The Best Landscape Design Ideas and Trends for 2018

The Industrial Revolution of the 18th Century brought many more people into cities and revolutionised technology in ways that made our current lifestyle’s possible.

In the same vein, it meant that people were more removed from nature and craving it all the more. As such, many homeowners and people dream of creating a garden, retreat, or wildlife sanctuary in their own backyard.

Do you wish you had a place where your family and friends can get together? An outdoor space that’s both pretty and practical?

If you do, you’re in luck because in this article we review the best landscape design trends of the 20th Century. So whether you have a big backyard or a small one, you can make the most of the available natural space and live your dream.

Regardless if you’re building or renovating your home, you can enjoy your outdoor space day and night, all year round with these six landscaping trends for 2018!

Let’s dig in!

1. Creating an outdoor living space

With the rise of concrete jungles and busy lifestyles, many people are yearning to get in touch with nature and find ways to bring a part of their indoor lifestyle, outside. As such, creating outdoor living spaces is a popular, and important, landscape feature for many homeowners. Living in the great outdoors is fun, exciting and also a favourite Aussie pastime. You can entertain family and friends, get closer to nature, or relax under the sun or stars.

So how do you create a liveable outdoor space?

You have a few choices: you can create a deck, patio, or an outdoor room (like the one pictured below).

Armstone Landscape Design Ideas and Trends for 2018 9Image via

Much like indoor landscaping, when designing your outdoor lifestyle, you’re not limited to a lounge, table, and cushions. You can also add items like a daybed, an outdoor shower or even a kitchen. Your outdoor kitchen can simple with just a few cupboards, a bench-top, and a BBQ (like the one pictured below) or it can more complex with a breakfast bar with stools, and an additional dining table and chairs.

Armstone Landscape Design Ideas and Trends for 2018 14Image via Homes to Love

If you want a bigger, more elaborate BBQ set-up, check out these 10 stone BBQ ideas to help you get started.

When starting to design your outdoor living space, you can do this right off the back of your house, or you could push it out into the garden. For instance, the outdoor dining space pictured below, immerses people in its ambience. Visitors and family members get to experience a more luxurious setting right in the depths of the garden.

Jura Beige Limestone Porcelain

One of the most important aspects of successful design is getting the lighting right. This can literally make or break the aesthetic of your outdoor area. You want to achieve the ideal balance of being able to see at night and also experience the enveloping night around you. Apart from setting the ambience, installing the correct lighting creates a safe space for everyone, and is especially important for paths and steps. Strip lighting is one such feature you can install on your stairs and stepping stones and will become trendier in 2021. You can also place strip lights on seats and bench-tops to create a lovely evening ambiance.

If you want more tips on how to create the perfect outdoor dining area, check out this article on the 4 things to get right.

Armstone Landscape Design Ideas and Trends for 2018 2Image via

2. Adding a fire feature

Adding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit is another way to create a habitable outdoor living area. For starters, it’ll keep your patio and outdoor living area warm on those cold winter (and sometimes, summer) nights and it’ll add a smokiness to your outdoor entertaining. Your family and visitors can gather around the fire, toast marshmallows, tell stories, listen to music or just gaze up at the stars.

When choosing the idea fireplace, consider your lifestyle and time you have available to maintain it. You can choose between a freestanding fireplace, a wood-burning one or natural gas fire pit. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and the one you choose depends on the overall aesthetic you desire for your outdoor living area.

Some design suggestions you may choose to consider include hanging your TV above the fireplace to enjoy the fresh air in the evenings. Or you might want to get as far away from technology as possible and just enjoy watching the stars. If you choose to install a built-in fire pit, you can double it up as a coffee table – a perfect solution for smaller backyards. A portable fire pit with an iron or steel bowl is also ideal for smaller outdoor spaces.

Armstone - Landscape Design Ideas and Trends for 2018 (5)Image via

In saying that, if you choose a portable fire pit, ensure you invest in a high-quality one made from wrought iron. This way, unlike most portable fire pits that don’t actually heat anything, it’ll keep you warm. If you scarcely use your patio, a portable fire pit gives you the option to fully maximise your patio space.

Alternatively, you might want to save space by designing your outdoor area to serve a variety of purposes. For example, in the image below, the concrete fire feature is used as a curb edge for the deck, a planter, a seat wall, and a place to collect water from downspouts.

Whatever you choose, you’re limited by your imagination and budget.

Mica stone panels


3. Installing a water feature

Another way to transform your outdoor area into a serene oasis and escape is by installing a water feature as a focal point and feature in your backyard. A water feature can either be a fountain, pond, waterfall, or swimming pool. According to Matt Leacy, “The pool can become a subtle water feature that looks like a natural part of the landscape.” Additionally, a swimming pool will  increase the value of your property as well as adding a sense of prestige and class.

One of the trends that Matt predicts for pools in 2018 is that more of them will be made from raw and finished concrete as well as homeowners choosing black or white pools over blue pools.

A white pool, as shown below, portrays a beach sand aesthetic. When reflecting the sky, it achieves a beautiful, pristine blue water that appears natural and un-enhanced.

Grey Porcelain Pavers

A black pool, on the other hand, is elegant, natural, inviting, and exudes a certain opulence and dark-lake like aesthetic. You can also use it as a reflection pool, so you get two functions for the price of one! It’s also a popular choice for modern homes.

If your backyard is too small for a swimming pool, or you’re strapped for the time required to maintain one, why not install a waterfall or fountain instead?

Regardless of your choice, if you’d like to learn more, click this link to find out how to design and install a water feature as well as how to choose a pool design that’ll suit your home and lifestyle.

4. Using textured flooring

Another landscaping feature that will be trending this year is textured flooring. This flooring trend involves the use tiles and pavers made of cobblestone, and variations of granite, limestone, and marble.

One way of using textured flooring is by installing different stones for flagging and then adding cobblestones to break up large areas, like in the image below.

Armstone - Landscape Design Ideas and Trends for 2018 (7)Image via

If you want a unique design, consider mixing linear lines of cobblestones with rounded shapes. Alternatively, if you want to stick to a more traditional aesthetic, like a sandstone pathway, check out these tips.

If you have a tight budget for your outdoor flooring, consider concrete flooring: it’s durable, low-maintenance, and versatile. Whether it’s honed, burnished, or sand-blasted, it delivers a refined finish. Additionally, it can be customised to enhance the unique aesthetics of your outdoor space which – in turn – adds value to your property.

Pictured below is a unique concrete flooring design. Hope it inspires you!

Armstone - Landscape Design Ideas and Trends for 2018 (6)Image via Homes to Love

5. Making the most of a small garden

With more and more people living a more compact lifestyle, smaller gardens are now becoming the norm. In saying that, you can can still make a small garden both useful and attractive.

For example, pictured below is a small garden that has been designed to make the most of the space. You can replace your lawn with pavers (such as these Crazy Pavers) and add a table and chairs in the middle of the area where you can relax, enjoy your morning tea or coffee and invite a friend for a chat to socialise. Once set, turn the garden into a green oasis and fill out the borders with plants and flowers.

Pazzo Quartz Crazy paving

One way to maximise a small space for your garden is by mixing up your plants and flowers between potted and planted. This way you can move the potted plants around depending on the season and combine them with the bigger plants based on their colours, structures, and textures. For instance, Japanese maples look good when planted together with greater brown sedge and alumroot (an evergreen) or other evergreens.

Armstone Landscape Design Ideas and Trends for 2018 4Image via Garden Design

Another low maintenance plant you can grow in pots are succulents and cacti. Not only do they require very little attention and water, and can thrive in Australia’s hot climate, they also provide a unique architectural element to your outdoor area. If you want to make your area look impressive, add cloud and sphere-pruned plants to your small garden.

Rosetta Limestone Wall Cladding

If you want to make your garden practical and functional as well as beautiful, simply grow your own veggies in a raised vegetable patch! This takes up little space and can be built anywhere. If you want some ideas on how to do this, we wrote an article earlier with tips and things to consider when building a raised vegetable garden. Some of the edibles you can grow include cucamelons, burr gherkins, ground cherries, chickpeas, edamame, cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs. Leafy veggies include amaranth, sweet potato leaves, and magenta spreen. You can even plant flowers in your veggie garden, like sweet alyssum, cosmos, calendula, zinnias, and nasturtiums.

Another way you can make your small garden look eye catching and neat is by applying a technique called “garden edging”. Adding the right edges to your garden can also help you maintain it easier, define pathways better and separate different plants from each other to keep them neat and tidy.

Before starting your garden edging, it’s important to choose the right material for your landscape. Here’s an article that outlines this in more detail.

Armstone Landscape Design Ideas and Trends for 2018 11Image via Business Guide Ottawa

6. Providing a habitat for local wildlife

Supporting local wildlife is on the rise and anyone can make an impactful contribution by simply creating a habitat that attracts bees, birds, and butterflies through planting trees and flowers that they can eat, drink, and rest.

Here are some tips for creating a convenient, beautiful landscape that will attract animals and insects:

  • Grow plants that produce seeds and bear berries,
  • Grow flowers that produce nectar and pollen,
  • Install baths, houses and feeders for birds, bees, and butterflies,
  • Limit or eliminate your use of insecticides,
  • Replace some or all of your lawn.

Planning your landscape design for 2018

There you have it!

The top 6 landscaping design trends for 2018!

So whether you want to create an outdoor living space or an habitat that attracts wildlife, make sure to approach your garden and landscaping design with a clear vision. This way, you’ll be able to create spaces that are beautiful, functional, and liveable. This way your guests will be in awe and your neighbours, inspired!

If you still have any questions or need any assistance, our expert team at Armstone can help you build the landscape of your dreams. We have a wide range of outdoor pavers, tiles, and natural stone flooring available for you to create truly unique outdoor living spaces. Contact us today and we’ll help turn your vision into reality and provide the perfect finishing touch to your landscaping project.

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