Summer isn’t actually official until June 21, despite the sunny, warm weather we’ve already been experiencing, it’s not too early to start thinking about how you’re going to spend the summer.
In fact, it’s actually recommended you start thinking about any patio and landscaping plans you have ahead of time so you can be ready to go once the ground is thawed! But it’s not too late to start. If you’re looking to spruce up your backyard space or just updating the one you have now, you’ll want to be in the know about upcoming the latest trends.
We spoke with Calumma Creative Landscapes, an award-winning landscape design company in North Vancouver run by husband-and-wife duo Taylor and Noemi Fifield. Taylor gave us his best tips and advice for what’s going to be hot this patio season.
Patio layout trends
There’s nothing wrong with a typical round or square patio in the backyard, but if you’re looking to be on top of the latest and greatest designs, Taylor says indoor-outdoor merging of living spaces are big.
“Creating a seamless transition between two different spaces allows the living spaces to become cohesive and a part of the house, rather than a separate space with its own design,” he shares. “Installing folding glass doors or adding an enclosed solarium with outdoor access allows you to open up the home to the garden or patio space.”
This can also be a great feature if you’re looking to add an outdoor kitchen for easier meal prep!
Patio materials and colour trends
When it comes to patio materials, most of us think of interlocking brick as the top choice, but Taylor points out there’s a carbon-neutral stone that will be making a big impact this year.
“Dekton® is a big upcoming trend in patio materials,” he shares. “It’s an ultra-compact surface available in more than 50 colour and texture options, making design options endless! Additionally, it’s free of any resin, making some of its benefits unique, such as being heat-, scratch-, stain- and UV-resistant. It can also be used in installation methods such as flooring, kitchen islands and countertops, and even outdoor furniture, allowing for a cohesive aesthetic.”
As for colours, look to lighter, earthy tones for spring and summer 2023 — and beyond. Taylor says “keeping close to natural palettes allows for design that transcends time.”
Patio feature trends
A patio itself is great, but a patio with cool features can take your backyard oasis to the next level. If you’re looking for a way to cool off during the summer, consider a small “plunge pool” as part of your design.
“Smaller plunge pools are an upcoming trend in patio features,” Taylor shares. “Large outdoor spaces aren’t a prerequisite for having a pool, as even smaller spaces can accommodate a plunge pool to allow people that pool-side experience.”
You can also never go wrong with an outdoor fire pit or fire table, but read up on local bylaws to ensure you’re following the rules.
When should you start planning your design?
If you’re waiting until the warm weather hits to start your patio plans, you mght already be too late — at least if you want to use it the same year. Plan ahead to make sure you don’t miss out on permits and contractors.
“Winter is the best time to start thinking about patio design,” Taylor explains. “Landscape designers become booked up from the spring season onwards, so getting a jump start before the rush of customer leads will ensure your project will be first in line for construction. Starting early also helps your project manager secure materials ahead of time, which become more scarce as the season rolls into summer.”
Before you begin any type of construction or renovation project, check to see what permits are required in your area. You don’t want to fall in love with an idea or design, only to find out it’s not possible.
More tips from the professionals
“Functional spaces will make sure you get the most out of your outdoor living area,” says Taylor. “Our biggest tip is to create a wish list based on the way you intend to use the space, and to get as specific as possible.”
These are the main questions Calumma Creative Landscapes has people consider:
• What do you want to use the space for?
• How many people do you want the space to accommodate?
• If you want a dining space, how many people do you want the potential to dine with?
• If you want a fire pit, how many people do they want to roast marshmallows with?
“Asking these specific questions will ensure your space will be designed according to your unique wish list and you’ll get the most out of your space, rather than a “free for all” big open patio,” Taylor explains.
When it comes time to sell your home, having an updated patio can also prove to be beneficial. Mark Arnstein, a sales representative and REALTOR® with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Brokerage in Toronto, Ontario, says a well thought-out patio can “give the buyer [looking at the home] a whole new sense of space because it creates an extension for outdoor living they know they’ll be able to enjoy.”
“Buyers looking for a patio space have pretty much always been a mandatory thing,” continues Arnstein. “The nicer your patio looks when you’re selling your home, the better value you create for the property.”
Arnstein notes it’s also important to be proactive with your patio space. Take pictures of the area during the sunny summer days so you have them on hand if you’re considering selling your home in the winter.
Ultimately, your patio choices are up to you. You want a space you’ll feel proud to spend time in, one that makes you want to be outdoors as often as possible! These tips and trends are a great place to start when considering your patio designs, and the help of a professional landscape designer can pinpoint your exact desires.