Photo by Seppi Ramos, Landscape Design by Fusion

Outdoor Living Trends for 2024

These new garden projects show just how much life can be packed into the backyard.

Leveling Up

Landscape Design: Fusion
Photography: Seppi Ramos

For this exterior project for a family in Colonial Heights laid out on different levels, Fusion planned out a covered outdoor area with a fireplace, a dining patio, a partially enclosed grill station, updated storage, an eco-smart pet-relief zone and casual lounging areas. The four-season outdoor pavilion, designed by eMZed Architecture, allows the homeowners to host sports-viewing parties, barbecues and cozy family nights. “They liked it so much that we ended up doing their front yard as well,” says Kristien Evans, founder and principal designer of Fusion.

Making It Personal

Landscape Design: Drake’s 7 Dees
Photography: John Curtis

For this contemporary backyard in Northwest Portland, Drake’s 7 Dees completely redesigned the whole with timeless comforts and playful plantings and decor. “It’s the epitome of life lived well in the Pacific Northwest,” says designer Chris Dara, for Drake’s 7 Dees. But the heart of the project is an outdoor fire table and seating area. The designers added a personal touch with a custom painting of the owner and her two children on the fence. 

Being Well

Landscape Design: Harmony Design Northwest
Photography: Lisa Meddin

“Scandinavian / woodsy” were the defining adjectives for this Mt. Tabor, Portland, garden makeover designed for wellness. “Saunas are ideal for enjoying health benefits in a convenient way,” says its designer, Lisa Meddin of Harmony Design Northwest. “But they also add structural interest, especially when incorporated into the whole.” The project’s year-round barrel sauna, a two- to four-person cedar-canopy sauna by Almost Heaven, forms its own room between a garage and a sitting area. It was part of a larger project including dog-friendly yard choices, a new hardscape path, a tortoise habitat and veggie gardens.