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May 07, 2021

The Evolving Landscape Wish List

The last year of global challenges has presented unique changes to us all. One shared experience is the altered requirements of our personal space. Stay at home orders, restaurant shutdowns and working remotely have coerced us into a routine that will likely remain even after the pandemic demands are over. It has compelled a widespread slowdown that is evident in our physical spaces for one reason in particular: we have been required to spend more time with our space. For that reason, we have started asking ourselves one question: what do want that space to be?

Our work at Traverse has been notably altered by the transition. An undeniable trend is the demand for improved residential landscapes. The increased amount of time spent in our own homes has required our spaces to serve purposes we previously relied on from public spaces or experiences we went on vacation to get. A yard is no longer just a yard. It is a place to dine outdoors with family, exercise, grow vegetables in our (now ample) spare time, relax after a day in a converted home office by cooking outdoors or lounging poolside. At Traverse, we have seen a clear uptick in the demand for residential landscape design. Regardless of the client age or project location, the wish list remains similar. Here is what we have gleaned the 2021 landscape wish list.

  1. Pool: The pool is by far the most coveted landscape component of this time, and for good reason. Having spent a summer with limited access to beaches, public pools and parks many have made the decision to create that experience in their own home. Automated safety covers, heaters, and enhanced cleaning devices have also greatly improved the maintenance requirements for having one.
  2. Fire and Heating Features: The fire feature is an essential part of the residential landscape, from rustic wood burning fire pits to outdoor fireplaces to sleek fire tables to heat lamps. This need is reflected by the amazing amount of retail options on the market. Creating your own is an easy and accessible amenity and a great way to enjoy out outdoor spaces anytime during the year.
  3. Outdoor Living Areas: Outdoor kitchens and shaded patio spaces have been in high demand. Built in grills, pizza ovens and outdoor rotisseries have made alfresco dining an event in your own home and a great way to enjoy friends and family. Patios once programed with a teak dining set are now being envisioned as resort like retreats with lounge seating and shaded chaises… maybe working from home isn’t that bad after all.

At Traverse, we understand that the most important consideration is not the individual landscape components but how they work together and the way the space makes you feel. Ashley Cullion, Principal of Traverse notes it’s important to ask yourself the question, “when I go outside, what do I want that experience to feel like? Do I want to feel energized and inspired? Quiet and contemplative? Or do I want to go on a vacation in my very own home…?” Overall, the past year has been a time of change for us at Traverse, a reflection of the changing world around us. Much of our recent work has focused on altering and improving our clients’ personal spaces to meet their evolving needs. As this year continues to defy our expectations, there is one thing we know for sure: we will all continue to spend more time with our space.

Contact: [email protected]

This article is one of many resources in the Homeowner's Project Handbook. The Homeowner’s Project Handbook (HPH) provides a directory of AIA architects working in Massachusetts, while highlighting the value that architectural expertise brings to new construction and renovation projects. Explore this free, sus­tain­able, search­able dig­i­tal resource for home­own­ers and small busi­ness own­ers con­sid­er­ing ren­o­va­tions, addi­tions, or new con­struc­tion projects.