In Design, What’s In? What’s Trending? Pickleball, for One…

Here’s something everyone wants to know: what’s going on in the design space? What are people asking for and how might that affect sports facilities in private homes – or even in general?

The most recent Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) can provide some clues. In the survey, landscape architects were asked to rate the expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor design elements in 2018.

In this year’s survey, ASLA included some new types of outdoor amenities that appeal to both single-family and multi-family owners and residents and asked its members whether they were seeing a demand. Residential design is the largest market sector for the landscape architecture profession. Most of that work consists of single-family homes but also includes multi-family and retirement communities, — and one of the amenities popular there includes (no surprise) pickleball courts.

Here are the top ten project types with the expected highest consumer demand:

  • Native plants – 83.3%
  • Native/adapted drought tolerant plants – 83.0%
  • Low-maintenance landscapes – 80.0%
  • Flexible use space (for yoga classes, movie night, etc.) – 74.2%
  • Permeable paving – 74.0%
  • Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 72.4%
  • Rain gardens – 71.2%
  • Reduced lawn area – 70.8%
  • Food/vegetable gardens (including orchards, vineyards, etc.) – 70.5%
  • Charging stations (mobile devices) – 70.0%

The hottest sustainable design elements include native/adapted drought tolerant plants (83.0 percent), permeable paving (74.0 percent) and drip/water-efficient irrigation (72.4 percent). Last year’s top three in this category were almost the same: native/adapted drought tolerant plants (82.3 percent), permeable paving (76.3 percent) and reduced lawn area (72.7 percent).

The outdoor recreation amenities category has been revised this year to include amenity types for both single-family and multi-family residences. Sports courts were broken down into more specific types and labyrinths were removed. The top three types in 2018 include dog-related recreation areas (68.0 percent), designated areas for other outdoor recreation (61.5 percent) and bocce courts (42.5 percent). Last year’s top three in this category were sports courts (42.4 percent), spa features (39.7 percent) and swimming pools (39.2 percent).

ASLA added a new question about multi-family outdoor amenities this year. The top three trends for this category include flexible use space (for yoga classes, movie night, etc.) (74.2 percent), charging stations (mobile devices) (70.0 percent) and bike storage (69.9 percent).

Here are some trends, all ranked in expected order of popularity for 2018:

Breakdown on Outdoor Recreation Amenities (Single Family and Multi-Family Residences)
Ranked in expected order of popularity for 2018
Dog-related recreation area – 68.0%
Designated area for other outdoor recreation – 61.5%
Bocce courts – 42.5%
Swimming pools – 36.8%
Pickleball courts – 30.0%
Hot tubs/whirlpools/Jacuzzis – 29.3%
Outdoor gym – 28.6
Lap pools – 27.2%
Basketball courts – 16.6%
Paddle tennis courts – 14.2%
Lawn croquet – 13.9%
Saunas – 11.8%
Tennis courts – 9.1%

Multi-Family Outdoor Amenities
Flexible use space (for yoga classes, movie night, etc.) – 74.2%
Charging stations (mobile devices) – 70.0%
Bike storage – 69.9%
Play area for children – 57.7%
Water feature (aesthetic feature, not pool) – 46.5%
Bike repair station – 45.9%
Transit screen (updates on public transit) – 39.1%
Pet spa – 32.1%
Plunge pool – 18.6%

Outdoor Structures
Enhanced railing systems (cable, glass, etc.) – 51.0%
Pergolas – 48.3%
Decks – 42.8%
Fencing – 41.5%
ADA Accessible structures (ramps, bars, shelving, etc.) – 39.9%
Arbors – 37.4%
Play structures (tree houses, swing sets, etc.) – 34.1%
Porches – 32.6%
Pavilions – 32.6%
Utility sheds (tool sheds, garden sheds) – 30.0%
Gazebos – 21.0%

See the full information here.

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