Tasty trends for 2017

Just like fashion, design and style, tastes change in home and landscaping design as time goes by, and these trends broader trends can often have significant consequences for how people choose to design their homes and gardens. The availability and price of the latest innovative building techniques and materials also plays a part here, as technology allows designers to overcome obstacles which in the past may have limited their scope to design in a certain way.

Based on several of the patterns that emerged at the beginning of this year and continue to gather momentum as the year concludes, I expect that in 2017 the landscaping industry will see many of the purchasing and specifying habits of 2016 continue to gather momentum, as housebuilders and homeowners begin to see for themselves what is achievable.

Colour variation was a popular phrase amongst landscapers in 2016, and this will continue to be the case next year. For a number of years uniformity in terms of the colour of tiles was considered essential in all sectors of the market. This is no longer strictly the case. Landscapers now appreciate that by using a wider variation of one colour on their projects, it is possible to draw the eye of the observer across their property, drawing them into other more fine details which may not have been seen before, such as the range of paving plan sizes used, if the products have a traditional or contemporary appearance, or the colour of the paving itself or even the profile of the kerbs used.

It is not just the degree of variation that is shifting, but also the colours of preference themselves. Grey, a consistently popular choice in recent years, now faces competition in the amongst potential home buyers for more natural buff coloured paving products, which can add a splash of colour and personality to properties. Why the shift away from grey? No reason in particular – it is natural that over time that preferences change; homeowners are often unwilling to choose a colour that is similar to that of a neighbour.

In recent years, housebuilders have applied an increased level of resources to home exteriors. Whilst kitchens and bathrooms were often a priority in the past, landscaping solutions for gardens and drives is now just as important as these internal developments. This is understandable, as the exterior of a property represents the first part of a property that a guest or neighbour will see, and first impressions make all the difference.

As a result, we expect that there will be a shift away from lower end materials, such as asphalt, as housebuilders and homeowners use higher end paving stones and even natural stone to chase the ultimate “wow” factors that will set their properties apart from the rest of the street. This is completely scalable, as there are aesthetically pleasing solutions available at all price points in the market.

During 2017 Housebuilders will take increasing notice of issues such as surface water drainage in developments, as they have started to do this year. Throughout 2016 permeable paving solutions enjoyed an increase in popularity and specification, which will only increase next year. 2015 saw some truly dreadful weather conditions throughout the country, as large swathes of Cumbria and Yorkshire flooded. Though the water eventually drained away, the floods remain fresh in the minds of local authorities, who have really pushed forward with the specification of permeable paving solutions. Housebuilders across the country, but particularly in flood-prone areas increasingly expect that their properties have adequate levels of flood proofing.

The increasing compatibility between permeable paving blocks and other landscaping products has helped with the implementation of various water management solutions. At Brett for example, out Alpha and Beta permeable paving block products are all entirely compatible with the rest of our product ranges, meaning that beautiful looks can be achieved without the need to sacrifice aesthetics.

Homebuilders always look for creative and exciting ways to increase the saleability of their projects, and fortunately there are more innovative paving solutions available on the market at the moment than ever before.