Looking for the hottest outdoor living design trends this year?

In recent years, we are trending towards a natural, yet colourful look with earthy and neutral colour schemes and materials.  Truly liveable outdoor spaces will become ‘the norm in new homes. We will rejoice in contrasts and natural finishes and herald in the next ‘look’ which some are calling the ‘tribal trend’ and some are calling the ‘Australiana trend’.

Whatever you want to call it, if you are renovating your outdoor living space this year and trends matter to you, these ten tips will keep you up to date.

Top Outdoor Living Design Trends

Au Naturel outdoor living design trends, natural materials and textures with unpainted wood.

Think unpainted timber and stone.  Think brown and beige shades, terracotta, burned orange, russets and sienna, muddy blues and greens. We will see a move away from pastels and a return to bright, bold colours. For those who really like the calming neutral effects of 2017’s colour trend, you can keep it, but modernise it with deep blues and greens mixed with your white, grey and beige tones.  Another popular trend is the use of different materials and textures but within the same colour family.  Decor-wise, 2018 is going tribal, so get out your Moroccan bowls and terracotta planters. Look for tribal décor, patterns and accessories.

Integrate and Blend

The addition of new external structures around the home will be applied more thoughtfully, designed to blend with the house, and not just added as afterthoughts or obvious add-ons to the property.  Homeowners will want their garages, carports, patios, fences, sheds, etc. to blend naturally and fashionably with their existing house and garden landscape, and the streetscape, creating a more integrated look.

Outdoor Living Design Features

In 2018, outdoor kitchens with cooking facilities, sinks and fridges will continue to be popular, as well as outdoor showers and lounge areas complete with daybeds and TVs on the wall.  This is actually a smart way to extend the living area of a small home and will add value as well as space for growing families.

Maintenance-Free Timber Flooring

bare feet on timber decking, new tech wood

The trend towards using composite timber decking, like NewTechWood, will continue to grow in popularity.  Not only is it eco-friendly, NewTechWood has none of the issues associated with pure timber – no splinters, no nails, and totally maintenance-free – you never have to sand or re-seal it. 

Termites hate it and it’s resistant to mould, UV, fading, warping, and splitting, and it comes with a 25-year warranty. Best of all, NewTechWood composite timber looks natural, like real timber, right down to the tiny little timber-like ‘fibres’ that are a patented part of the design.  Dark timbers are in, so check out the Walnut range.

Other Natural Outdoor Flooring

Cobblestone pavers will lend that ‘natural’ look to your outdoor area with many new options now available in terms of colour, texture and shape.  Even plain concrete, natural or polished, will become more popular and used for flooring and even for outdoor poolside benches or tables.  (Note:  With concrete, you might want to keep this area well-shaded or you won’t be able to use it on hot days.)

Temperature Control

Not a new idea but a continuing trend is installing ceiling fans in your outdoor living areas.  Not all houses enjoy afternoon sea breezes due to their location, but a ceiling fan under the pergola or patio solves that problem.  In winter, for warmth, you will be using fire pits, or go one step further and install a proper fireplace – all trends we will see on the increase in 2018, enabling us to truly live outdoors and make full use of our amazing climate.

Light it Up

‘Strip lighting’ or ‘LED deck lights’ as you see beneath steps, will become more popular and used in more creative ways, such as on bench tops and to lighten built-in seating areas in dark corners of patios or any area you want to showcase or create mood lighting.

Water Wise Plants and Vertical Gardens

outdoor living design trends, vertical gardenIn Australia, with our hot climate and water conservation, the continuing trend towards succulents makes good sense.

You can still enjoy diversity and colour in your garden, as many succulent varieties flower at different times of the year and need very little water or maintenance.  With building blocks becoming smaller and many older blocks being subdivided, land space is minimal, and those who live in apartments or homes with small yards will continue to enjoy their gardens ‘vertically’ rather than horizontally.

Vertical gardens, with or without built-in irrigation, are the perfect solution to hide ugly walls or to grow flowers or herbs in tiny spaces where a traditional garden is not possible.


Show Off Your Timber

Unless you have a good reason for camouflaging your timber with thick coats of paint, a clear varnish or a light stain will be favoured to let the natural beauty shine through.  While internally, wallpaper is making a comeback externally, with tribal themes fashionable, consider bamboo, reed or brushwood screening and leafy plants for privacy screens or to hide ugly fencing or walls.

Wabi Sabi – Embracing Imperfection

If you haven’t heard of Wabi Sabi before, you may well do in now.  It is the Japanese Zen philosophy of accepting the transient nature of things and their imperfections or finding the beauty within the imperfect.  Think of handmade bowls with cracks, chips or glazing errors, irregular shaped items and pieces that are pre-loved and showing their age.  If it’s old, cracked, weathered, wrinkled or oxidized, so much the better.  Forget the large department stores for this one and start visiting your local flea markets.

On the other hand, trends come and go, and keeping up can be hard on the wallet.  Maybe the best trend is the one that expresses your individuality and suits your lifestyle and taste.  After all, you have to live with it!

Want to learn more about the hottest outdoor living design trends or maintenance-free, eco-friendly timber products? Talk to the team at NewTechWood today.

Need a low maintenance decking?

Contact us

Have a question? Get in touch!

We will endeavour to respond within 24 hours..

Enquire now