Home is where the heart is, but over the past year it has also become where the office, classroom, restaurant and cinema are, too. The increased time spent at home has made us take a new look at our private outdoor spaces.
“We’re definitely seeing outdoor living areas shift from entertainment-focused spaces to true living spaces,” says Joe Raboine, director of residential hardscapes at Belgard, a landscape design firm. “The increased time spent at home in 2020 has given many homeowners pause to re-evaluate how they utilise their spaces and the need to make them more functional.”
This move toward considering outdoor spaces an essential extension of the home is the common thread that runs through many of the top landscape design trends for the upcoming year.
Outdoor living areas provide additional space and, perhaps more importantly, provide an ‘escape’ for rest and relaxation,” Raboine says. “Even as we potentially return to some form of normalcy in 2021, we predict homeowners will continue looking to improve and utilise outdoor spaces as part of their daily lives and routines.”
Here are the top five trends that will influence outdoor living spaces in the year to come:
Landscape design experts see growing interest in expansive outdoor spaces that fan out into multiple open-air “rooms,” each with a different function.
“Renovations like decks and outdoor living rooms extend the home, providing homeowners with relaxing areas to set up an extra workspace or feel like they are ‘getting out’ after a year spent with limited flexibility to dine out or travel,” says Raboine.
“Outdoor kitchens also maximise functionality and extend the space available for both cooking and dining for families or groups.”
Taking the indoors out
The style of outdoor living spaces is moving away from rustic recreational and toward a curated décor that recreates the inviting feel of an indoor room.
“We are seeing outdoor furniture that is styled as though it could also be used as inside furniture becoming very popular,” says Matt Daly of Water and Earth Landscape Design. “And designers and outdoor furniture manufacturers using weatherproof materials so that they don’t need to be covered.”
Pillows, poufs, planted centrepieces, throw blankets, outdoor rugs and other cosy details are also popular, says Tina Huffman from Greenhouse Studio. She says they “help to create an outdoor living room atmosphere by defining a space and adding texture and softness.”