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Guide to Spring Outdoor Living

Since the pandemic lockdowns began last year, many people started to look to their backyard as additional space for work, dining, and relaxation while they were spending a lot more time at home with the entire family. This year, investing in creating an enviable space outside will continue to be a preferred project for many homeowners. Here are some of the biggest trends for creating an immaculate outdoor space this spring. 

Make outdoor spaces that can be used year-round

With the climate in Raleigh being very mild, outdoor space use throughout the year is very doable with a little bit of investment. Firepits, fire tables, and heat lamps are great for providing warmth on chilly nights. Umbrellas, misting systems, and shade sails can be extremely useful for shading patios during the sweltering heat of summer.  Additional light fixtures are a necessity as well to continue using outdoor spaces during the winter when the sun sets very early in the evening. 

outdoor fireplace

Outdoor spaces are for more than entertaining now

Fueled by the increased number of people working from home and children participating in virtual school during the COVID 19 pandemic, outdoor spaces are becoming more of an extension of the home’s interior than in the past. Because of this, creating open-air “rooms”, such as outdoor living rooms, is becoming a trend that helps families utilize more space for escaping from the stresses of remote work or school, while also providing room to do daily activities outside. Outdoor kitchens are also skyrocketing in popularity, as it provides additional space for cooking and dining. Some homeowners are even requesting the installation of an outdoor shower. 

outdoor kitchen

The interior and exterior aesthetics are becoming more similar than ever. 

The recent trend in patio design, especially furniture, is to create spaces that look like they could be either on the inside or outside of the home. Designers are taking pieces typically found inside the home and making them with weatherproof material so that they do not need to be covered. Create a cozy feel by adding some accessories, such as throw blankets, pillows, ottomans, outdoor rugs, and more. 

Edible gardens are making a comeback. 

More homeowners are choosing their greenery based on functionality and are starting to select vegetables, fruits, and herbs over decorative flowers. Last year, many people started a “victory garden”, a concept which dates back to World War I and World War II where people would plant their own vegetables to supplement their food rations, but they were started with limited access to supplies and planning. This year, people have more time and knowledge to be better prepared to create a more substantial garden.  

Increasing the outdoor seating capacity is being used for socially distant gatherings.

As more people get vaccinated, we are starting to slowly get back to being with friends and families in group settings, however, there is still a significant amount of risk and many are not comfortable yet with indoor gatherings. Instead, many homeowners are using their front and back lawn to host events that will both allow for people to be in the fresh air and give them more room to stay socially distant. This means that they need to create additional seating accommodations, play areas, and other areas dedicated to hosting neighbors and relatives safely. 

People are looking for more privacy in their backyard. 

Since the pandemic has made us use our backyards for work, exercise, and a place for the kids to run between online classes, many people are looking to create more privacy in their backyards. Ways homeowners are exploring to do this include landscaping design (including scrubs and trees), fencing, gazebos, and covered patios. 

As homeowners continue to create a truly functional home with space for everything from work to leisure, their attention as the temperatures rise will turn towards creating comfortable and useful spaces in both the front and backyard.  Overall, the yard is becoming more of an extension of the home than it has been in previous years, which is driving many of the design trends in 2021. 

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