Outdoor Living Trends
Top features include built-ins and accent lightingBy Brandpoint
With busy schedules and on-the-go lifestyles, outdoor living spaces offer a chance to decompress, enjoy nature and connect with friends and family. Thanks to the impressive design and quality of today’s outdoor products, these spaces often rival the convenience, comfort and design of the indoors.
As the heart of the home shifts outdoors this summer, here are some top trends that are influencing the outdoor living landscape.
There is a growing interest in sustainable alternatives to wood products, which contribute to deforestation and can leave a heavy carbon footprint. Composite decking offers an appealing option that outperforms wood, with greater durability, less ongoing maintenance and fewer harmful environmental impacts. Trex decking, for example, is made from 95 percent recycled and reclaimed materials.
Beyond decking, composite materials also can be found in today’s trendiest outdoor furnishings. Manufactured from recycled milk jugs and other polyethylene plastics, these high-performance designs offer environmentally responsible options for outdoor living. There are a large number of attractive options for indoor/outdoor furniture and rugs, and these items often rival the look and feel of strictly indoor pieces.
As homeowners spend more time enjoying their porches, decks, patios and backyards, comfort is key. From plush cushions and soft throws to cozy pergolas, today’s outdoor spaces are designed to evoke serenity and relaxation. Water features such as soothing fountains, waterfalls and ponds are popular, as are fire features to gather around, including outdoor fireplaces and portable fire pits.
Clean, minimalist looks are growing in popularity, as homeowners emphasize quality over quantity. In outdoor spaces, this trend is manifesting in sleek lines, simple styles and a preference for long-lasting products.
On decks, this minimalist trend can be seen in the popularity of streamlined railings. Another option is outdoor cabinetry such as built-in trash bins and ice chests that can be color-coordinated to integrate seamlessly into a deck design.
Two fast-growing categories are outdoor patio bars and wine rooms. Consumers are buying outdoor taps, kegerators, wine coolers and refrigerators, along with pub-style chairs and stylish barware and napkins, to furnish these areas.
From candles and tiki torches to integrated fixtures, outdoor lighting is another “bright” idea in high demand.
By choosing which outdoor elements to highlight, it’s easy to change the look of an outdoor living space without moving any furniture. The right lighting can take any outdoor space from invisible to inviting— especially when it’s integrated in innovative ways to accentuate key features.
Spotlights highlighting an accent wall or tread lights incorporated into a bar top are sought-after options. Homeowners are also adding solar lights to pathways and dimmable LED lighting to railings and stairs to increase ambiance and safety.
Making home improvements