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5 Exterior Design Trends for 2024

Friday January 5, 2024 ● By Emily Russ // Place Estate Agents

As the warmer weather and the end-of-year holidays has us spending more time in the outdoors, it’s natural that we start thinking about updating our home’s gardens and al fresco spaces. Looking for inspiration? Read on to discover five brilliant exterior design trends for 2024…


Japandi design

Appearing on many landscape design Instagram accounts and championed by The Block 2023 winners Steph and Gian, the ‘Japandi’ look fuses the minimalism of Japanese design with the sophistication of Scandinavian craftsmanship. Often also referred to as ‘wabi-sabi’, this trend centres around simplicity, functionality and sustainability. 

Japandi design can be showcased in the garden by incorporating clean lines and focussing on natural elements. Defined garden beds with curated planting encourage harmony, while pebble or stepping stone walkways connect to nature and serve as a visual link to Japanese Zen gardens. Japandi gardens will typically also feature a ‘hero’ tree that is framed by manicured shrubs. Popular options include black pines, Japanese maples and styrax trees. Lastly, seek out minimalist-style garden furniture if adding an outdoor lounge space or al fresco dining area.


Sustainable landscaping

Top of mind for many homeowners and landscape architects is creating a garden that not only looks beautiful, but is also friendly to the planet and cost-effective to maintain. Inspired by this, sustainable gardens with native drought-resistant plants and eco-conscious hardscape materials are growing in popularity.

A fantastic addition to a sustainable garden is a raingarden, which is essentially a garden bed that captures and filters pollutants usually found in stormwater. The rainwater will travel through specially-chosen soil to rid it of any potential sediment and decrease erosion, creating a healthy garden and clean waterways. Native plants such as kangaroo paw and lomandra help with this, as their deep root systems allow water to travel deep into the soil. Smart stuff! 



Curves and organic shapes

With curves and organic shapes appearing regularly inside the home in 2024, it’s no surprise that this trend has also spilled out into gardens to establish strong indoor-outdoor connections. From softer-edged swimming pools and rounded steps to curved built-in bench seats, this look is making a major impact this year.

When it comes to landscaping, many garden beds are being designed in a free-flowing organic shape, rather than being boxed in by straight edges. You will also find patios and terraces crafted in circular designs, as well as curved-edge al fresco kitchen benches and outdoor fireplaces. The result? A softer and more natural look that exudes quiet luxury. 



Mediterranean inspiration

It seems when many Australians travelled to the Mediterranean last year, they came home with a lasting love for their gardens. Based on balancing rustic natural elements and neutral tones with rich earthy hues, this design principle promises to make homeowners feel as if they’re on holiday all year long.

For outdoor furniture and building materials, go for options in creamy off-white hues and brown undertones. Terraced garden beds with rugged shrubbery are reminiscent of Italian and Greek villa gardens, as are rendered structural garden walls and timber pergolas. However you opt to adopt this trend, be sure to select design elements that complement your interior styling and the amount of outdoor space available.



Brickwork feature details

An excellent way to create a cosy and ‘homely’ feel that translates between the indoors and outdoors is to bring internal design elements into the garden. Inviting you to do just this, the trend of using brickwork in external architectural elements is on the rise.

Rustic, tactile and hard-wearing, brick is being showcased more regularly for feature walls, garden beds, fireplace surrounds and decorative archways. Additionally, brick-clad barbecue benches or pizza ovens are reminiscent of an Italian al fresco kitchen, evoking notions of family dining and lively gatherings. Not sure how to embrace the look? Talk with your landscape architect or builder and determine whether you’re wanting a more modern design or a classic feel.



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