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2016’s Most Popular Backyard Trends

Written by Than Merrill

Which backyard trends do you think are worth following this summer?

With summer officially upon us, homeowners are now more inclined than ever to get outside. In my experience, however, warmer months typically benefit one particular facet of single-family homes: the backyard. No other feature of a home, for that matter, should demand more attention from a respective owner than their outdoor living space.

Having said that, it is no longer a question if homeowners are ready to transform their backyard, but which aspects are likely candidates to receive their attention. Provided you are one of the millions of homeowners intent on revitalizing their backyard this summer, which projects will you undertake? Do some projects deserve more attention than others? With so many options awarded to homeowners, it can be hard to know which ideas should be prioritized above others.

Fortunately, we have done the hard work already and compiled a list of this year’s most popular backyard trends.

Top Backyard Trends For 2016

Having turned the page on the first half of the year, it is time that we took a closer look at 2016’s most popular backyard trends:


Sustainable backyard trends

The most popular backyard trend this summer has more to do with your mindset than a particularly tangible garden fixture. For what it’s worth, the concept of sustainability has supplanted most traditional trends we have grown accustom to. At the very least, sustainability has made its way to the forefront of backyard trends. It is now more important than ever to boast a backyard that is as easy to maintain as it is to look at; no longer do the aesthetics of a backyard hold priority over functionality.

The best trends, however, will combine a pleasing environment with one that requires little to no maintenance. Through a careful selection process, indigenous and low maintenance plants will conserve water. Homeowners with sustainable backyards will certainly notice the difference in their wallet, but even more importantly, is the environmental impact sustainability awards us all.

This 2016 backyard trend is more prominent on a regional level, as cities like San Diego and Los Angeles are currently in a drought. Though metros in the Pacific Northwest like Seattle are less worried about water conservation, more and more homeowners are being drawn to the idea of sustainability. If not for the lower water bill, less maintenance is someone anyone can appreciate.

It is important to note, however, that the placement of plants and features is just as important as the plants themselves. The layout of a backyard can have a huge impact on its sustainability while fostering a welcoming environment at the same time; you don’t need to sacrifice an aesthetically pleasing backyard for sustainability.

Gardening With A Purpose

Gardening trends

Today’s homeowners are more environmentally conscious than ever before, and it is starting to show in the ways they landscape their own yards. Momentum favoring personal gardens has picked up steam, and 2016 backyard trends have witnessed more and more people commit to growing their own food. Gardens that pull double duty, supplying owners with food and an attractive landscape, have become all the rage in climates that support what might as well be as much of a hobby as it is a trend.

We are now starting to see homeowners combine ornamentals with fruits and vegetables. Otherwise known as a blended garden, these new landscapes are testing the boundaries of what we considered to be the stereotypical backyard. It is no longer enough for vegetation to look good; it needs to produce. This trend, currently spearheaded by younger generations, has really stretched the idea of what it means to own a truly trendy backyard.

Engaging The Senses

Backyard pond

A great backyard should be able to evoke an emotional connection to nature through various environmental stimulants. While the most prominent backyard trends are more visually appealing, today’s trends are witnessing homeowners touch on all of the senses. I am convinced that the backyards everyone will be talking about are those that sound, smell, feel and look great. Of course, it would be unfair to leave out the last sense: taste. For what it’s worth, even taste should be a part of today’s backyard trends, as gardens are growing exponentially in popularity; they are essentially the icing on the cake.

Outside of designing a great looking backyard, be sure to include a water feature that emanates soothing noises and flowers that smell even better than they look. The whole, at least in this particular situation, is equal to the sum of all its parts; it is the combination of everything that will truly make a good backyard great. If you want to represent the epitome of 2016 backyard trends, don’t skip this feature.

Compliment Nature With Technology

Backyard technology trends

While the dichotomy between technology and nature couldn’t be larger, there is something about a backyard that screams for the two to compliment each other. For what it’s worth, backyards are one of the few exceptions to the rule; opposites really do attract. It is not enough, however, to simply put a widescreen TV on the exterior of a home; you must integrate technology in a way that seamlessly bridges the gap into nature. The best backyards will be riddled with technology in a way that doesn’t divulge its whereabouts. In other words, great backyards will have the latest advancements in technology while simultaneously hiding any trace of it.

Find the features you want most in a backyard and see how you can implement them without taking away from the existing landscape. In my experience, few features do so as well as speakers. It is entirely possible to buy a bluetooth speaker that moonlights as a rock. That way, you can fill your backyard with soothing music without actually compromising the look you were going for.

By no means are speakers the only technologies that have made the transition from indoors. Homeowners have found creative ways to include television sets, smart home technology, kitchens and many more features in their backyard remodeling efforts. There is no reason this shouldn’t be one of the best 2016 backyard trends this summer, and for good reason.

Bring The Indoors Out

Outdoor kitchen trend

With summer in full swing, backyards are becoming one of the most widely used parts of homes all across the country. No other area in a house benefits from the warm weather this time of the year brings. If for nothing else, better weather conditions bring more people outside; there is no reason the interior features you enjoy the most can’t tag along.

Rounding out the most popular backyard trends in 2016 are those fixtures that are more likely to be seen indoors, but have made their way outside just in time to enjoy the weather. The idea is to compliment your outdoor living space with features you have grown accustomed to. Who said you can’t watch Sunday morning football on a couch outside? Take these 2016 backyard trends and run with them.