces, and then continued it across the front of the house to tie the entire experience together inside and out. The crowning jewel of the whole project, though, was the spectacular view of the mountains through the new atrium windows in the bedroom and from the new outdoor entertainment area.”
-Laurice Jennings, Jennings Works, Inc.
“Our favorite recent project was one in which we transformed a backyard very typical for our area—which included a slope and woods—into a nationally recognized architectural showcase for outdoor living space. This space included a stunning combination of many of the popular trends in landscaping, hardscaping and other outdoor structures, including a pool and spa combo, pool house, fire pit, patio, segmental wall, and pergola.”
-D. Wayne Melancon, Land Tech Group of Virginia
“We really enjoyed the “Wandering Garden” that we designed for the Alzheimer Unit at Friendship Manor in Roanoke. A “wandering garden” is a type of therapeutic garden for people with Alzheimer’s Disease where they can be outside in safe environment. Designed in an existing courtyard area, the garden contains all nontoxic plants, since a surprising number of popular landscape plants are harmful if ingested. The path layout and materials are simple enough to not confuse patients, but also provide interest along the entire route. Material color selection was important because depth perception is affected by this disease, so certain colors can be perceived by patients as a hole in the ground they could fall into. All of these things and more had to be considered in the design; it was a challenging and rewarding experience.”
-Rebecca Mahanes, Allied Design Company
“We enjoy working with our customers to listen to what they want and to be able to give them just what they imagine. We just installed a sail to cover a pond and exposed patio. The sail helps protect the pond from the heat, and complements the outdoor living space.”
-Norman Tharpe Water Garden Designs by Tharpe Landscaping Co.