Top Trends in Hardscape Design & Products for 2024

As with every year, 2024 brings new evolutions in hardscape design and landscaping projects. What are consumers looking for in their outdoor spaces? Which hardscaping projects will add the most value or help meet desires for a changing lifestyle? And what can professionals in the hardscaping industry offer to continue growing their business and attracting new customers for both residential and commercial installations? We spoke with hundreds of hardscapers, landscapers, and manufacturers in the industry at our annual Bootcamp to get an idea for the outdoor living trends that are shaping our market in 2024. Now, we’d like to share them with you.

Overarching Outdoor Living Trends

The pandemic brought more attention to people’s homes in general—especially their yards and patios, which offered an opportunity to add or enhance their living space within the confines of quarantine. Four years later, the demand for hardscaping and landscaping isn’t slowing down. The hardscaping product market is expected to grow at 3.3% annually with an increase in professional grade improvement projects. The impact of the pandemic is also revealed by the 23% of homeowners who said their top motivator in making home improvements was to transform their space to better suit their lifestyle. For many, pandemic hobbies like gardening have persisted. According to the annual State of Home Spending survey by Angi, 18% of homeowners will embark on a landscaping or hardscaping project this year.

Concrete pavers remain the dominant hardscaping product, meeting demand for improved patios and walkways. The DIY outdoor living market has also continued to grow, pushing for products that are easy to use, versatile and durable. 32% of people plan to prioritize maintenance in 2024, meaning products like concrete paving stones that allow for easy cleaning and replacement will be important.

While residential projects make up 59% of the current market, we’re seeing commercial property owners place more emphasis on outdoor spaces, providing customers a place to socialize and dine or just improve overall aesthetics.

7 Hardscaping and Landscaping Trends

Now let’s get into the nitty gritty. What are the trending hardscape designs and best landscaping projects for 2024? What look are consumers going for and which products will you need to accomplish them? Here are our top 7 hardscaping and patio trends to pay attention to.

Small Space Hardscape Design

Maximizing space is the name of the game! Trends in Google searches show more customers are looking for ideas on how to best use their small spaces. Not only is the square footage less, they are also looking to combine multiple features into one versatile area for dining, entertaining, cooking and gardening. Hardscape design can meet these trends by including multifunctional and space-saving elements such as retaining walls that also serve as seating or vertical patio heaters with a small footprint.

Patio design where retaining wall doubles as seating


Outdoor Living Features

The popularity of outdoor living amenities soared during the pandemic and shows no signs of slowing in 2024, with the continued lifestyle shift toward spending more time at home. “Customers are wanting all the outdoor features in their spaces,” says Dennis DePierri, owner of Stonefire Outdoor Living. “They no longer want just a patio or a small flat space in their backyard. They want the kitchen, the fireplace. The little oasis in their backyard is what everyone’s looking for.”

Fully equipped outdoor cooking spaces, mirroring indoor kitchens, are steadily growing in popularity with homeowners opting for counter space with built-in grills, refrigerators, sinks, and cabinets. “People want that whole experience now,” says Joseph Morrill, Napoleon Grills Business Development Manager. “They’re drawing more in and investing in their homes.”

Labor-saving solutions like Napoleon’s OASIS modular outdoor kitchen components and StoneFire CORE pre-constructed veneer-ready fireplace units make it easier for hardscapers to incorporate these in-demand amenities and expand the scope and profitability of patio installations despite labor shortages in 2024.

Mixed Materials

Architecture is trending towards modern design that focuses on geometric shapes and patterns balanced with simplicity and cohesive lines. “It seems the contemporary look is the thing again,” says Jim Beck, New England Regional Sales Manager with Nicolock Paving Stones. “Smooth pbold large format black pavers lined with smaller light grey paversavers and smooth walls – we’re introducing a smooth retaining wall block because of that trend.”

There has been a growing interest in extra-large pavers, which lend a sleek and modern look. Scott Stewart, Business Development Manager with Rinox, identifies this as the most predominant trend in concrete paving stones. “We now make a 16” by 32”, a 32” square, and a 32” by 48”, both for the driveway and the back yard,” he says, adding that borderless hardscape designs are becoming more popular with large-format slabs used alone for a clean look.

To add visual interest, we’re seeing hardscape design use more diverse materials and textures. Mixing flat patio pavers with rounded decorative stone or combining large format pavers with smaller accent pavers brings variation to the full picture. Dynamic design can also be achieved with color, such as laying dark stone alongside light gray pavers.

Bold colors and patterns are also trending with natural stone applications. “We’re seeing a lot more colorwise,” says Roy Hall, Inside Sales & Estimating at Portland Stoneware. “People are looking for darker tones, some more contemporary looks, and a lot of cross colors – mixing different things to create almost like a checkerboard look.”

Incorporating Natural Elements

Have you heard of biophilic or entangled design? This refers to hardscape design that incorporates elements of nature. Of course, bold living walls and green roofs come to mind, but in 2024 we expect to see entanglement creep (pun intended) into landscaping projects in more subtle and diverse ways. Think large format paver walkways spaced out with grass or other ground cover plants. Think patio edges that blend into the lawn. Think paths that flow in organic, curving shapes around natural features like trees and garden beds. Just like the use of mixed materials, biophilic hardscape design provides visual interest while appealing to an increased desire to be closer to nature. Natural-looking manufactured stone veneer or flagstone fits perfectly with these patio trends.

“On the green side of things, we’re seeing a big trend toward sustainability and native plants,” says Donny Piccirillo, Sales and Purchasing at Pierson Nurseries. Landscaping with native plants helps to prevent invasive plants from escaping cultivation and taking over wetlands and other natural habitats. Native plants also have several advantages over introduced plants that make them less challenging and costly to maintain, including winter hardiness and resistance to pests.large format pavers spaced generously with grass in a biophilic hardscape design



Sustainable Hardscaping Products

Going hand in hand with natural landscaping trends is an increased interest in sustainable and low carbon products. Consumers care more about where their hardscaping materials come from and their impact on the environment. Permeable pavers have become more popular for both residential and commercial applications to reduce run off and feed your lawn naturally. Low carbon concrete products like Genest’s G-Mix are bringing environmental consciousness to the manufactured stone industry. These innovative technologies remain price accessible to homeowners while maintaining the versatility and durability of traditional concrete pavers.

Smart Technology

Smart technology has been spreading through the home for years, bringing with it voice assistants, thermostats, light switches, and more. Now that trend is opening doors to our outdoor living spaces. Smart outdoor lighting solutions, security tech, app-controlled audio, and even advanced irrigation technology are on the rise. Not only does this bring convenience for residential clients, but it also often increases efficiency in energy and water usage and allows for a more customized outdoor experience.

“Recently there’s been a big push for color changing [lights],” says Ryan Miller, Regional Sales Manager with CAST Lighting. “We’ve come out with a whole line of color changing light fixtures, and the really neat thing is that you can keep them white whenever you want, all year long, but for example at Christmas time you can change them to red and green just by hitting a little button on an app on your phone. It’s a really versatile fixture, and that seems to be the trend for 2024.”

Stone VeneerStone veneer covers the concrete foundation on the exterior of the home

As we see budgets tightening across industries, it’s become more important for homeowners to choose hardscaping projects that have a high return on investment. Bankrate chose stone veneer as the top 3 best projects to increase home value. To improve curb appeal, more homeowners are adding manufactured or natural stone veneer to their home’s exterior. Replacing vinyl siding or covering concrete block foundations with high quality veneer adds a touch of class. Even small projects that focus on entryways can do a lot to improve the exterior aesthetics. Best of all, the average recoup on stone veneer projects is 102.3%.

With spring rapidly approaching, we’re excited to see what other patio trends 2024 brings. By incorporating nature, moving towards bold, modern design, and keeping sustainability and cost front of mind, hardscaping professionals can stay ahead of these outdoor living trends and provide the best project outcomes for their customers. Are there any hardscaping trends you’ve predicted that we didn’t mention? Send us your ideas on our social media to start the conversation among our landscaping community.