Outdoor living at home this spring

Finally, after a harsh winter, we can see it, as faint as it is… the bright light of spring that encourages us to enjoy outdoor living at home.

It’s time to start shifting your thoughts to your new outdoor space. What better way to raise your spirits than to start planning your outdoor living space in your new home?

Spending money on your outdoor space can improve the value of your home, as this is a large growing trend. In fact, for the first time, more builders are including decks in new homes than ever before.

Over the past five years, we have witnessed a significant shift to outdoor living. Clients are seeking outdoor living spaces and equally, outdoor kitchens. In fact, according to wrayward.com, 63 per cent of architects report outdoor living spaces are the most common special function room in home construction. With the increased progression to outdoor living, there are also new trends emerging in the category of outdoor furniture.

Most new-home owners are looking for more of an outdoor living room as opposed to the traditional outdoor eating areas. There are more conversation sets and outdoor sofas as a result. Emerging trends include brilliant outdoor furniture. I love seeing outdoor coffee tables, side tables and console tables pop up in my favourite furniture collections.

Another trend is colour. Look for bold punches of vibrant colours being brought to outdoor spaces. This trend far exceeds the usual umbrellas and cushions. We are seeing accessories come to life outdoors, including vases, candles, toss cushions, outdoor carpets and more.

As our Canadian weather normally doesn’t allow us to stay comfortably outdoors for too long, trends are pushing towards ways to lengthen the outdoor season.

Great new products on the market include gas-fueled outdoor fireplaces, heating lamps and built-in displays. Companies such as Napoleon Grills (napoleongrills.com) now offer beautifully designed pieces to create heat and complement design while extending the outdoor season.

There is an increase in multi-purpose outdoor structures. More and more homeowners are turning to pergolas, or covered structures that include lighting and fans installed in the ceiling and with curtains around the exterior. These structures give way to spending evenings outdoors while watching a beautiful rainstorm or when looking for shelter from humidity, wind or bugs. As a new homeowner, a project like this can add value to your new home!

Just beyond the pergola, deck or patio, in the garden is where the next trend emerges. A lot of our clients are trying their hand at gardening. There is an emphasis on organic and homegrown veggies that has found it’s way to Canadians. A lot more living walls or garden walls are evident in outdoor living spaces. New homeowners may consider container gardening to get a head start.

The last trend we are seeing is a movement of technology to the outdoors.

New homeowners may consider investing in a WiFi outdoor access point to extend their WiFi connections. We are also seeing a movement of sound, televisions and projectors to the outdoors. Almost all conveniences of an indoor living space now have an outdoor counterpart.

If you are a new homeowner or considering buying, now is the perfect time to plan your ultimate outdoor living space. If you are not confident in your own ability to create this space, think about hiring a designer to help!

Related reading:

Decorating your home with tips from Jane Lockhart

How to cook up great style in the kitchen

5 design tips to create an amazing room




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