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Outdoor Design Trends 2022: 22 Fresh ideas for your backyard project

2022 is on the horizon and Shadowspec is proud to present the third annual compendium for backyard and patio trends. The 2020 and 2021 editions of our quintessential guide have been a huge success, helping hundreds of people on their journey to create delicious outdoor spaces, made inspired design choices and entertain their friends and family.

2022 is about bringing people together in our new world.

1. White Wash Mediterranean

Outdoor spaces are going through a renaissance all around the world. With the proliferation of garden living and staying home, it is important that your zone looks good and fresh.

This years style has transformed to what is being described as “white wash Mediterranean” taking inspiration from social media trends and influencer style, the whites and soft features of modern fashion is finding its way outdoors

2. Aesthetic Garden Beds

Gardens go hand-in-hand with any outdoor space design. In 2022 gardens become even more important as “garden-to-plate” comes on trend. We’re seeing a lot of satisfaction from planting your own selection of herbs and spices to…spice up your cooking experience. Consider Cilantro, Basil and Parsley to start with.

3. Outdoor Rooms

Creating a fantastic outdoor area doesn’t mean you need to be outdoors in the raw elements, sometimes a breath of fresh air is all you need. A growing trend for outdoor design in 2022 is creating spaces that are sheltered and protected to ensure you and your family can enjoy a covered site regardless of elements.

4. Bold flowers

In our last few editions we shied away from too much gardening. In 2022 we are going the opposite direction. Plantings of bold colours will accent your outdoor design work. Creating a beautiful, saturated garden experience.

Investigate using colour theory to create interest and dynamism.

5. Spa Pools

Creating a new relaxation station is always a great design challenge and you can get creative with it. In 2022 a great idea is to plan your build around a spa pool -forever a family pleaser a spa pool will always be on trend.

6. Technology

Using technology to enhance your patio is always going to be a great way to create a better outdoor space. Technology is always getting better and this year’s outdoor trend is automation.

7. Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens aren’t going away nor will they be disappearing from backyards. If you don’t already have an outdoor kitchen it’s time to look at bringing in a solution. This will become a core focus of your outdoor space.

8. Feature & Statements

The centerpiece of your environment is as important as the overall intention, you can either purchase a feature or statement piece such as an artwork, or a spa pool and build your design it or hunt out something that matches your deep conceptualization. Whichever way you choose to fly, consider the overall aesthetic of your space and keep those considerations careful and you’ll have success in 2022.

9. Outdoor Cantilever Umbrellas

Outdoor cantilever umbrellas are an evergreen solution to shade. Shadowspec supplies Umbrellas that are high-tech, easy to use and look amazing. Our patented technology and features complement each other.

10. Gravel paths

Solid paths and paving are giving way to a more natural gravel look in 2022, the theory behind this is if you can make your yard look “not-on-purpose” or natural, you’re going to get a thoughtful outdoor space that will entertain and delight.

11. Minimalism

If you opt for the less-is-more approach consider focusing on one trend building material such as concrete or beech timber, 2022 is the year of uncomplicatedness, even though that may not be a real word, minimalism is another evergreen design concept that will create and maintain a beautiful space for a long time yet.

12. Water Features

Water features are back – maybe not ponds, they can be hard to clean and aren’t worth your time. Look to running water features that can create a light babbling aesthetic and break up the soundscape of your space.

13. Cafe Vibes

Over the last two years, we’ve been heading to cafes with friends far less. In 2022 an emerging trend in backyard design is the backyard cafe. Cafes around the world are renowned for being designers dreams, why not take that inspiration into your backyard and create an always there affair.

14. Eco-friendly

Air-quality, health and environment are front of mind for a lot of people due to the pandemic. Landscaping experts are suggesting that in 2022 our outdoor spaces will start to trend towards focusing on this eco-friendly theory. Consider planting native plants to your area to transform the ecosystem of your neighbourhood.

15. Quality Materials

If you want an on trend, quality space you should look for, well, quality materials. Don’t take shortcuts – the experts don’t take shortcuts- you want your space to be good for a long time. Consider the quality of your pavers, fence and other material choices as you would your umbrellas, your bbq and your dining table.

16. Furniture

Comfortable chairs and designer tables are a staple in any outdoor setting – Large tables for the whole family will always be on trend and in 2022 there is a continuing pivot to creating spaces where friends and family can congregate to rekindle relationships, friendships and families after a hard couple of years.

17. Sustainability

Materials that are sustainable are becoming more and more important as we work towards more sustainable practices for our planet. Look to acquire recycled or reused bricks, paving or other settings – these rustic materials can turn into an amazing statement piece.

18. Fire

Fireplaces, firepits and heating options are a brilliant way to brighten up your space. Create warmth and welcoming in 2022 to create nice outdoor space for you and yours.

19. Green

Greenery is the best way to freshen up any space. Create a delectable and accessible space create zones, blend your area and enjoy the class.

20. Lighting

Lighting options grow each year and 2022 is no exception. This year look to increase the connectivity and safety of your space by installing RGB lights all around your space that you can connect to your smart device. This improves the safety and the nightlife of your garden.

21. Dinner Parties

Host dinner parties is back. 2022 should be the year of outdoor dining and any new space design should consider dinner parties as the key component to any successful backyard or patio.

Large tables, heaped food offerings and yum drinks is the order of the day.

22. Sociable

Be social, have people over (in a safe way) and enjoy the outdoor space you’ve created. That’s how you can have the most on trend back yard in 2022. Speaking of social, why not be social and share this with your friends, maybe they’ll be inspired to create a new backyard and invite you over for drinks.


Jonathan Blampied 

Garden trends 2022: tunning new looks for your outdoor space

Whether you want to freshen up the look or go for a complete overhaul of your outdoor space, we’ve rounded up the top garden trends that should be on your radar in 2022.


If you have a balcony garden, courtyard, terrace or roof garden, the message is small can be beautiful as well as functional. Small garden spaces are getting a lot of attention at the moment with the focus very much on how to max up your living and growing potential.

Even if you have next to no outdoor space you can use what you have to transform it into a haven for wildlife, a sanctuary for escaping busy city living, or a work station or exercise spot, as well as a productive planting place for flowers and grow your own fruit and vegetables.


Try creating a tiny urban forest to green up a small space and help biodiversity by including some vertical garden ideas in your space. They will naturally purify the air as well as attract wildlife. Living wall systems are often sold as kits, and can be scaled up or down to suit your space and budget. Incredibly easy to construct, you can get them up and running in a weekend.

The latest garden trends idea is lush ‘forest pockets’, which are made from repurposed industrial bulk containers. They are inexpensive, readily available and can easily be customized to suit your space. They are also an excellent screen for more privacy if you live in an apartment block or are overlooked by neighbours.


Garden designers are embracing curves big time this year, especially in small gardens,

where they give a softer, organic, more fluid shape to a garden. Curves create a comforting and relaxing vibe, helping to soften harsh lines created by traditional linear boundaries.

Creating a curved garden within a small garden with straight boundaries completely disguises the original linear shape and makes a space so much more interesting. Curves can be used as a design element for creating garden path ideas, lawns, garden walls, raised beds and borders.

The look can also be picked up with accessories such as shapely benches, shallow fire bowls and curvy planters. No more boring straight lines then!


Pallet furniture ideas have been one of the most popular garden trends for a while now, but the latest upcycling idea is giving old wardrobes and cupboards a makeover and turning them into unique garden storage ideas for plants and accessories.

It’s a big trend on Instagram and Pinterest, where you’ll find plenty of inspiration if you’re ready to take your upcycling game to the next level. The more vintage the design the better if you want to show off your plants in a quirky way.

There’s nothing like a paint project for releasing your creativity but remember preparation is everything. The general rule for most garden wood is to clean it thoroughly with warm soapy water and a stiff brush, then rinse and let the surfaces dry completely. Then sand away any rough or chipped areas so you leave a smooth surface ready for painting with the best exterior wood paint.


How much do we love outdoor shower ideas? They were a feature at the 2021 RHS Chelsea Flower Show and it’s a trend that’s really taking off. They are our dream garden accessory for cooling off during heatwave summers.

From simple portable and wall-mounted styles to more luxurious enclosures, there are lots of different outdoor shower styles to choose from. Adding a wall-mounted shower to the exterior of your home means installation is straightforward too, but there are plenty of tips on how to install an outdoor shower in our guide too if you’re after more advice.


Botanical prints and murals are currently big in interiors, inviting the outside in as part of the trend for nature-inspired living. Now it’s time to reverse things and take the trend outside to enhance your garden decor ideas.

The latest decorative metal panels and aluminium prints can be hung outdoors and come in a range of sizes and finishes to suit all spaces. Designs include on-trend botanical leaf prints. They are a great choice for styling up balcony and terrace gardens for a smooth segue from indoor to outdoor living.


Exercising at home has never been more popular. If you’re a convert it could be time to upgrade your exercise space with a slick purpose-built fitness studio.

It’s a win-win: it will be right on your doorstep so you can exercise when you want plus it means there’s no more hefty gym membership fees. Oh and exercising outdoors is thought to be better for you anyway.

A bespoke garden room idea like this can function as a multi-purpose space too, by doubling up as a WFH office with the addition of a sleek desk or as a cool guest room if you add a sofa bed and accessories.


If you love a look that works in your living room why not take it outside? Choose a garden color scheme that complements your interior look and make a harmonious link to the garden by choosing fabrics and paint that match for a co-ordinated look.

If you love the trend for dried grasses or hanging planters indoors, you can use them to style up your outside space too. Make your top picks for the garden match those you’ve selected for the house and the transition from inside to outside will be effortless.


Small urban gardens, terraces, balconies and roof gardens are about creating a relaxing outdoor space where you can linger among jungle-like planting for a real sense of escape.

Make your container gardening ideas a defining feature of your space. When choosing pots, the bigger the better. Using big statement pots gives you a real focal point. Stick with simpler designs and use the same materials so they complement each other. Then fill them with lush greens like fatsia japonica and hakonechloa macra to create a tropical jungle look. It’s a hassle-free way of gardening.

Jessica Smith, gardener and florist at Flower and Land, says that containers ‘are becoming more popular, as they can create an instant garden in a number of small spaces, such as a front garden or a balcony’.

‘You’re not the only one to benefit from these spaces,’ continues Jessica. ‘Neighbors and passers-by will also take joy in them. So be sure to use as many containers as you can, and fill them with anything you like; bulbs, annuals, perennials. The more color the better! They can be galvanised, terracotta or recycled plastic. Just have fun with it and create a space to enjoy at home.’


View your garden as a space for socialising. Your patio or courtyard is an extra room, even if it’s small, if you dress it up right. The quickest way to create a sociable garden is to choose the best garden furniture to suit your space and layout needs. A comfortable L-shaped seating area around a table is a brilliant way to create a sociable focal point on your patio or deck.

Stylish planters and statement pots add lush planting details, while outdoor rugs and cushions really help seal the deal.

If you’re looking for ways to make the most of your outdoor space all year round, investing in a stylish patio cover idea such as a pergola, awning or even a completely enclosed design, will maximize the potential of your plot.

Dani Taylor from Cox & Cox predicts that ‘gorgeous canopies and gazebos will continue to be a big trend this year – not only for their practical uses against the elements, allowing us to use our gardens for longer periods of time, but also because they make the outside space work as an extra room.’

‘Filling them with lots of pillows and rugs, and adding fairy lights and festoons give them a glamorous, luxe resort feel – or even create a great den for the kids to play in!’ she says.


Creating somewhere to enjoy moments of stillness in the garden is also important to boost mindfulness and mental wellbeing. For many of us, our gardens are a pocket of peace and quiet, a place where we can find refuge in a ‘wellness bubble’ and escape our hectic days. It’s the ultimate stress relief.

So relaxing in style is key with the right combination of furniture and accessories. This bespoke pod is the stuff of our dreams, but an on-trend garden swing seat or hanging chair on a patio or underneath a tree will create a similar vibe at a much more affordable price point.


At the 2021 Chelsea Flower show, a beautiful sunset provided the inspiration for the flower colors used and the ways designers were playing with the orange and yellow palette felt new and fresh.

The fashion for these burnished colours is partly influenced by the late-season color at the show, which was held for the first time in September so dictated a much more autumnal themed color palette, but mature russet colours feel very now. It’s time to step away from pastel shades and embrace something a little different for next year’s flowerbed ideas.


The latest trend of wild gardens is to create spaces where nature is permitted to take charge.

Emma Bond, founder of Bath Garden Design, says, ‘As we have been limited in our travels, we crave a connection with birds, insects, wild flowers and nature.’

‘There has been a huge uptick in sales of bird feeders, bee hotels, wild flower turf and seeds as well as natural perennial planting. This is easily achieved in any size of garden and has huge stress-busting benefits. Watching nature unfold around us is an antidote to the difficult times we find ourselves living in.’


Gardens are a place to relax, and after a year like 2021, we all deserve it! Just being outdoors does wonders for our wellbeing, but why not go the extra mile this year? And by that, we mean to indulge in one of the best hot tubs, of course.

They come in all sizes and styles, but if space is limited, there are plenty of inflatable options available, too. Surround with leafy ferns and foliage for an extra spa-like experience, turn on the bubbles, jump in and unwind. Ahhh.


Rattan is being celebrated this year, in keeping with the relaxed, ‘holiday feel’ trend for outdoor spaces. ‘The rattan trend isn’t going anywhere,’ say John Lewis. It’s a great way to add interest, tactility, and timeless texture to your space. Rattan’s versatility makes it complementary to both bohemian or classic themes, too.

Keep an eye out for ‘rattan-effect’ furniture, made from more weather-resistant materials, if durability is on your agenda.


If you’ve been reading up on how to grow succulents you’ll be pleased to know that this garden trend looks set to continue into 2022, thanks to their easy-peasy maintenance and epic variety.

Senecio rowleyanus, otherwise known as ‘String of Pearls’, is a beautiful type to consider – its fleshy, spherical leaves trail oh-so-elegantly when positioned up high, such as on a shelf of a bookcase.

The unusual Fishbone cactus is due to be popular too – as is Instagram’s favourite, pilea, with its bobbing, coin-shaped leaves.


Moving away from more formal structures, it seems romantic-style gardens are back on our radars again.

Sarah Raven’s Senior Horticultural Buyer says, ‘Whimsical, romanticised styles like traditional cottage gardens should be popular once again, their informality and abundance offer the desired rewards people are looking for. Traditional styles are key indicators that people want the security and stability of times gone by, as they think back to memories of good times and try to recreate them for comfort’.

Think hollyhocks, foxgloves and honeysuckle – just some of the best cottage-style flowers to consider. Why not check out our favourite cottage garden ideas too, for even more inspiration?


Making the most of your outdoor space has never been more important. Switching it up for longer seasonal use is the current trend and that goes hand in hand with keeping visual interest going through the seasons. Successional planting that keeps the color and interest coming throughout the year is one of the big garden trends to look out for.

Even if your garden is tiny there’s so much you can do. Patios and balconies are having a moment so make sure they look good. ‘Because so many people are now working from home, there is more emphasis on styling up and furnishing our outdoor spaces,’ say the experts at the Flower Council in their 2022 garden trends report.

Accessories play a key role too. They add the tasteful touches that really help to establish that indoor-outdoor feel. ‘When it comes to patterns and materials in the garden, 2022 will see a surge in ceramics, coloured glass, practical plastics, textiles, raffia and granite,’ says the Flower Council. ‘It’s all about materials that can be natural, artisan and practical at the same time.’


Connecting with the natural world is one of the key garden trends this year and the path to gardening in a much more sustainable way. Here are a few things you can try in your own plot.

  • Planting is key. The current trend in sustainable gardens is very much for natural unstructured swathes, otherwise known as prairie style planting, of nectar-rich plants, and rewilding lawns. The idea is to just let things relax a little and seed around the place. This will encourage a sanctuary for wildlife. If you plant the right flowers then bees, butterflies and birds will make your garden their home.
  • Ditch chemicals and use natural products and methods wherever you can. Improve your soil naturally with home made leaf mould and compost. Green up as much as you can too, so plant trees, living roofs and green walls.
  • Make sustainable choices when it comes to your hard landscaping ideas. Those that are permeable such as gravel allow water to drain through to the soil rather than away from it. Keep hard landscaping to a minimum and source locally.


Growing your own retro blooms in a cutting garden is one of the big garden trends for 2022 that’s bang on in terms of sustainability too as it celebrates homegrown flowers and cuts down on transport and packaging.

In terms of the best cutting garden flowers, dahlias and gladioli have been stealing the show for a while now, but other flowers like zinnias, chrysanthemums and larkspur are being added to the garden trends mix as the reinvention of cottage garden classics continues.

If you don’t have the space to grow your own then check out the blooms at your local farmers’ market. With the revival of small-scale flower farming over the past decade, there is now a real trend for growing and sourcing flowers locally and seasonally. This creates displays that are much fresher, as well as being more interesting, unusual and sustainable. It’s a trend definitely worth tapping into.

Flowers help us to reconnect with the natural world, slow down and enjoy a fleeting moment of beauty, and what better way of doing this than growing your own in your garden borders.

Sarah Wilson





Give Outdoor Spaces a Taste of the Great Indoors

Lawn chairs and decks? Passé. The concept of outdoor living is becoming more literal than ever, and for many homeowners, traditional backyard accoutrements are no longer enough.

Welcome to the era of outdoor rooms. Today’s owners consider outdoor spaces to be entire extensions of their living areas, and they hope to use these areas for far more than just a few summer barbecues per year. They want backyards created for year-round family enjoyment, so contractors need to plan and construct accordingly.

Outdoor rooms present a host of new challenges, but they also promise a wealth of opportunities. With multiple components needed to build full living areas, homeowners often request significantly larger ranges of work than they might normally consider. There are also plenty of chances to get creative with outdoor rooms – integrating them with indoor living spaces, adding lavish décor and other flourishes, and tying together unusual elements to create an entirely new look. But before any of that happens, basic plans must be solidified.

Planning might seem obvious, but contractors too often ignore some core tenets. It’s not enough to simply ask clients what they want in a space; you need to know why they are building an outdoor room at all. Do they anticipate hosting big parties there, or will they reserve the space for family? Should its primary purpose be functional (for example, cooking) or just aesthetic? Purpose and design are always the most important things, and once you’ve established those, you can move on to features. For example, if a homeowner is building an outdoor kitchen with room for seating and entertaining, it might make sense to place a fire feature nearby as well.

If your clients are looking to stay on-trend as they plan their outdoor rooms, you might want to point them toward modular, linear designs. Try something geometric – squares and rectangles are very popular – but stick with classic materials to keep the atmosphere cozy. Even as modern design becomes more common, many homeowners still gravitate toward timeless stone-like textures to accent their yards. Another growing trend is more defined separation between outdoor spaces. Not too long ago, outdoor elements were often bunched together in a single, large space, regardless of whether these features actually formed a cohesive look. Now that many homeowners are downsizing and building on smaller lots, they need clear delineations between spaces, adding to the sense that they are true outdoor rooms.

The most popular and well-known type of outdoor room is, of course, the outdoor kitchen. It can be as simple as a built-in grill with some countertops, or it can contain a full array of deluxe appliances and finishes to rival those of any interior space. Again, natural stone textures remain popular here, but new trends gaining steam include double sinks, side burners, and bar stations (which can help unify the space by incorporating a seating area). Outdoor kitchens can offer advantages that indoor kitchens can’t. For example, if a homeowner is interested in a wood-burning oven (which can be difficult to install inside due to how hot it gets), the backyard can offer ideal placement. Or a nearby fire pit creates an ideal spot to both cook food and gather with friends and family.

Of course, designing an outdoor kitchen of any size requires careful planning and vigilance. It’s a good idea to get a sense of where underground utilities are before further planning begins, so that you can make adjustments as needed or calculate what it would cost to move some things around. If your client wants to place a kitchen in an area with a predominant wind direction, take care not to put a grill where it might blow back toward people. Downwind placement is always best.

The outdoor rooms trend has even extended to spaces once limited mainly to the indoors. Increasingly, contractors are seeing requests for outdoor showers, which are of particular value in regions with warmer temperatures. There, these showers can become natural extensions of the indoor spaces. If possible, homeowners might want to place the showers in areas close to bedrooms in order to encourage more use. For frequent beachgoers who live on the coast, outdoor showers can play an important function, allowing family members and visitors to rinse off unwanted sand and other debris instead of tracking it into the home.

To ensure these outdoor spaces feel like fully realized rooms, privacy and separators are crucial, but it’s a good idea to check local ordinances first. Most areas will have some kind of restrictions on what you can build (not to mention separate rules for elements such as fire pits, particularly wood-burning fire pits). You will likely need to secure some kind of permit, especially when working with vertical features.

Once you’ve secured necessary permissions, get creative. In an open area, a short seat wall with some pillars offers some privacy, though residents will likely still be able to see neighbors. Another option might be vertical gardens, which can rise to six feet high and have three or four troughs. People can also create screening without technically building a fence, which is a nice way to avoid blocking a neighbor completely.

Pergolas and pavilions can help define spaces more completely. With a wide range of materials available – including metal, fabric, wood and PVC composites – coverings can be constructed even on tighter budgets. If you aren’t sure your client is interested in a covering, it’s still worth bringing up if they’re already going to the expense of an outdoor room. Owners will want to protect their investments, and these coverings can offer aesthetically pleasing ways to do so.

Once plans are set, suggest building the room in an area that makes real sense for the client. Even the most beautiful outdoor spaces sometimes languish without use when they’re not conveniently located. So, encourage an area that’s used consistently – close to the living room or kitchen, for example, and visible through big windows or doors. With all the time, work and expenses that go into outdoor rooms, you’ll want to ensure your clients can make as much use of theirs as possible.


Joe Raboine 

Outdoor Living Trends 2022

Six key outdoor living trends to watch in 2022 are as follows:

1. The shift in overall thinking about outdoor living in general, as related to health and well-being.  Science is showing us that quality design not only provides a better space, but it actually improves our health as well. This is all through the lens of biophilic design, in that it’s critical we design spaces that help us better connect with nature. This connection improves our mental and spiritual health and makes an outdoor living space something that can truly transform people’s lives on a daily basis. People are understanding how important these spaces are as a respite from our crazy world. If designers consider this, they can help design spaces that are not only great places to entertain, but spaces that also nurture and relax.

2. Large format expansion with narrow joints makes installation quicker and more efficient. The scale of pavers has increased, thanks to continued innovation in the industry. Larger pavers have more surface area and allow you install an increased amount of square footage quickly and efficiently. This style also gives homeowners the clean, modern look that is popular today. It is important to note that larger pavers may require additional or new equipment for transportation and installation, based on the increased scale.

3. Modular, linear design is becoming the preferred design style among today’s homeowners. Modular, geometric standard patterns comprised of clean lines and simple formats create an uncluttered aesthetic that aligns with the trend toward more modern design. Many pavers and other outdoor living solutions are designed in modular fashion to make install easier and faster – which allows you to maximize time and your customer to enjoy their outdoor space sooner. There also are 3D design and AR solutions coming on the market that can help with the design process and allow you to show customers a more immersive version of their design plan.

4. Functionality is key in today’s outdoor living spaces. Contractors should start thinking ahead as customers approach them to create outdoor living spaces and be prepared to incorporate elements like lighting, sound and shade structures. Outdoor living is no longer focused on entertainment, but day-to-day use – so even access to WiFi and electrical outlets are critical to ensure your customer can spend time carrying out any task outside.

5. Turnkey solutions make it easier for you to create a truly cohesive space. Integration of components with the outdoor living product make it easier to show customers what the final space will look like and will make design and installation simpler. For example, Belgard’s new Elements line of products includes kitchen and bar accessories that can be showcased in the design process for a fully integrated space. Templated design approaches, like Belgard Rooms, also allow you to fully map out the design based on style preferences to streamline the process from start to finish.

6. Wet poly-sand installation is becoming more common for jointing hardscapes. Solutions are on the market today, like Techniseal’s NOCOSTORM, that work under wet or dry conditions. This helps avoid delays in paver installation, so you don’t have to factor in any time if weather conditions don’t cooperate or worry about moisture ruining the sand as it sets.


Joe Raboine