Here are 18 of the biggest garden trends for 2021, the ones we love and that are continuing to be big for 2022.
Make way for a rise in garden offices, garden bars and outdoor kitchens, along with living room inspired furniture pieces that literally bring the indoors out.
To find the best modern garden ideas, we've spoken to trend experts, as well as gardeners, landscapers, and garden suppliers to learn about the growing trends in garden design this year. There’s plenty of inspiration to use to transform our gardens into a relaxing haven.
1. Garden bar
Everyone is looking for garden bar ideas, with internet searches sky rocketing by 122% over the last 12 months, research from Made.com revealed. Aside from offering cheaper (read: free) drinks and later closing, it also gives a convenient option for those days when pub gardens are fully booked.
With their finger on the pulse, Habitat have revealed their affordable outdoor bar option, which they call the Beach bar Gazebo.
Already got yourself an outdoor kitchen set up? Turn a counter into a bar area simply by installing a mini-fridge.
2. Hanging egg chairs
In terms of the best garden furniture, we're going to be seeing a lot more hanging egg chairs in the months to come. One of the main garden trends for 2021, these must-have comfort additions offer a cosy place to unwind with a book or a tipple, giving full-body support and allowing you to take the weight off your feet. It's no wonder searches for outdoor hanging chairs have grown by 234% over the past year.
3. Rattan corner sofas
Another big garden furniture trend for this year will be rattan corner sofas.
Rattan is back again to dominate gardens, and the most popular variety for this year will be the rattan corner sofa, searches for which have increased by a whopping 537% over the past 12 months.
It seems homeowners are trying to maximise their outdoor space seating in order to comfortably seat their long-missed friends and family, after a year of lockdown, this summer.
4. Outdoor pizza ovens
The pandemic has made chefs of us all and we're ready to embrace some home-made, stone-baked pizzas this summer. Built to last, great for entertaining, a great heater too for cooler month plus a stunning focal point, outdoor pizza oven searches have grown by 243% over the past year.
5. Garden offices
After a year of working from our home office spaces, and with most offices not open just yet, we're all desperate for a change of scenery and some time outdoors.
Enter the garden office, with searched for garden office pods up by 174% over the past year.
6. Teak furniture
Jumping on the back of the Japandi trend (on of this year's biggest interior design trends) is teak garden furniture.
Teak garden furniture is a staple of any zen garden, often being the look of choice for Japanese-inspired gardens, and with Japandi being such a big interior trend this year, it makes sense that homeowners would want to continue the zen into the garden. Teak furniture searches have increased by 124% year on year.
7. Backyard cinemas
The one thing that isn’t going anywhere in 2021 is the garden cinema. Searches for garden projector have grown by a massive 400%. Get the popcorn ready!
We love the home cinema designed by Carly from NW3 interiors for this Grade II listed Victorian home in Hampstead's Belsize Park.
8. Outdoor rugs
Outdoor rugs are a luxe addition to gardens and it seems a lot of people want in on the trend. According to a recent study by Made.com, searches for outdoor rugs have had an increase in searches of 124% and outdoor rugs UK 326%.
The British summer is unpredictable. During the day it can be scorching hot but come sunset those temperatures can drop. For this reason, chimenea searches have soared. Particularly, cast iron chiminea has had a 236% increase, and chiminea fire pit has had a huge 1710% increase in searches over the past year.
This year's rewilding trend is all about allowing plants to lose their manicured neatness without letting them take over.
Gardening is all about control – when to apply it and when to give nature free rein. A constant workload of pruning, mowing, snipping and shearing. But lately the whole concept has exploded as excitingly as an unexpected patch of a clover in a lawn with the idea of rewilding, in which land is returned in varying scales to natural habitats that can provide water, food and shelter to all creatures great and small. And its principles are now being implied to smaller residential spaces, too.
As the general population has become more educated on the topic of climate change so too have gardening and landscaping trends changed. Nowadays many homeowners are hiring landscapers to design gardens for them that look after themselves.
'Green spaces inhabited by plants which can endure intense heat and require minimal watering have become very popular', says gardening & landscaping expert Gena Lorainne from Fantastic Services. 'Such plants are extremely climate change-friendly as they don’t require homeowners to dedicate valuable resources (like water) to help stimulate their growth'.
Grasses and bamboo are just some of the plants growing in popularity, and are perfect for low-maintenance urban spaces.
And while we all dream of fields full of flowers, Isabelle Palmer, @thebalconygardener and author of Modern Container Gardening (Hardie Grant, £16.99), has a way to get the look in miniature. She cuts circles of wild flower turf (from pictorialmeadows.co.uk) to fit compost-filled pots. ‘The turf is easy to establish and these containers will attract bees and butterflies,’ says Isabelle.
11. Outdoor kitchens
With searches for 'outdoor kitchen ideas' up 60%, it's clear we're all embracing the shift outwards. And, when it means you can enjoy dinner under the stars, then why ever not?
Not just reserved for larger properties and sunnier climates, an outdoor kitchen is a great way to extend your entertaining space and make the best use of your available square footage all year round.
12. Living roofs
We love sedums and these roofs are great for the environment and perfect for that working from home space. Their benefits include absorbing polluting carbon dioxide and helping to prevent localised flooding by soaking up rainwater. Take advice from a professional on installing a green roof safely, maximising plant diversity and ensuring drainage is adequate so that it thrives long-term.
See Also: Balcony Ideas
13. The potted kitchen
Last summer many of us took to planting our own fruit and vegetable gardens, and this year will see more of the same.
Gardener and cook Aaron Bertelsen has poured all of his knowledge about growing edibles in small spaces into Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots (£24.95, Phaidon). He recommends starting with salad leaves such as mustard or chicory and herbs such as parsley, mint or lovage – all of which will regrow every time you cut them. His lettuce soup is a great way to use a glut of produce.
Pinterest also reported a 600% increase in searches for homemade garden boxes, as well as a 600% increase in searches for 'DIY small garden ideas vegetables'.'Grow your Own is certainly big right now', confirm experts at Dobbies, who have seen a spike in sales for lettuce, beetroot and pea plants.
Whether you have a small garden, a large garden or no garden at all, everyone can build a herb garden. Compact and easy to maintain, they’re a fantastic addition to any space. Herb gardens smell fantastic and are a welcome addition to any outdoor space, plus there really is no better feeling than picking your own fresh herbs for cooking and drinking.
For those with little window space or limited capacity for plant pots, you could get creative by making a vertical garden, perfect for bringing a touch of life to an empty or tired wall.
Urban gardening can be done in the smallest of spaces, it increases our sense of wellbeing and encourages us to live more sustainably by growing our own food. What’s not to love?
14. Water features
We're also seeing an increasing number of brands responding to the demand for affordable water features.
Said to soothe the mind with the constant trickle of water, the increase in popularity could be down to the growing awareness of wellness.
Here to make water features accessible to all – including those with limited outdoor space in city dwellings – is Cox&Cox.
We love the ultra modern Industrial Style water feature, £425, with a series of copper finished pipes set to a concrete effect back plate that release water to a trough below. Perfect for contemporary gardens.
See Also: Stylish Ideas For Small Gardens
Or, for something more traditional, the Roma water feature, £195, is perfect for more traditional gardens.
See Also: 50 Stylish Garden Patio Ideas
15. MEDITERRANEAN STYLE
Weathered, sun-bleached woods, potted olive trees and a chalky palette of muted greys set the tone for Mediterranean inspired gardens, one of the top trends for garden inspiration this year.
What could be more bucolic than evoking the blue-sky, sun-soaked style of the Mediterranean? 'Throw in a dash of forward-thinking Miami cool and you’ve got yourself the perfect mix,' says Ben Adams, founder of online furniture store Rust Collections. The traditional Mediterranean look is also seeing a cool new update, influenced be design across the pond.
Ben Adams explains: ‘We’re increasingly being asked to create outdoor furniture pieces with cool white frames and raw concrete tops; this blend of upscale Miami hotel cool meets rugged, organic Mediterranean coastlines is a contemporary look that speaks to a refined rustic appeal. Just add swaying palm plants and rattan accessories to complete the bohemian look.’
16. MEDICINAL PLANTS
Healing plants are a big theme this year; plant camomile and mint in window boxes or in pocket planters on a wall to make your own infusions. Get to know medicinal plants at the Chelsea Physic Garden (chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk) or check out the queen of things herbal, Jekka McVicar (jekkas.com). She has the widest selection of varieties online.
17. NATURAL MATERIALS
With a focus on sustainability, natural materials – or natural-looking materials – are top of people's wish lists, from wood furniture to rattan, wicker and stone urns and pots. The trend even stretches to poolside design, with wood-effect, waterproof tiling.
18. The outdoor living room
With the UK’s climate becoming warmer, outdoor living is increasing in popularity; Online searches for ‘outdoor furniture’ in the UK have soared. People are extending homes into the outdoors with luxury garden furniture, and the global outdoor furniture market is forecast to grow another 5% by 2023.
Blending your exterior and interior spaces, and setting up an outdoor living room is a key trend for 2020, announced experts at Dobbies Garden Centres. It’s no longer about bringing the outside in, or the inside out, but rather merging the two together.
Selecting the right furniture is key, choosing a set that would look just as good inside is a great way to blur the line between indoors/outdoors. Low seating will ensure that the view into your garden isn’t obscured, whilst adding cushions or throws can help soften the look. Another tip is to add colours from your garden to the inside of your home which will help to really tie it all together, says Lynsey Abbot, Outdoor Living Buyer for Dobbies.
Read Also: Cool Ways To Bring The Outdoors In
Statement seating, considered purchases and timeless designs are key, says Dani, Director of Buying at Cox & Cox: 'Now more than ever before consumers are looking for products which will last – they need to work much harder for their money. Stylish yet timeless, quality products that are fit for purpose and will have longevity. Not only do they need to look great but they need to last.'
Simon Ingham, owner of Garden House Furniture, adds: 'Designer garden furniture is transforming homeowners’ gardens and lives, with discerning clients increasingly looking to lead healthier outdoor lifestyles by extending their homes into beautifully designed outdoor living spaces. With many of our cities expected to have a climate similar to that of Barcelona today by 2050, the trend for outdoor living is set to explode in the coming years and decades.'
Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.
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