Outdoor living spaces have become an extension of your home’s interior space, locallyy0. It serves as a place for entertaining as well as a private sanctuary.
“We are seeing many elements in outdoor living spaces that were once relegated to interior space, such as rugs, upholstered seating, pillows, distressed and painted tables, and lamps,” says Sharon Sloan a design partner with Legend Homes.
Terry Lawrence with P.M. Lighting, Inc., says homeowners want to extend their time outdoors to make the most of their outdoor living areas.
“Professionally designed outdoor lighting systems offer clients a warm and inviting way to entertain or simply enjoy their outdoor living spaces after dark in a relaxing environment,” Lawrence says. “Outdoor lighting can transform an area from a dark, scary place to a beautiful and comfortable atmosphere while providing an element of safety after the sun goes down.” He adds that today’s LED lighting allows homeowners to have the most energy efficient system available without sacrificing the warmth found in older halogen systems.
According to Shane Stratton of Stratton Exteriors, homeowners today are finding more living space in their home by expanding outdoors. “Especially in our area, where we have about nine months of outdoor-friendly weather, people are building patios, decks, outdoor kitchens, and other outdoor rooms that really operate as an extension of their home.
“A lot of people are decorating these spaces with earth elements—reclaimed wood, for example, is extremely popular today. Families seem less excited about ponds these days, and are more interested in firepits and outdoor kitchens,” he says.
Rachel Moore of The Porch Company says there is a move away from wood materials and toward more low-maintenance materials for construction of outdoor spaces. “This is because the materials are getting better and better.” Her company recently introduced a PVC railing panel to provide low maintenance privacy screening.
“We’re also noting that outdoor kitchens are becoming more sophisticated,” says Moore. “We’re moving away from those monolithic stone boxes and moving toward beautiful cabinets that look as though they’re meant for an indoor kitchen.”
Embers Grill & Fireplace Store focuses on outdoor kitchens, built in grills, grills on carts, fire pits, fireplaces, outdoor furniture, and more. “The living room is moving outdoors,” says Zach Watson. “Anything you can do in an indoor kitchen can now be part of a custom outdoor kitchen. Outdoor kitchens might include built-in grills, burners, warming drawers, outdoor refrigerators, outdoor ice machines, trash centers, outdoor sinks, and more.”
Agreeing that outdoor kitchens are very popular, Sloan says, “whether it is a true outdoor kitchen on a covered or screened porch or an expansive grilling area on a patio or deck.”
Experts agree that utilizing exterior space for entertaining continues to grow in popularity.
“Arguably, one of the most important parts of the home is the outdoor living space,” says Ryan Hughes of Ryan Hughes Design. “Homeowners use the space to make a statement about their sense of style and personality.”
Embracing the use of outdoor spaces for entertaining means many homeowners want to add televisions, shades and blinds, music, and lighting to give them control of their space, according to Hugh Cobb of Cobb Home Innovations.
Bohnne Jones of Decorating Den Interiors says her clients gravitate toward outdoor screen shading systems as well as outdoor draperies.
“Whether your space is enclosed, covered, or open, there are practically all the traditional indoor furnishings available—rugs, lighting, upholstered furniture, and accessories,” she says. “It’s important to consider longevity when selecting outdoor furnishings and look for durability for the your type of outdoor space.”
Jones adds that beautiful new fabrics created to withstand sun and mildew make it possible to have comfortable and attractive outdoor seating.
Speaking for Pride Family Brands, a manufacturer of luxury casual furniture, Rory Rehmert says that part of the growing trend is the ability to create one-of-a-kind decor for an outdoor space. ‘Hundreds of options are available through the use of decorative collections, finishes, fabrics, cushion details, hand-painted artistry, and accessories. Over the past 10 years the entire outdoor room concept has exploded and options for creating these spaces mirror the desired indoor living space.”
Janis Wilson of Trees n Trends reports her company has noted the increase in size and focus of the outdoor living space. “The outdoor living area is now more defined and upscale in design. The decor and actual decorating of that space is more elaborate. The trend now is toward better designed and higher quality outdoor furniture.
“Many consumers now see the purchase of high-end patio furniture as an investment as they spend a greater part of their lives in their outdoor space,” Wilson says. “Thoughtfully decorated well-set dining tables with large comfortable high-backed chairs, cozy fire pit groups, and oversized luxurious chaise lounges tend to make the modern outdoor living space very accommodating.” Popular colors are grey finishes and blue fabrics.
Ronnie Gilchrist of Nashville Billiards & Patio says almost every new home has an outdoor space.”Today you can decorate your outdoor space just as you do the interior of your home. The options in quality outdoor furnishings are almost endless.”
Adding that covered outdoor spaces have grown exponentially in the Nashville market, Gilchrist adds, “this has really opened up the exterior cushioned seating market and has led to the addition of outdoor televisions and fireplaces in these spaces.”
There are a number of sources for outdoor living services and products.
Cobb Home Innovations
Nashville Billiard & Patio
Pride Family Brands
Ryan Hughes Design
Palm Harbor, Florida
Trees n Trends