There’s no denying the fact that eclectic style is all the rage. For several years now, interior designers have experimented with creative use of mixed materials to fashion unique and visually-interesting interior designs. By artfully using a mix of wood, metal, multiple fabric textures and seemingly mismatched accessories from multiple periods, each room presents a one-of-a-kind personality to reflect that of the homeowner.
Now that the concept of outdoor living has evolved to become an extension of the home, it’s no surprise that illustrious designers and contractors are utilizing this same design principle with outdoor living installations. Eclectic style can be evoked outdoors by using a mixed palette of wood, concrete hardscapes, natural stone, porcelain, metal, fabrics and other materials. Here are some examples of stunning outdoor living spaces for inspiration.
Designer Fire Pit Patio
This artful fire pit patio utilizes an array of materials in the design. The primary paver field consists of an ashlar pattern of Urbana® Stone concrete pavers. The chiseled texture and modular pattern offer a stark contrast to the inlaid walkway and raised level, which uses an offset running bond pattern of Noon plank-style porcelain pavers to create the look of wood but with the durability of a paver. The landscape walls, seat wall, columns and fire pit were constructed with Weston® Stone wall block and trimmed with bullnose coping. The seat wall and columns were accented with the random flagstone look of Mega-Arbel® pavers. Natural stone and wood were used to add additional texture and help the design flow into the wooded background.
Old World Oasis
This textural design evokes the feel of a bygone era. The linear pattern and rough-hewn texture of the Highland Stone® landscape columns and seat walls provide a visually interesting contrast to the random flagstone look of Mega-Arbel® pavers. A reclaimed wood arbor, large pottery urns and lush tropical gardens add natural elements to add dimension and soften the overall look of the design. Geometric patterned throw pillows add visual interest and reinforce the “outdoor room” concept…
MoistureShield® composite decking provides a durable multi-level dock that can withstand the harsh riverside environment. The natural wood look of the composite decking is enhanced by the use of real wood for the arbor, benches and Adirondack chairs. A Dublin Cobble® paver landing adds an elegant touch that coordinates well with the Diamond® Stone Cut fire pit. Container gardens and metallic string lights add finishing eclectic touches to the design.
This lovely poolscape incorporates multiple colors and textures of natural stone and manufactured stone hardscapes. The pool deck is paved with two different color blends and layout patterns of Urbana® Stone pavers, creating sweeping curves that mimic the shape of the pool. The uniform modular paver pattern of the primary paver field is offset by the curved inlaid border as well as the random shapes of natural stone used in the rock gardens and slide base. The linear patterns of the Marina™ Coping, Creekside Wall and Bristol™ fireplace add additional textures to enhance the eclectic feel of the design and coordinating colors that visually tie the design together.
Cozy Contemporary Nook
Concrete, porcelain, wood, metal and fabrics work together to add an eclectic feel to this contemporary patio design. The patio is constructed with Belgard porcelain pavers in a contemporary large-format linear design. The metal-trimmed wooden wall, sun shade canopy and simple concrete bench add additional linear elements to reinforce the contemporary feel. Randomly shaped accessories and string lights soften the lines to add eclectic touches and pops of color, including the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year (“living coral”).
Gourmet Outdoor Kitchen & Living Room
This eclectic outdoor kitchen and living room space incorporates multiple styles and patterns of concrete hardscapes as well as natural stone, wood and metal. An area of textured and stained poured concrete breaks up the Mega-Arbel® paver patio to create the look of a curved rug for the sitting area, which reinforces the “outdoor room” concept. Weston® Stone retaining wall blocks were used to build out the outdoor kitchen so that it flows seamlessly with the bordering retaining wall, raised rock garden, Bristol™ outdoor fireplace and built-in planters. Mega-Arbel accents on the bar and fireplace coordinate with the patio pavers and help tie the design together. A wooden arbor, granite countertop and water feature provide additional touches of natural elements to enhance the design.
Cut From Nature
Randomly shaped natural stone boulders act as focal points for this eclectic fire pit patio design. Tandem® Wall was used to build out the fire pit and landscape walls, which extend out from the boulders to create a design that looks like it was cut from nature. The wall blocks and pavers used offer the look of various natural stones to enhance this effect. Multiple shapes, sizes, colors and laying patterns add to the eclectic feel. The Tandem Wall elements use a modular ashlar pattern and offer the look of hand-chiseled stone. Mega-Arbel® pavers create the look of randomly laid flagstone. Urbana® Stone pavers create linear borders with a cut stone appearance.
There’s an old saying that “bigger is better.” Although that’s quite often not true at all, in the contemporary world of outdoor living design, large scale pavers certainly are one of the hottest trends.
This phenomenon has a lot to do with the continuing evolution of what’s known in design circles as “indoor/outdoor living.” In layman’s terms, this design concept refers to outdoor living designs that are a continuation of the interior environment. For the last several years, popularity has continued to increase for larger tiles and wider wooden planks for interior flooring. Continuing this trend outdoors was a natural progression in creating designs that flow more easily from one environment to the other. And as demand for larger pavers continued to grow, a multitude of style options began to emerge.
Popular Paver Face Textures
Natural stone textures have been popular for the last several years — and continue to be so, particularly in certain regions — however, there’s a rising trend towards smoother faced pavers that offer crisp, clean lines. With the rise in porcelain pavers, there has also been an increase in woodgrain-textured pavers. This is reflective of a rise in the popularity of interior wood look porcelain tile — one of the hottest trends in interior flooring. This style offers the look of natural wood without any of the stain or maintenance worries, which is particularly beneficial in an outdoor environment.
Trends in Plank-Style Pavers
You guessed it…with an increase in woodgrain pavers, the plank shape naturally followed suit. In addition to porcelain styles, plank-style concrete pavers are also trending. With woodgrain porcelain pavers, wider planks are more popular, as they more closely mimic wooden decking and also reflect interior flooring trends. However, both wide and narrow planks are trending in the concrete styles, both in textured and smooth-face plank pavers. Plank shapes are also available in the Belgard’s versatile Moduline Series™, which offers an array of colors that allow designers to have some fun with their paver designs.
Large Scale Paver Shapes
It’s definitely hip to be square, and the larger the better. This can be seen in both slab-style pavers and numerous porcelain paver lines. Belgard regularly sees orders for sizes up to 24″ x 24″, with custom orders of porcelain pavers in even larger squares. However, large rectangles are also quite popular, which is more reflective of the current trends in interior flooring.