Craving curvy, colorful comfort? You aren’t alone!
December 2022. By Isara Ongwiseth: There is sea change in the air! Years of minimalism and streamlining are giving way to new trends that may soon come to define curb appeal and comfort. Here is how we see current interior and fashion cravings making their way out into LA landscapes.
As grandma chic continues its incursions into high design shelter publications and fashion, I feel a pull to more naturalistic garden spaces. If you are cringing just a little, breathe deeply. Naturalistic doesn’t necessarily mean granola or haphazard! In fact, both the Moore’s Northridge Meadow and the Ownby’s Songbird Paradise exemplify this style.
I suspect some of the surge in grandma chic is a desire for comfort and coziness as we continue to navigate chaotic times. Humans tend to feel more comfort with naturalistic forms, particularly over blunt, sharp or boxy edges. The emerging trend may also be a pendulum swing from decades of rigorously edited and simplified spaces.
How to work it: Throw some wildflowers. Let your IdealMow lawn grow into a meadow. Incorporate foliage like Rosa Californica and Snowberry, which naturally have a more rambling structure. If you have a very sculpted garden, these are low-risk opportunities to incorporate a bit of this grandma chic while maintaining a connection to your architecture and hardscape.
For more than a decade, Angelenos have wanted minimalist, streamlined landscapes to extend the feel of modern architecture. We often heard this coupled with an interest in simplifying life. Luckily, maximal foliage like that in the 2016 Art of the Garden Tour space above requires minimal maintenance.
How to work it: We create a streamlined effect with simple hardscapes and plant palettes. To bridge an outdoor space toward maximalism, slowly expand your plant palette. It is a great way to experiment with how you feel in a space with more complex textures and colors. For a space with expansive windows, this outdoor evolution may bring some visual “max” without complicating interior spaces.
Have you noticed that, like the latest issues of every shelter publication, LA foliage is often well-rounded? The stalks of Cleveland and Hummingbird Sage are covered with round seed heads, buckwheats fill with round blooms from chartreuse green and sulfur yellow, through every shade of pink to rust. Sycamores also drop round seed heads.
How to work it: Plant some buckwheat, a few sages. Beyond the shape of blooms, we see possibilities of incorporating circular patios, more curvilinear walks and drives, and archways.
Choice in Colors
For decades, the Pantone Institute alone seemed to drive interest in the colors we craved in fashion and our interiors. With paint companies and other interests jumping into the “color of the year” game, homeowners and designers alike gain inspiration from this wider variety of choices. After a decade of very minimal, neutral palettes with “pops” of color being the norm, it feels like fun to be encouraged toward greater range and variety.
How to work it: Here again, throwing wildflower seeds is a quick and easy option. If you prefer more predictability, seek to complement your favorite pops of color in the garden. Do you have a lot of purples? Maybe add a contrasting Flannel Bush or Indian Mallow. For those who have edited down to true green and white, a nice first step may be to add bold silver foliage like White Sage or Chaparral Yucca.