Skip to main content

The hottest backyard design trends for summer 2022, according to experts

When it comes to a home’s outdoor spaces, you want an atmosphere that’s both cozy and stylish. More and more people are paying attention to the vibe of their front yards and backyards as places to relax and entertain guests, and landscape design is key to getting the look and feel of your outdoor oasis just right. 

Joe Raboine, an outdoor living expert and director of Residential Hardscapes with Belgard, and Stephen Poulakos, the director of Town Planning and Design at Seabrook, caught us up on the latest landscape design trends for summer 2022.

Rock Garden And Decorative Trees
Image used with permission by copyright holder


For many, a home’s outdoor spaces aren’t there just to look pretty. These areas are extensions of the house — Plein air rooms of their own. Therefore, they need elements that make them functional, such as seating, counter space, outdoor kitchen appliances, screens and dividers, rugs, lighting, and even WiFi.

Recommended Videos

“Spending more time outdoors drives a need for functionality, making the space as efficient as possible,” Raboine said, noting that defined rooms are also “in” with homeowners who want their outdoor spaces to feel functional and complete.

“Whether it’s an outdoor kitchen, office, or living room, we are seeing homeowners lean toward creating more efficient outdoor spaces,” he added. “Homeowners want to use outdoor living on a day-to-day basis to unwind, connect with nature, and take advantage of the health and well-being benefits the outdoors provide.”


Experts say that simple design is becoming more and more popular for outdoor areas. According to Raboine, this often takes form in modular design and geometric patterns.

“Simplistic patterns offer an uncluttered aesthetic, which can allow you to emphasize furniture or other features,” he said. “Large format patterns also lend themselves to a more modern, less cluttered look. Modular styles also lend themselves to more efficient installation.”

Monochromatic colors, sometimes with an accent color, are also a big hit for outdoor landscaping. Designers and homeowners are trending toward keeping it light and fresh — not too many patterns or colors that could overwhelm a space.

“Lighter, tone-on-tone color palettes continue to be popular, but we are seeing more accent colors and accessories incorporated to create a brighter, or contrasting, space,” Raboine says. “Like interior design trends, the use of cool, monochromatic tones with choice accent colors is bleeding into outdoor living design.”

boy planting flowers outside

Environmentally friendly design

Living al fresco requires you to think about how you’re impacting the natural world around you. According to Poulakos, environmentally friendly landscaping is trending in 2022. Traditional landscaping, while desirable to some, is often less environmentally friendly than what’s currently trending.

First, Poulakos notes that large lawns and perfectly manicured landscapes are outdated in sustainable landscaping because they require excessive amounts of water, fertilizer, and chemicals that harm the environment.

“Bees and other creatures need the leaf clutter and other dormant plants found in our gardens to get through winter,” he said. “Consider replacing [lawns] with wildflowers and other native perennials and groundcovers.”

There are several types of gardens you can have in your yard that contribute positively to the environment, Poulakos explained.

Rain gardens 

With a rain garden, you’ll want to arrange your landscaping so that it retains water for future use. This helps save water for your gardens.

“Water is precious,” Poulakos said. “Retaining water on and near your lot through specific landscape design helps for future watering and creates more diversity and beauty through all seasons.”

Native plant gardens

According to Poulakos, exotic plants are no longer trending, especially if you want peak sustainability in your outdoor space. They often need extra water, whereas native plants are not as wasteful.

“Using plants that are either native to a region or do not require excess irrigation to thrive are key,” he said. “Focus on using as many native plants as you can to help your landscape ‘fit in’ to the surrounding environment.”

Kitchen and healing gardens

A kitchen garden is where you plant fruits, vegetables, and other plants that you can use to cook. You can also turn this into a children’s “victory” garden, where you teach them to grow produce and create a healthy garden.

“To escape the pressures of today’s world, having gardens that include calming scents or herbs for healthy cuisine is more popular than ever,” Poulakos said. “We can use our landscape design to help feed our souls and families.”

Poulakos also suggests smokeless fire pits and LED lights for your outdoor space.

Homeowners are increasingly seeking functional outdoor spaces that include room for cooking, relaxing, eating, and more — including sustainable gardening. People are striving for simplicity, but not necessarily perfection, in their outdoor living areas, according to Raboine and Poulakos.  Because your yard is an extension of your home, landscaping is essentially interior design with the elements in mind.

Editors' Recommendations

11 bad ideas for your front yard that will kill your curb appeal
Avoid these mistakes for your front yard
A front yard with xeriscape landscaping

You may be thinking about all the projects you want to tackle outdoors thanks to the warmer weather. While you may have grand plans to improve your curb appeal, taking the time and patience to properly land on a front yard design is important. If you want to ensure you're staying on trend and not dating your home, there are some common mistakes to avoid. These will help with the resale value of your home and leave you the envy of all your neighbors.
Landscaping mistakes
These are some common mistakes you'll want to avoid when thinking about landscaping your front yard.
Not having a game plan
One of the biggest mistakes is not having a plan when it comes to the design and layout of your landscaping. This can leave your yard feeling disjointed and your plants at risk of looking overgrown and out of place. Meet with a local garden expert or map out your front yard, including where all plants, trees, rocks, water features, and flowers will live. This will help ensure things don't look too busy or sparse, and it will make your yard feel well thought out.
Using the wrong plants
Understand which plants work for your exact yard. If they need full sun or partial shade, or require a lot of maintenance, it may be a disaster waiting to happen. Not only do you need to consider placement in terms of sunlight, but different flowers and plants have varying schedules of watering, so you want to know exactly what's expected before you plant them.
Too many decorations
Everyone loves a yard that changes with the season in terms of decor, but you can overdo it. You want to avoid garden decor that makes your front yard look tacky or cheap (we're talking to you, plastic deer), so keep decorations to a minimum.

Color pitfalls
We love color, but you need to be careful how and where you use it.
Choosing all one color
We love a monochromatic look as much as the next person, but your home should be welcoming and warm from the first glance. If you prefer having your house the same color as outdoor furniture and plants/flowers, use it as a backdrop. Add one or two pops of color with chair pillows or your front door to breathe a little life into your home.
Choosing too many colors
While it's good to have a little variety, you don't want to overwhelm the outside of your home. Bright colors may work in some parts of the country, but go easy on the rest of your choices. Picking one primary color and one contrasting color that complements it is the safest approach, especially if you're planning to sell your home.

Read more
11 attractive English cottage garden design ideas you should steal for your yard
You may just love one of these English cottage garden designs for your space
English garden walkway

If you're looking for something new and unique to do with your garden this season, consider an English cottage garden design. English gardens are informal, traditional, and serene, and they require dense plantings to make them come alive. Usually, they have a mix of ornamental and edible flowers and plants and use perennials, layers, and a lot of color. They're both formal and whimsical in design and can use brick, rocks, and mulch as structures to house the plants.

If you're wondering how to lay out an English garden, we've got some tips and tricks to do just that, along with some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Read more
Report: These are the home design trends that are hot this summer
This summer, take note of these interior design trends
how to take care of a rooftop garden woman watering her

There are some new trends happening in home design right now, and they are all the rage. Whether you're trying to beat the heat or have a place to gather friends and family, the following design trends are here for the summer and beyond. The experts at Houzz recently released a report on how to transform your home into a summer oasis, and many aren't as hard to pull off as you may think. Not only will these interior design trends inspire, they can add some serious value to your home when you look to sell.

Finish your basement
Finishing your basement gives you a big fresh space to spread out, entertain, watch movies, and host family game nights. Notably, the report says that searches for “basement golf simulator” showed a 20x search. With all the drama from the PGA and LIV tours this past year, it just makes sense.
Rooftop living
If you don't have a basement, look upwards for inspiration. According to the report, searches for “outdoor rooftop terrace” are up a whopping 16.5x. If you live in a state like Florida with no basements, the rooftop is a natural space to add square footage and entertaining areas to your home.
Accessibility is key
The 2023 U.S. Houzz & Home Study reported that homeowners are settling into their homes and renovating for the long haul. Part of this means they are thinking about renovations into their retirement years, which include the bathrooms. Searches for “aging-in-place bathrooms” and “handicap-accessible bathrooms” both doubled compared to the same time last year. Searches for “handheld shower head,” “ADA-compliant bathroom vanities,” and “curbless showers” also increased.
Get cooking in industrial-style kitchens
Because the kitchen is the heart of the home and a place we all use for eating, working, playing, and entertaining, it makes sense we want them to feel more like a night out at a fancy restaurant. Searches tripled for “kitchen track lighting” and “pull-down kitchen faucets” and doubled for “stainless steel countertops” and “brick kitchen wall.”

Read more