5 Outdoor Design Trends Designers Say Won’t Last in 2024


Curious about what outdoor trends are best suited for helping you relish the joys of summer—and which ones are best for taking off on a permanent vacation? We surveyed design pros and asked them what items they’re booting from their own yards this summer and which ones they think are prime for their moment in the sun.

From out-of-scale fire pits to lackluster lawns, these are the outdoor trends you should avoid at all costs, according to pros.

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Too Small Fire Pits

<p>Sean Gladwell / Getty Images</p><p>Sean Gladwell / Getty Images</p>

Sean Gladwell / Getty Images

This summer, forgo small fire pits in favor of something larger and more capable of creating a focal point.

Melanie Rekola of Melanie Rekola Landscape Design, suggests thinking of the fire pit as the main event in your yard.

In lieu of a pit, Rekola also suggests fire bowls, she personally loves how beautiful they are when they’re not being used. They also take up less space, are cheaper, and are movable. Alternatively, consider a fire table.

“Fire tables are quick to use with a flip of a switch, and function as a sleek and elegant coffee table when not in use,” Rekola says. “They’re also gas or propane-powered so you won’t smell like smoke after using one.”

Lackluster Lawns

<p>John Keeble / Getty Images</p><p>John Keeble / Getty Images</p>

John Keeble / Getty Images

If you’re struggling to make your grass look lush, take this summer as the opportunity to ditch it altogether.

“As a lawn alternative, I suggest using a biodiverse blend of low-growing plants that also support local pollinators,” Rekola says. “Each region has specific plants for this, so it’s not one size fits all.”

For instance, in California, this might include a creeping ground cover like beach strawberries, while in North Carolina it might include a native grass-like wiregrass.

Rekola loves Microclover because it can work in many different environments.

“Microclover is a nitrogen fixer—growing it improves soil nutrients,” Rekola says. “Microclover can also handle foot traffic and doesn’t turn yellow when exposed to pet pee.”

Synthetic Woven Wicker

<p>Bignai / Getty Images</p><p>Bignai / Getty Images</p>

It may be time to kick the woven wicker look to the curb. Although woven wicker finish has been a popular choice among outdoor furniture, it lacks warmth and character, Jo Ann Howa, founder and principal designer at Natural Instincts Interior Design, says.

Taking its place? “This year, we’re seeing a lot of outdoor furniture showcasing more nuanced textures in weathered finishes that age exceptionally well,” Kelly Brown, an interior designer at Natural Instincts Interior Design, says.

Instead of plastic-like woven wicker finishes, consider pieces featuring more rustic finishes, such as gray-washed and ebonized wood finishes. Rope cording, either wrapped vertically to create a striated texture or woven to create a lattice effect is also fresh-feeling.

“Rather than synthetic wicker which feels at odds with nature, look for pieces crafted of organic materials that will feel harmonious and in sync with it,” Camila Gonzalez, senior interior designer at Natural Instincts Interior Design.

String Lights

<p>Carolin Voelker / Getty Images</p><p>Carolin Voelker / Getty Images</p>

Carolin Voelker / Getty Images

Although string lights aren’t going anywhere any time soon, Bailey Todd, principal designer at White Cliff Studio, explains how they’re only suitable for a very specific type of general lighting.

“When it comes to creating a mood, rechargeable lamps and lanterns are far better suited for the task,” Todd says.

A few summers ago, it would have been challenging to find attractive outdoor lamp options, but the market has since exploded with options. 

“Cordless buffet lamps or flowerpot lamps in bright, summery shades are so fun for integrating into dining table decor settings,” Todd says.

And don’t overlook options with integrated handles since they’re easy to carry from place to place and can move with your company, Todd says.


<p>FOTOGRAFIA INC. / Getty Images</p><p>FOTOGRAFIA INC. / Getty Images</p>

FOTOGRAFIA INC. / Getty Images

Barrett Oswald, principal designer at Barrett Oswald Designs, explains how melamine plates are often nearly impossible to tell apart from ceramic plates.

However, if you’re looking to make outdoor dining a unique-feeling affair, sometimes melamine too closely mirrors an indoor experience.

To work around this, Oswald likes swapping melamine for enamelware in the summer since it’s simpler and elegant.

“It also feels slightly campy, which makes eating off of it feel like an occasion,” Oswald says.

For plates, look for simple white enamelware designs with red, blue, or black rims. These can be layered over more festive splatterware pieces or woven chargers, but can also hold their own place atop a basic tablecloth.

Read Next: 7 Outdoor Furniture Trends We’re Already Eyeing For Perfect Warm Weather Entertaining

Read the original article on The Spruce.


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