9 8 E R A D I S T I N C T I V E P R O P E R T I E S L U X E C O R N E R S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 2 2 L U X U R Y L A N D S C A P I N G T R E N D S Take it Outside Today’s hottest backyard trends involve thinking outside the box and extending your home’s livable space beyond just its interior square footage. This is particularly true in warmer climates, where luxury landscaping firms are frequently tasked with creating outdoor kitchens and living rooms for their clients. But even homes in cooler locales can take advantage of the trend with careful planning. The first question to ask yourself is how you plan to utilize the space; will it be a casual venue for reading a book with a glass of wine, or an entertainment hub for your entire family and friends? Once you’ve decided how you want the space to function, start with flooring; options range from sleek polished concrete to rustic wood, depending on your preference. If you’re designing an outdoor kitchen, clever hardscaping techniques can create built-in workspaces and countertops, while also allowing space for sturdy, outdoorsafe appliances. Looking for more of a living room vibe? Set aside space for an outdoor-friendly, high-quality TV screen and an outdoor sound system, as well as a luxurious wet bar. Pull the area together with an outdoor rug, a fire pit, elegant lighting and stylish furniture designed to withstand the elements. If you live in a region that sees a lot of rain, covering your space with a retractable roof adds flexibility (and also protects against the harsh effects of the sun in the middle of summer). A Place to Pause Outdoor entertaining is wonderful, but so is the need for a little quiet reflection. Elevate your daily yoga or meditation practice - or design a tranquil space for your morning cup of coffee - by sectioning off a small corner within your property and creating an atmosphere of Zen. Place a stone pathway to your chosen spot and frame the area with lush, structured plants that create a visual separation; milkweed and lavender are great options. Additional landscaping elements can include a small water feature, such as a fountain, or a picturesque pergola, perhaps even with climbing honeysuckle or clematis. Want to take your Zen garden to the next level? Consider incorporating a rock garden and wind chimes, as well as sculptures and even a koi pond with a bridge.