Brightening the Backyard: Latest Trends Add Outdoor Style

More and more homeowners are turning their attention to the outdoor areas of their homes. The American Society of Landscape Architects reports that homeowners are thinking bigger than basic outdoor kitchens and building entire great rooms, including living rooms, dining rooms and full kitchens. Just as they would when decorating indoors, homeowners are incorporating the latest trends in these new outdoor areas and, in turn, increasing the value of their homes.

As identified by the trends experts at Kichler Lighting, here are some of the top designer trends today’s homeowners are rushing to implement outdoors:

* Complementary pieces – Homeowners combine complementary accessories indoors, and those techniques are being applied outdoors as well. Patterns from outdoor furniture cushions are being carried over to complementary outdoor table placements, candles and other accents. Kichler’s Garden Collections pair outdoor chandeliers with lit urns, birdbaths, path lighting and other landscape lighting pieces.

* Environmentally friendly accents – Green living is more than a trend – it’s a way of life. As they spend more time outdoors, homeowners are applying environmentally friendly practices here too. “Many homeowners find themselves outdoors in the evening and at night, as they settle in after work and entertain through the evening,” said Jeff Dross, Kichler Lighting senior product manager. “Since they’re outside past dusk, they’re leaving their landscape lighting on for extended periods. To help with energy savings, Kichler has introduced new LED accent lights, deck lights and step lights that use 75 percent less electricity than their incandescent counterparts. They also last in excess of 40,000 hours, four times longer than xenon or fluorescent.”

* Bolder, vivid color – After years of blending earth tones with the outdoors, designers are incorporating color in the exterior. Colored glass is being used as an alternative to mulch and stone, and colored concrete is being applied in benches, pavers, fencing and related products. Bigger, bolder flowers are making a statement, as are landscape lighting pieces. One of the season’s newest color-focused products is Kichler Lighting’s lit Posies – lighted glass flowers with a splash of dense purple, cranberry red and golden amber, which can be displayed individually or in a bunch.

* Pretty potted plants – Homeowners are looking for new ways to showcase their flowers and plants, and, as a result, potted planting has gained newfound popularity. Flowerpots are being offered in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small, subtle circular pots to large, art-inspired pieces. Embraced for their dual use, Kichler’s lit urns are turning heads as an innovative way to showcase flowers and add light to the exterior.

* Butterfly inspirations – America’s love of butterflies has grown to new heights with butterfly-themed products across a variety of fashion and décor lines. Butterflies are setting the stage outdoors with butterfly-inspired chimineas, stepping stones and lighting fixtures. Kichler recently introduced a new butterfly deck light great for adding dimension to deck space surrounding outdoor living areas.

* Trendy teak – Teak has found widespread popularity in outdoor furniture applications, as the wood is known for its durability and natural oils. Suitable for outdoor use, teak continues to emerge in complementary products, including a Kichler landscape path light that combines a teak wood base with a modern aluminum finish.

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