Sponsored By Amedore Homes
The COVID-19 pandemic changed many aspects of the way people live, including the way they use their homes. In addition to being a place to eat, sleep, and enjoy immediate family, in many cases, the home became a workplace, gym, playground, and space for faith-based activities.
The months of lockdown prompted many homeowners to shift into high gear when it came to home improvement as they sought to make the place where they were spending the majority of their time as comfortable and functional as they could.
In 2021, homeowners continue to invest in their sanctuaries, now adding outdoor spaces to their list of priorities, as the outdoors is currently the safest place to host gatherings of family and friends. According to a survey by the International Casual Furnishing Association in January 2021, 90 percent of homeowners now place an increased value on their outdoor spaces, and 88 percent are dissatisfied with those spaces now.
If you’re among this group, here is a look at some of the hottest trends for outdoor spaces in 2021.
Outdoor furniture now looks like indoor furniture. While traditional outdoor furniture is still available, manufacturers are creating an increasing number of outdoor options that are durable, comfortable, and almost indistinguishable from their indoor counterparts Innovations in fabrics for outdoor use abound, thus offering a range of new styles. There are lounge chairs, chaises, and even sofas made with softer fabrics than ever before. In addition to furniture, there are outdoor rugs, many of which are made with recycled materials and easily hosed down for cleaning.
Bright accessories are in. In a year that was dismal in many ways, adding fun splashes of color seems highly appropriate. While a sofa or chair may be a neutral cream or grey, homeowners are dressing them up with boldly colored pillows in lime green, bright pink, and other colors that complement the yard’s landscaping.
Overhead coverings for outdoor rooms are in demand. An outdoor space should be just as comfortable as an indoor one, so providing shade in an outdoor room is high on the list for about half of homeowners. Two of the most popular choices are a pergola and a retractable awning. With a pergola, it is easy to install draperies that can offer privacy when desired.
The demand for outdoor kitchens continues to soar. Fully functional outdoor kitchens are a major investment for a homeowner, costing in the range of $13,000 on the low end up to over $30,000 for high-end kitchens. Outdoor kitchens are becoming increasingly fancier, with options like stainless steel cabinets that look like wood, cooktops, islands, dishwashers, and televisions. Homeowners in the Northeast need to keep in mind that a full outdoor kitchen requires winterizing, including draining and shutting down the water lines that connect to indoor plumbing.
Attractive front yards are about more than just curb appeal. As the pandemic shut people off from many social gatherings, the need for connection grew. Now, creating a seating area in the front yard or porch is a popular option, encouraging interactions with neighbors in a safe and distanced setting.
High-end playgrounds right at home ensure kids always have a fun place to play. Even school and public playgrounds were off limits at the start of the pandemic, so now parents and grandparents are taking matters into their own hands by installing high-end playgrounds that are integrated into the features of the back yard and provide plenty of places for climbing and playing.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors. However, in current times, being outside is healthier, both physically and mentally. Whether going high-end like some of Amedore Homes’ latest luxury offerings, or creating a small, simple outdoor gathering spot with minimal equipment—a few comfy chairs, a portable fire pit, a small table and lanterns or candles, for example, the investment is worthwhile.