By Joe Raboine
As you head into the new year, and into the busy season, six key outdoor living trends to watch in 2022 are as follows:
1. The shift in overall thinking about outdoor living in general, as related to health and well-being. Science is showing us that quality design not only provides a better space, but it actually improves our health as well. This is all through the lens of biophilic design, in that it’s critical we design spaces that help us better connect with nature. This connection improves our mental and spiritual health and makes an outdoor living space something that can truly transform people’s lives on a daily basis. People are understanding how important these spaces are as a respite from our crazy world. If designers consider this, they can help design spaces that are not only great places to entertain, but spaces that also nurture and relax.
2. Large format expansion with narrow joints makes installation quicker and more efficient. The scale of pavers has increased, thanks to continued innovation in the industry. Larger pavers have more surface area and allow you install an increased amount of square footage quickly and efficiently. This style also gives homeowners the clean, modern look that is popular today. It is important to note that larger pavers may require additional or new equipment for transportation and installation, based on the increased scale.
3. Modular, linear design is becoming the preferred design style among today’s homeowners. Modular, geometric standard patterns comprised of clean lines and simple formats create an uncluttered aesthetic that aligns with the trend toward more modern design. Many pavers and other outdoor living solutions are designed in modular fashion to make install easier and faster – which allows you to maximize time and your customer to enjoy their outdoor space sooner. There also are 3D design and AR solutions coming on the market that can help with the design process and allow you to show customers a more immersive version of their design plan.
4. Functionality is key in today’s outdoor living spaces. Contractors should start thinking ahead as customers approach them to create outdoor living spaces and be prepared to incorporate elements like lighting, sound and shade structures. Outdoor living is no longer focused on entertainment, but day-to-day use – so even access to WiFi and electrical outlets are critical to ensure your customer can spend time carrying out any task outside.
5. Turnkey solutions make it easier for you to create a truly cohesive space. Integration of components with the outdoor living product make it easier to show customers what the final space will look like and will make design and installation simpler. For example, Belgard’s new Elements line of products includes kitchen and bar accessories that can be showcased in the design process for a fully integrated space. Templated design approaches, like Belgard Rooms, also allow you to fully map out the design based on style preferences to streamline the process from start to finish.
6. Wet poly-sand installation is becoming more common for jointing hardscapes. Solutions are on the market today, like Techniseal’s NOCOSTORM, that work under wet or dry conditions. This helps avoid delays in paver installation, so you don’t have to factor in any time if weather conditions don’t cooperate or worry about moisture ruining the sand as it sets.
Joe Raboine is director of residential hardscapes at Belgard. He works to ensure that Belgard’s contractors and dealers are receiving best-in-class service, products and experiences. Raboine started his career as a contractor more than 25 years ago.
Since 1955, Belgard’s locally made and nationally backed products have transformed thousands of residential and commercial properties in North America. Belgard sets the standard for landscape design and innovation. For more information, visit www.Belgard.com.