Landscape Trends of 2016

Landscape Trends of 2016

As a landscaping company, it’s always interesting to see the popular trends change from year to year. Based on predicted industry trends and requests from our supply yard and landscape clients, we have identified the top trends for 2016. It’s important for us to identify these up and coming styles so we are prepared with the appropriate material in our supply yard and we are up-to-date on what our clients want, in addition to understanding the best practices for how to install and maintain them. Please keep in mind these trends are being seen within the midwest region and trends will vary based on region and locality.

Up and Coming Landscape Trends

1. Outdoor Rooms

Outdoor space is becoming more of an extension of the home. People want outdoor kitchens to entertain and multiple areas to accommodate different functions in an outdoor living space.

outdoor room

2. Era Correct Landscapes

Environmental change is constant. As trends come and go, so does the migration of landscape design. As materials go in and out of style and different components such as containers and fire features become more or less popular, we see different landscape movements come through. Examples of 2016 trends include native limestone and pink cobblestone. In short, era specific landscape trends is the desire to match landscape materials to the era and architecture of the house. I.E. using older/reclaimed materials on older homes, such materials could have been used once when the home was first built (ex: reclaimed street pavers and cobble).

pink cobblestone

3. Water/Fire Features

One of the most popular features of this year’s landscape designs is the addition of a fire feature. It’s becoming less common to see a landscape design without a fire pit included for all purposes of entertaining.


4. Native Plants

The theme of sustainability is becoming increasingly popular and as a result, landscape designers are adding more native plants to their designs for increased environmental effects and to create more of a balanced and organic feel to outdoor spaces. We are also seeing more native prairie plantings.

07 September 2012 - A longtime client of Sun Valley's backyard. years of work have gone into making this space into an entertainers dream.


5. Bioretention Rain Gardens

Along the theme of sustainability, another trend for 2016 are rain gardens to help manage water retention through the use of an outdoor garden.


6. Themed Outdoor Spaces

What was once a one-purpose function, landscape designs are now created to bring different utility to outdoor living spaces. An increase in a “working” theme includes an outdoor space to work, reflect, or relax in is gaining popularity among outdoor lovers. More people are relying on their landscape to provide a place of peace and relaxation for yoga sessions or to connect with their inner Zen after a long day at the office. A second common theme “playing and exercise” is also been circulating the market with the desire of having a large grassy area for play sets, bocce balls, badminton and croquet.


7. Sculptures/Pottery

People are beginning to put art back into landscape design. In the up and coming year, we will begin to see more and more people designing their landscape around featured pieces such as sculptures and containers.

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Popular Material Trends

  1. Large flagstone/paver patios
  2. Natural stone walls
  3. Custom stone art (i.e. international stone)
  4. Unique wood art

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Nursery/Plant Trends

  1. Native plants
  2. Self-sustaining plants
  3. Ecological plants that help with water reclamation
  4. Artificial lawns (in some parts of the country more than others)

plant nursery