What’s Trending in Outdoor Spaces?
Whether you simply build or buy a fire pit or picnic for your backyard, or drop thousands of dollars into a high-end outdoor kitchen or patio, increasing your outdoor living space can pay high dividends.
“Nearly 70 percent of the design and build firms taking our quarterly home designs trends survey report an increased demand for outdoor living space,” said Matt Tinder, a spokesperson for the American Institute of Architects (AIA.) While many homeowners consider any level of outdoor living a plus, Tinder says the AIA is seeing homeowners investing significant funds into their homes.
“Our survey found people want to stay in their homes longer. With the recession and housing crisis of a few years ago, we’re seeing that people would just rather stay in their own homes and utilize more of their property.”
photo Rhys Ludlow
New England architect Stuart Narofsky, designs both residential and commercial spaces. He advises homeowners to take time and think about their lifestyle, how much or how little maintenance they want to do, and how much time they actually plan to spend in the space.
Here are some trends Narofsky is seeing:
“People are more aware of passive heating and other solar issues. We’re more focused on orienting rooms and designing spaces, so you get sun when you want it and not when you don’t,” he said.
Views are more important than ever
“It’s not just enough to sit outside. Having a view, whether of the pool, the woods, the ocean or a pond, adds a tremendous amount to the space.”
“Lighting is very popular. There’s so much you can do with LEDs to integrate lighting into the landscape to create different effects.”
photo U.S. Department of Energy
Outdoor pizza ovens
“Pizza ovens are the hottest trend going. Clients are buying dome shaped brick ovens, mostly from Italy, and then we build a structure or design around them. Many of the manufacturers making more stainless steel ovens, but people prefer the real thing,” Narofsky said.
“Each home has their own environment or season. I think without fail that people really don’t want to be in the sun no matter where they are. The days of sun decks and spaces around pools are gone. We’re using more grottoes of trees and pergolas. The trend is towards shade…”
Trends in outdoor spaces have advanced so much in the last decade that Narofsky advises homeowners to take the time to see what’s out there before deciding what they want.
“It’s a different world now really,” he said. “Technology, design, materials, and lifestyles are so different people should take the time to familiarize themselves with what’s available. Talk to your architect and see what they have to say. You might be surprised.”