The Best Outdoor Living Trends

By Maura Keller

Ahhh, summer. It’s that time of year when decks, patios and porches become our sanctuaries — and prime spots to relax or entertain others. More than simply placing some plastic chairs on a deck, today’s outdoor rooms have evolved into carefully planned focal points that truly embody the idea of indoor/outdoor living. They might have comfortable, stylish furnishings, fabrics and pillows; kitchen and cooking areas; and entertainment zones.

Sara Hackl, customer experience team leader at Patio Pleasures Pools & Spas, says in today’s dynamic living landscape, the distinction between indoor and outdoor spaces is blurring more than ever before. Homeowners are increasingly prioritizing the creation of multifunctional outdoor areas that promote relaxation, wellness and mindfulness.

Here are some trends to look out for.

ENTERTAINING AMENITIES

“It’s all about elevating outdoor spaces to foster community and connection,” Hackl says. That includes fireplaces to gather around and spend time with friends and family, pools to replace the drive to a cabin up north and lighting to accent beautiful landscape elements.

Whether you’re hosting a party or having a simple al fresco meal in the backyard, add-ons such as outdoor kitchens, dining areas, lounges and entertaining areas equipped with amenities like grills, pizza ovens, fire pits and outdoor TVs are all trending, Hackl says.

Patio Pleasures Pools & Spas is also teaming up with more residential complexes to enhance their outdoor spaces with cozy seating areas, scenic walkways with benches and vibrant communal spaces. The connection between indoor and outdoor spaces has never been more popular, as homeowners see the value in utilizing all areas of their home to increase livable square footage.

A NOD TO WELLNESS

Studies show that exposure to the outdoors and nature is good for our health — and we should aim for a minimum of 20 minutes outside per day. Your backyard can become a relaxing spot to enjoy some fresh air — maybe even by sitting in a pool or hot tub.

This trend is not merely about enhancing curb appeal; it’s a reflection of a lifestyle shift towards integrated living,’’ says Hackl. Indeed, lower-level home gyms are now outfitted with state-of-the-art infrared technology saunas and cold plunge tubs, transforming them into versatile wellness sanctuaries that seamlessly transition from indoor workouts to outdoor relaxation.

Luxe outdoor add-ons could include a hot tub, swim-spa or pool. Hackl points out that the swim-spa category is experiencing significant growth due to its versatile nature and multitude of benefits. As she explains, a swim-spa is a hybrid of a pool and hot tub, all in one compact unit.

LANDSCAPE CONSIDERATIONS

When determining the design of your home’s outdoor environs, keep in mind your home’s color and architectural elements. If you have a more modern and clean backyard space, select hardscapes and elements with simple, linear lines to match. A Victorian-style trellis may not bode well in a clean, well-defined garden. Likewise, a natural stone cascading waterfall and cobbled pavers complement a lush shady hosta and fern garden in more traditional spaces.

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