Outdoor Living has Become a Lifestyle

Take a deep breath of fresh air. Feel the warm sunshine on your skin. Kick back and listen to the peaceful sounds of nature. There’s a reason people are investing in spaces that allow them to spend more time relaxing, dining and entertaining outside.

In addition to expanding livable space, outdoor enhancements also offer a strong return on investment at the time of sale. Convinced this is the year you’re going to jump on the outdoor living bandwagon? To refresh your space and start enjoying the outdoors from the comforts of home, consider the top outdoor living trends.

Eclectic design 
Homeowners are embracing the same eclectic trends that they love indoors and bringing this same design approach to their outdoor spaces. Mixing materials is at the heart of this trend. From all-weather wicker and teak to concrete and aluminum, using different materials means creating durable spaces with one-of-a-kind looks. Beyond the hardscape, using a variety of patterns, textures and shapes adds visual appeal.

Upholstered soft seating 
Homeowners are revamping patios and decks by bringing the comforts of indoors outside. The perfect example of this movement is the use of upholstered furniture for the outdoors. Outdoor furniture has evolved over the years and offers a variety of upholstered sofas, sectionals and chairs that look just like the classics used indoors, but are specifically designed to withstand the elements outside.  

Outdoor cooking 
Summer entertaining is enhanced when meals are cooked outdoors. Home chefs are thinking beyond the grill to incorporate other useful mediums for alfresco cooking. For example, hearths and stone ovens offer undeniable outdoor ambiance while providing a unique way to cook pizzas, bread and other baked goods. The finishing touch: add an herb garden for quick access to the fresh flavors of the season.

Customization 
Customizing helps create outdoor spaces that are a reflection of the homeowners’ personalities. More than just personalized decor, the customization trend is evident in outdoor furniture. Expert stylists offer complementary design services including space design, product selection and customization with a wide variety of outdoor fabrics so they can get the exact look you desire. There virtually isn't a style that cannot be mimicked and the choice of color, style, size, fabric choice and trim is made to order.

Evening entertaining 
Outdoor entertainment shouldn’t be restricted by daylight, so homeowners are making thoughtful additions to ensure when dusk arrives the party can go on. Strategic deck lighting on posts and stairways illuminates gathering spaces. Torches, pathway lighting and string lights are great for landscaped areas. Outdoor chandeliers and floor lamps are coming on strong.  Finally, propane and citronella gel fueled fire pits are the ideal gathering place and bugs will stay far away.

Reconstructed stone 
Reconstructed stone is in demand for tabletops on dining, coffee and accent tables. When researching options, it’s important to remember not all reconstructed stone is created equal. For example, reconstructed stone made out of composite concrete so it’s lighter, less brittle and withstands weather well. Even when left outside year-round there is no cracking, color fading or changes to material.