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Outdoor Design Trends: What's Hot in 2024

As we embrace the warmer months of 2024, British homeowners are increasingly looking to their gardens, patios, and balconies as extensions of their living spaces. The past few years have seen a remarkable shift in how we perceive and use our outdoor areas, with a growing emphasis on comfort, style, and functionality. This year, we're witnessing a delightful blend of innovative designs, sustainable practices, and a return to nature that's reshaping our outdoor havens. Let's explore the hottest outdoor design trends that are taking the UK by storm in 2024.

Biophilic Design: Bringing the Wild to Your Doorstep

The concept of biophilic design - connecting people and nature within our built environments - has moved from the indoors to our outdoor spaces. This year, we're seeing a surge in 'rewilding' gardens, where carefully manicured lawns are giving way to more naturalistic, meadow-like landscapes.

Key elements of this trend include:

  • Native planting: UK gardeners are embracing indigenous species that support local wildlife.

  • Wildflower meadows: Even in small spaces, patches of wildflowers are adding colour and biodiversity.

  • Water features: From small ponds to rill fountains, water is being used to attract wildlife and create a sense of tranquillity.

It's about creating an ecosystem in your backyard. We're moving away from high-maintenance, manicured gardens to more sustainable, wildlife-friendly spaces that still look beautiful and inviting.

Outdoor Rooms: The New Extension

The line between indoor and outdoor living continues to blur in 2024. Homeowners are creating fully-fledged outdoor rooms that mirror the comfort and functionality of their indoor counterparts.

Trending outdoor room concepts include:

  • Alfresco kitchens: Going beyond the basic BBQ to include pizza ovens, prep areas, and even refrigeration.

  • Open-air living rooms: Complete with weatherproof sofas, rugs, and entertainment systems.

  • Outdoor offices: As remote work remains prevalent, garden offices are becoming more sophisticated. People are building summer houses and small garden pods so they can enjoy doing their work in the dun.

People want their outdoor spaces to be as comfortable and usable as their indoor ones. There is a lot of demand for high-quality, weather-resistant furniture that doesn't compromise on style.

Sustainable Materials and Practices

Sustainability is no longer a trend but a necessity, and it's shaping how we approach outdoor design in 2024.

Key sustainable trends include:

  • Reclaimed and upcycled materials: From pallets turned into furniture to old bricks repurposed for pathways, there are plenty of things you can do using a little creativity.

  • Rainwater harvesting systems: Stylishly integrated into garden designs for irrigation. These systems will help you save money and are a good source for watering your garden.

  • Solar-powered lighting: Combining energy efficiency with ambient illumination. These lights are energy efficient, low maintenance and easy to install.  

Colour Splash: Bold Hues Make a Statement

While natural, earthy tones remain popular, 2024 is also seeing a resurgence of bold colours in outdoor spaces.

Trending colours include:

  • Vibrant oranges and reds: Adding warmth and energy to seating areas.

  • Deep blues and teals: Creating a sense of calm and cosiness as well as echoing water features.

  • Bright yellows: Bringing a touch of sunshine to even the cloudiest British day.

Don't be afraid to use colour outdoors. A bright accent wall or a collection of colourful planters can transform a space and lift your mood, especially during our long winters.

Vertical Gardening: Growing Up

With urban spaces at a premium, vertical gardening continues to gain popularity in 2024. This trend is not just about maximising space; it's also about creating stunning visual features.

Popular vertical gardening elements include:

  • Living walls: Can be both interior and exterior, filled with a mix of ornamental and edible plants.

  • Tiered planters: Offering a modern twist on the traditional garden bed and adding more visual interest than a traditional planter.

  • Hanging gardens: Suspended planters and macramé hangers bring greenery to eye level.

Vertical gardening allows even those with the smallest balconies to create their own green space. It's also a great way to add privacy and reduce noise in urban settings.

Multifunctional Furniture and Spaces

As outdoor areas become more integral to our homes, there's a growing demand for furniture and designs that can serve multiple purposes.

Trending multifunctional elements include:

  • Modular seating: Easily reconfigured for different occasions.

  • Convertible tables: Adjusting in height and size to suit various needs.

  • Storage benches: Providing seating and a place to stow garden tools or cushions.

Flexibility is key in outdoor design for 2024. People want spaces that can transform from a quiet morning coffee spot to an evening entertainment area with ease.

Edible Landscapes

The grow-your-own movement continues to flourish in 2024, with an emphasis on integrating edible plants into ornamental garden designs.

Key elements of edible landscaping include:

  • Herb spirals: Decorative and practical structures for growing a variety of herbs.

  • Fruit trees as focal points: Dwarf varieties suitable for smaller gardens.

  • Edible flowers: Adding colour and flavour to the garden and the plate.

There's little that is more satisfying than picking your own produce. By integrating edibles into your garden design, you can have a space that's both beautiful and delicious.

A Year of Thoughtful Innovation

As we navigate through 2024, it's clear that outdoor design is evolving to meet our changing needs and values. From the embrace of wild, naturalistic gardens to the integration of multi-functional spaces, this year's trends reflect a desire for spaces that are not only beautiful but also functional, sustainable, and deeply connected to nature.

Whether you have a sprawling country garden or a compact city balcony, there are myriad ways to incorporate these trends into your outdoor space. The key is to consider how you want to use your area and to create a design that reflects your personal style while also considering the wider environmental impact.

So, as you plan your outdoor projects for the year ahead, consider how these trends might inspire you to create a space that's not only on-trend but also a true reflection of your lifestyle and values. After all, the best outdoor spaces are those that invite us to linger, to breathe deeply, and to fully appreciate the beauty of the natural world - even in the heart of our busy lives.


  • Posted On: 9 July 2024

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