In 2020 we released our definitive guide to backyard design to enthusiastic, wonderful triumph, we engaged with thousands of people from all over the world and facilitated their outdoor space designs. Since then we have been in communication with outdoor specifiers, designers and architects in their quest to expand backyards in a post-COVID world. As more people spend time within their own personal bubble, we've talked to experts across a broad spectrum to find the top outdoor trends for 2021.
1 - Earth Tones
Earthy tones are back, the texture and feel of reds through browns can provide terrific juxtaposition in your outdoor space. Consider textured walls and fences or red-earth bricks to outline and break up your space.
2 - Minimalism
When you're shopping for furniture, consider minimalism in the design - clean straight lines and one colour are best to modernise your space.
3 - Colours: Monotone, Neutral or Warm
Consider a single colour throughout your space this year, grey is the colour of 2021. Grey doesn't need to be boring, or old, or dull - use it to draw interest and intrigue to your space. Warm tones are also on trend this year. Reds, oranges and yellows should be considered in your design approach. Think autumn leaves without the mess.
4 - Shade
Outdoor Cantilever Umbrellas are the best option for shade in your outdoor space. The ability to offset shade with a cantilever umbrella can't be understated. leaving room for you to enjoy your space. Clever shade can be deployed in any backyard project. Colours range from monotones to custom shade colours.
5 - Smart Technology
The rise of home automation, artificial intelligence and augmented reality around the home is booming and trending. There are plenty of creative, smart and useful ways you can setup your outdoor space from security to audio-visual spectaculars.
6 – Winter Patios
An emerging trend this year is the concept of “winter patios.” Designing spaces and areas that are usable as the months cool off. This is important as it extends the life of your outdoor space enabling you to use the space year-round as we spend more time at home over the next while.
7 - Dark Accents
Most of our suggestions this year revolve around lighter tones, whether they're earth, light wood or fresh whites. If you're finding these to be too overwhelming, try combining them with dark accents and outlines. This trend will make your space pop. Think about the difference of an illustration with a black outline and without that line!
8 - The Statement Piece
Create your own signature look with a statement piece, think an architectural spa pool, high-end table setting or premium outdoor cantilever umbrella to wow your friends and family.
9 - Comfort & Familiarity
It's important that your space is welcoming and comfortable to spend time in. Double-down on spending time making your space usable and familiar so that your family are happy to be there. It's key to remember you're going to be spending plenty of time in the space when you move forward with garden design.
10 - Wood & Concrete
The trend of wood and concrete continues from the last few years. This look is now well cemented as a premium option for spaces looking to elevate from a bland spot. This also synergises with the concept of earthy tones. Look to patio and pavers for great ideas to bring these textures into your space
11 - Greenery
If you choose to go with the earthy tones, perhaps look to some low maintenance plants such as succulents and soft grasses. Using these low-effort greens will help add life and variety to your space.
12 – Zonal Variety
A defining trend of the next 12 months will be creating distinct zones within your backyards to define the use case. This will enable those who have a predilection to procrastination or in opposition, can't sit still can move from one space to another. Top of your list should be cantilever umbrellas, or market umbrellas, these will help you define your spaces which important in garden design.
13 - Rugs & Pillows
Harking back to number 9. We suggest investing in nice outdoor rugs and pillows. This will increase your comfort levels and give you an excuse to contrast your current design or match the overall feel with your colour choices.
14 - Cookware
Barbecues are as essential to backyards as company, grass and fresh air. On trend BBQs include those with a pop of colour on the hood. Make a statement that's as good as your steaks. Outdoor eating is always on trend in outdoor area design.
Something to warm you or your food is always a premium addition to any outdoor space. Fire pits & outdoor fires are a traditional supplement to any outdoor space and can even be retrofitted to allow cooking. Look to great manufacturers for the latest models.
16 - Soft to Hard Transitions
An interesting question to ask yourself in your outdoor design is, how do I transition the structures and zones in a thoughtful & useful way. You can choose a hard transition when you go from straight concrete lines in planter boxes to grass. Or you can plant soft grasses or other easy-care greens in between to create a gradual transition between the materials which is optimal for outdoor area design.
17 - LED Lighting
Prop up the ambience of your space with LED lighting solutions – You can get controllable LED lights that are set up to define and finish off outdoor spaces. Match your style and aesthetic with an integrated colourful solution. A top 2021 trend is to use different colours to define spaces.
18 - Modular
Modularity is an important part of any design trends, there’s no point in creating something that is rigid and set as your tastes and needs will evolve over time. Look to products and builds that are multi-functional this will give you the most latitude to enjoy. Storage inside seating, customisable seating and multiple umbrellas with modular mounting options.
19 - Aluminium
Aluminium is a premium outdoor material. It’s corrosion resistant and strong, the popular stark grey (the colour of 2021) tones of the aluminium is a perfect match for outdoor builds. In any top end trending backyard you should ensure your products are built from aluminium. Our outdoor umbrellas buying guide is available today.
20 - Spa Pools
Spa pools are a great addition to your backyard. A product that has been reinvigorated with modern designs and thinking that align with the latest trends. You’ll find something that offers comfort, relaxation and a centrepiece for your backyard that you can enjoy regardless of what’s going on outside your white picket fence.
21 - Family
The most important trend you should look at in 2021 is your family. After such a long, tough year we suggest you look inward and enjoy as much time as possible with your family in your backyard, this is the most important part of any new garden design as we all look towards spending more time outdoors, building with your family in mind should be the top of your list (even though it’s the bottom of this one)
Let us know if you’ve found this guide useful – We’re passionate about projects in outdoor spaces if you need any advice on outdoor trends for 2021 get in touch with out shade specialists.