Low Maintenance Outoor Living, Plus Low Upkeep Indoor Living Trends
LOW MAINTENANCE. Those certainly are the 2 most repeated words in our design appointments the last few years and 2016 seems to have elevated that mantra to a historic level. Low maintenance everything. We want plants that survive, decks that don’t require annual staining, weed free patios, gutters that don’t leak, showers that seldom need cleaning and scratch free counters. Moreover, we want self-cleaning grills, fade resistant pavers, long lasting bulbs, LED landscape lighting and stainless steel appliances that resist fingerprints.
The exciting news is that suppliers worldwide have heard our “low maintenance” plea and are devising all sorts of methods to help.
Plant material growers have designed for low maintenance landscapes and created lots of shrubs that are re-bloomers, which adds to repeated and long lasting beauty. Drought tolerant plants continue to work their way to our planting palate. Planting less variety and in larger masses aides in maintenance too. Perennials instead of gobs of annuals is an obvious choice and again, reducing the variety of perennials helps too. Mulch that resists fading and is embedded with fertilizer and pre-emergent weed control is my favorite. Mulch alternatives are rising to the top of our discussions where a generous portion of the landscape bed is groundcover that flows into a naturalize river gravel and boulder cluster area. Couple that with densely planted shrubs and your annual mulch fix can quickly be halved. Doesn’t all of that just make you giddy with low maintenance delight?
Who knew that stainless steel kitchen appliances could be smudge resistant? Not me. Shower doors can be cleaned less often with the new coating available and the mist on spray drastically reduces the need to scrub. Updated ceramic tile for bathroom floors is incredibly durable and looks beautiful. Flooring options promise, and predominantly deliver, on stain resistant and ease of cleaning. Light bulbs last for thousands of hours (not mine for some reason?), thermostats have brains of their own with NEST and apps abound on our smart phones to make our lives simpler. Or, that’s the plan.
What are we going to do with all the time saved from low maintenance living? Develop new hobbies, hang with our family and friends, enjoy our new patios and head to the park…those are my plans.