Move over muted tones - color is one of this season’s biggest trends in the garden. But we're not talking flower choices, or a modern approach to borders. No, this one one trend that lasts all year long, no matter what climate you're in.
Say hello to bright new colorways that add bold personality to your outdoor design but first learn how color works in a modern garden. ‘Strong, vibrant and saturated colours will stand out, especially if they are used without diluting their effect with other strong colors,’ says landscape architect, author and garden designer Richard Sneesby.
Bold splashes of color can be used to add eye-catching interest that works particularly well in urban spaces. ’Color has a profound effect on a garden’s appearance, and getting the right color is one of the more important decisions you’ll make.
How to use color in the garden for 2022
Whereas garden design has previously focussed on colorful flowers and neutral furniture, now we're looking at the opposite. It's more dynamic, more joyful, to be jolted by a bright piece of furniture or garden fencing than by a something in a muted, rustic tone. Being experimental is an important part of how to embrace this garden trend. In fact, it's key to the creative process when it comes to creating any look for your outdoor design.
‘Bright and playful designs are a key trend for 2022,’ says designer Jennifer Newman, who created this show stopping red table, above. ‘There's a sense of creative hedonism as we look to make our outdoor spaces more inspiring, more playful, and more stimulating. Think of them as social ‘rooms' by incorporating braver color and more sculptural design pieces. Outdoor spaces should allow us to be more experimental with design, to be braver with brighter color, and inject some fun.’
Create a mood
The use of color in this way helps to set a tone that fits with the mood of the moment. It says 'this is where the party is,' while also creating focal points to guide the visitor into looking at different corners.
Red draws the eye and demands attention, as does yellow, which works in both warm and cool outdoor spaces. Both are energising and add an uplifting splash.
‘Color is an important part of design because we unconsciously associate colors with different emotions,’ says Bas van der Veer, senior product designer for Elho, responsible for these yellow planters, above. ‘We work with leading trend watchers to update our color palette every year and to choose the right shades for our designs.’
Ease into color gently
For years, most garden furniture had been wood tones, or white. Sometimes a dark weave if it's really daring. So we appreciate this approach might feel a little radical.
If you have previously opted for pastel and neutral tones, or alternatively aren’t sure what color to go for, instead try gradually introducing new pieces in bold shades to get a feel for what works best.
There are plenty of brightly colored designs to choose from right now. ‘We've seen an explosion of vibrant tones in 2022,’ says nest.co.uk’s Jessica Alldridge, ‘with electric blues trending in particular. While muted blue tones are the perfect choice for encouraging a sense of calm, more vibrant shades of blue can help to energise your mood.’
What all of these pieces will do is reinvent how you think feel the moment you step into the yard. Just as how a bright living room will uplift you, so will a brightly decorated outdoor space. This mood is yours for the making.
Lifestyle journalist Sarah Wilson has been writing about gardens since 2015. She's written for Gardeningetc.com, Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Easy Gardens and Modern Gardens magazines. Her first job on glossy magazines was at Elle, during which time a visit to the legendary La Colombe d'Or in St-Paul-de-Vence led to an interest in all things gardening. Later as lifestyle editor at Country Homes & Interiors magazine the real pull was the run of captivating country gardens that were featured. Having studied introductory garden and landscape design as well as a course in floristry she is currently putting the skills learned to good use in her own garden where the dream is establishing a cutting garden.
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