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Top 10 Outdoor Living Trends for 2021

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Utilizing the space for outdoor living trends in 2021

Outdoor living is more than a passing trend. It’s a way to utilize unused areas of your property and increase your living space. Staying at home for the bulk of the past year has inspired homeowners to get creative about the way they enjoy their living space, and home improvements aren’t limited to the indoors. Even as the landscape of the pandemic is changing, many people can see the value of creating fabulous outdoor spaces that serve a variety of purposes. There’s no doubt that 2021 will bring about changes in the way we socialize and new outdoor living trends. Here are the 10 new outdoor living trends we expect to see in 2021.

1. Alterations That Make Outdoor Space Useful for Year-Round Use

Taking advantage of the outdoors doesn’t have to be limited to the summer months. The impossibility of indoor gatherings in 2020 has inspired a creative streak in outdoor living spaces that will likely continue. Even as widespread vaccinations become available, the functionality and aesthetic value of gathering outdoors will likely prompt continued use of outdoor space.

Taking advantage of your outdoor space in the winter is as simple as finding the right heat sources to keep everyone comfortable. Fire pits come in all shapes and sizes and are a popular option for different outdoor spaces. The addition of outdoor heaters, heat lamps, and even the use of heavy blankets can make outdoor gatherings enjoyable even in extreme temperatures. On the other side of the spectrum, outdoor fans and retractable shade features like awnings and umbrellas can limit the effects of the afternoon sun during the hottest months of the year.

2. Edible Gardens

Productive edible gardens were a creative outlet for many families in 2020, and the trend is expected to be even bigger this year. Coronavirus has awakened an interest in cooking in many families, and it’s likely to maintain momentum as one of the outdoor living trends in 2021. Edible gardens are more than just a hobby, They bring flavor to family meals and put a focus on improved health with fresh herbs and vegetables. Gardens with superfoods that pack in multiple vitamins and those with fresh herbs to put into global dishes reminiscent of travel will be popular in 2021.

As families gain interest in growing food, the realization that gardening can take place anywhere is emerging. Small patio and balcony gardens can bring fresh flavor even for those with a limited amount of space. Vertical gardens with plants that climb trellises or placing planters along walls will give you an opportunity to take advantage of the trend when you have little space to spare.

3. Outdoor Kitchens

Functional outdoor space is a great way to maximize your space and increase the value of your property. For many homeowners, an outdoor kitchen is the best way to improve function outdoors. A 2021 design trends report by The National Kitchens and Baths Association (NKBA) stated that 60% of homeowners are interested in adding outdoor kitchens to their property. These kitchens range from satellite kitchens that extend the indoor kitchen with amenities like a pizza oven, and grill, to a full-service outdoor kitchen.

Today’s outdoor kitchens are limited only by the amount of space you want to use and your imagination. Your outdoor kitchen can be as well furnished as the one inside with cabinets, a stove, refrigerator and freezer, and even the kitchen sink. While outdoor kitchens provide a great way for families to gather, outdoor kitchens will likely be used for the return of entertaining as one of the outdoor living trends in 2021.

4. Increased Privacy

As more time spent at home drives people to seek a space of their own, privacy for outdoor activities is a popular request. Outdoor spaces with privacy fences or the use of natural greenery to create private areas provide quiet spaces for exercise, meditation, study, or office work. Pergolas and decks with drapery panels or outdoor screens add privacy and protection from the sun’s glare for laptop use outdoors. Covered patios are becoming more popular as well.

5. Front Yard Modifications

The backyard has always served as an outdoor space for families to enjoy. In 2021, families are expected to utilize the front yard as well. Instead of only promoting curb appeal, front yards are gaining traction as a functional space. While backyards are being utilized for private space, front yards will likely become the spot for outdoor entertainment as one of the outdoor living trends in 2021.

Social distancing during the pandemic brought many communities closer as neighbors. The trend toward spending time in the front yard will encourage this communication to continue. Expect front yard outdoor living spaces to be more simplistic than those of the backyard. The addition of an outdoor table, comfortable seating and play areas for kids provides a useful outdoor space without being as formal or involved as many outdoor living spaces that exist in backyards.

6. Outdoor Spaces for Work or Study

The pandemic forced employees and students to work and learn remotely. Distractions in a crowded house can make it impossible to concentrate and get work done. Coronavirus may have sped up the work from home transition, but it’s likely here to stay (at least to some degree). Many schools and workplaces aren’t planning to do away with virtual work or learning anytime soon, and in 2021 outdoor living trends will provide areas for work as well as play.

This adjustment means bringing technology outdoors and creating functional spaces to work comfortably. Shed-to-office conversions, patio workspaces, and outdoor lighting will provide areas for each family member to have a place to concentrate any time of the day outdoors.

7. Functionality in Small Spaces

A small backyard that utilizes the space as per the outdoor living trends in 2021.
Small townhouse garden with patio furniture amidst blooming lavender.

Without the advantage of vast landscapes and giant lawns, homeowners aren’t exempt from the desire to improve outdoor spaces. Functional micro spaces outdoors began to emerge out of necessity to relieve the stress of cramped homes during the pandemic. Spaces alongside homes and porch space are ideal spots to create outdoor living space on a small scale. These areas are often designed to provide privacy and solitude for working outdoors or exercising when you can’t go to the gym.

8. Native Gardens

As more people become eco-conscious, an interest in maintaining local ecosystems for native wildlife is a gardening trend. Instead of bringing in exotic plants and flowers that require extensive care, gardeners are trending toward plants that thrive locally or drought-friendly options that help conserve water. These types of vegetation are less likely to be invasive and provide a natural habitat for wildlife in the area like hummingbirds, butterflies, birds, and small mammals like squirrels and chipmunks.

9. Outdoor Lighting

Growing outdoor space is more likely to be used during multiple seasons, all times of the day and into the night. Outdoor lighting provides property owners with a way to avoid injury, deter criminals, and spend more time than ever enjoying their outdoor living space. Low voltage LED lighting offers an affordable way to create light outdoors that can add atmosphere and easily be changed from work light to entertainment lighting and highlight your favorite features as well.

 10. Backyard Cottages

Sometimes called Granny Flats, small buildings located near homes are becoming popular for a variety of reasons. These buildings may be used to house elders no longer living in an assisted living facility or college students temporarily staying at home. They also make popular spaces for home offices, spare bedrooms, home gyms, or a sanctuary from a crowded house.

Top Outdoor Living Trends 2021 FAQ’s Questions

What patio furniture is best for the outdoors?

The patio furniture that works best for you will require you to consider your climate and the size of your outdoor space. Some common patio furniture materials include wicker, hardwood, aluminum, wrought iron, and heavy plastic. While wood furniture can be a long-lasting option for arid regions, it’s generally not optimal for rainy areas. Aluminum is popular for its lightweight construction but can be a problem in windy locations. Some surfaces get hot quickly and aren’t optimal for full-sun decks or patios. Your patio furniture should be rated for outdoor use and take your local climate into consideration.

How can I clean patio cushions without a garden hose?

For lightly soiled patio cushions, a spray bottle with a mixture of water and gentle cleaning solution will probably do the trick. Outdoor cushions can be scrubbed lightly with a scrub brush with plastic bristles. Other options include using your bathtub to clean the cushions or taking them to the car wash to clean with a pressure hose.

How much will outdoor living space increase the value of my property?

Outdoor living spaces add valuable square footage to your home. They’re also popular and likely to entice potential buyers to pay more for them. The amount you recoup from any renovation when your sell your home is called return on investment (ROI). Many outdoor living spaces have a 50% to 100% ROI, so you might be able to add the cost of your project onto your home sale price when you’re ready to sell.

When is the best time to create an outdoor living space?

There’s no doubt that weather can cause delays during outdoor renovations. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to schedule your outdoor transformation for the summer. If you plan to hire a contractor to complete the project, working during the off-season might get the job done faster, and you may even be able to get a discount due to lower demand.

How can I create a functional outdoor living space while on a budget?

Planting flowers or edible gardens from seeds can be a frugal option for adding visual interest outdoors. Purchasing patio furniture at the end of the season could lead to significant savings. Often, small changes like vibrant color added to a table or door and vastly change the look of outdoor living space as well.

Find More Outdoor Living Trends to Love

Extending your outdoor living space is a great way to enjoy your property more than ever. It’s an investment that adds value to your property. As you improve your property value, it’s always a great idea to schedule a meeting with your independent insurance agent to make sure your home policy provides coverage for your new additions. Creating outdoor living space is much like other home renovations, and you should protect your investment with the right coverage. Get in touch with the insurance experts at LoPriore to learn more about protecting your enhanced outdoor living space with the right insurance policy.

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