Home Improvement Industry Trend Alert – Outdoor Spaces

By Zach Williams

Photo Credit: ARNOLD Masonry and Landscape via Compfight cc

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for Spring to be here for good. I’m ready for warmer weather, outdoor parties and the perfect outdoor space.

The American Society of Landscape Architects recently released their 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey, and I’ve included some of this season’s highlights below. I searched the top survey responses on Houzz and Pinterest to see what consumers and industry professionals are posting and pinning when it comes to these outdoor trends. 

Both Pinterest and Houzz are a great way to connect with consumers and inspire them to do DIY projects that drive them to your stores for supplies and expert advice. Plus, by following your target market on these social media platforms, you get inside access into exactly what the consumer wants.

Low-Maintenance Landscapes

Low maintenance can still mean big impact. Give consumers “Less lawn and more garden” like Westover Landscape Design, Inc. did in this Houzz post below.

A combination of stone and gravel offer a low maintenance yard that still looks clean and modern. 

Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor kitchens can range from rustic picnic tables and camp stoves to luxurious brick ovens and built-in grills. Depending on the difficulty of the project, DIYers may lean towards hiring a contractor for some or all of these jobs, which can still be ok for home improvement retailers. 

Make sure to offer consumers multiple projects that range in skill, and have a list of skilled contractors on hand as well. Need help finding a contractor? Checkout Porch.com.

Or here’s a great example of the beginnings of a budget-friendly outdoor kitchen prep station. Offer this example to consumers who want the outdoor experience without the big price tag. Couple this idea with an open fire pit and consumers will have an authentic outdoor cooking setup without the big ticket purchase.

Recycled Materials

Tables with wood that’s been reused from other spaces, projects or even doors are all over Pinterest and Twitter. Outdoor spaces are the perfect place for these repurposed-wood tables. The weathered wood makes for a rustic table that can withstand the outdoor elements.

Or consumers can take it one step further and just make a whole house from recycled windows like this couple did:


All trend reports are saying that 2014 will be the year of the fruit and vegetable gardens. Even if consumers have limited (or no) outdoor space, the recent increase in food awareness is driving everyone to plant something, anything. I’ve gathered a few Pinterest boards from industry experts below to help you guide your consumers in the right direction.

Lowe’s Garden Tips

Follow Lowe’s’s board Gardening Tips on Pinterest.

It’s not just the big home improvement guys who have the best boards though. Here is a board all about vegetable gardening from a smaller pinner promoting sustainable living.

Vegetable Garden Board

Follow Attainable Sustainable’s board Vegetable Gardens & Growing Food on Pinterest.

Low Water and Native Plants

Succulents are low water, low maintenance and gorgeous. They come in a variety of shapes and colors, and they will grow without much care or water at all. They can be planted in the ground or can survive with little to no soil to offer a great accent wall for a garden like the one featured below.

Lankford Associates Landscape Architects did a great job incorporating low maintenance landscape features into this beautiful neighborhood garden. Remember to take consumer’s location into consideration when recommending foliage. The salt resistant plantings were perfect for the seaside environment.


The right outdoor lighting can be the difference between enjoying your outdoor space all night long and having to go in as soon as the sun goes down.

Romantic strung lights like the one below will be an easy, quick fix for DIYers wanting to add lighting that won’t blow their budget or take a whole weekend to install. The unique round bulbs make these lights distinctly different from Christmas lights, so they won’t have to worry about their neighbors talking bad about them. 

Outdoor path lighting is also a great way to add character and practicality to outdoor spaces. You can easily score extra points with DIYers by offering solar-powered outdoor lights that look chic like the ones below, but are still easy to install.


Outdoor spaces are a fun, relaxing space for friends and family to enjoy the home that the DIYer has worked so hard to spruce up through their many projects.

What trends are you seeing in outdoor spaces this year? What products or tips are you recommending? Let us know in the comments below!

Zach Williams is the Founder and Creative Director for Venveo, a digital marketing agency. Zach has logged countless hours creating strategies and developing brand loyalty for Home Improvement brands. Follow him on
Twitter or find him on LinkedIn

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