Outdoor Living Trends for 2016 4

Outdoor Living – one of the HOT growing trends over the last few years.

No matter what part of the country you may live in, Outdoor Living has become one of the fastest growing trends for residential properties.   It seems people are spending more time with family and friends in their backyard than going on vacation.  This is what some are calling a STAYCATION – where instead of spending money on taking their family on a lavish trip, clients are creating the perfect oasis right in their backyard, making them feel like they are on a vacation 365 days a year.

So, what is an outdoor living area?  Outdoor living is basically an extension of your home, a place for entertaining, lounging, cooking, and many other outdoor activities.   Some clients are creating a lush landscape with evergreen trees, perennial plants, fruit trees and even walking paths to different destinations in the yard possibly leading to a secret garden, water feature, a private reading area or just a nice hammock in the back yard for relaxing.

Other clients are choosing to provide full blown entertainment areas for their guests which can include outdoor kitchens, covered structures with large TVs, sound systems for music at all times, heaters, ceiling fans, LED Low voltage lighting and even swimming pools with swim up wet bar areas. These areas can include a beer dispenser, a wine fridge, and beverage cooling stations, food storage containers for lemons, limes, cherries etc. and even ice makers.

Other outdoor living areas are being created for cooking/grilling.  These outdoor living areas can include just a simple outdoor kitchen which includes a grill, fridge and some access doors for storage, or you can have a full blown outdoor kitchen right outside your patio door that could include a grill or two, a smoker, side burner, pizza oven, flat surface grills like the EVO cooktop, several different types of refrigerator’s such as a wine fridge, freezers for popsicles, galley sinks with hot and cold running water along with garbage disposals and even an ice maker.   Basically, an additional kitchen right in your backyard.  How fun would it be to be able to cook outdoors with a full blown kitchen?   It is much easier to clean up and no worries of lingering food odors being stuck in your house for hours or days.

The Outdoor kitchen is not the only item for the Outdoor living area.  Some clients want to extend their patio area with a covered structure and some additional hardscaping so they can entertain year round, while others prefer an open air pergola extending out from the patio so they can still see the stars at night and enjoy the natural light provided by the sun.  Clients want to create another room right outside which can be just as comfortable and relaxing as your indoor living room.   The areas can include large fireplaces or fire pits, seat walls, comfy outdoor lounging furniture with nice area rugs, side tables with lamps, potted planters and much more.  Homeowners are bringing the comforts of their living room to the backyard.

So how do you start planning for an outdoor living area?  Ask yourself what would I like to do in my outdoor living area?  Do you want to entertain, cook, lounge etc.?  Once you decide what will best suit you and your family for your outdoor living area, then it is time to contact a designer to help you create a plan.

You might now be asking yourself how much does it cost for an outdoor living area.  You can have a nice outdoor living area for as little as $5,000 – $10,000, or depending on your needs, it can be in the $100,000 + range.  It just depends on what you want in your outdoor living area.

Not sure you can afford what you would like to have for your outdoor living area?  Well don’t worry. A good designer can help you create a master plan where you can use a phased approach.  Maybe you can only afford a small portion of the outdoor living area now, but want to add onto it in the future.  This is the great thing about having a master plan; you can build onto it as your budget allows.

What type of value does an outdoor living area add to your home?  Relators are of the opinion that this can add anywhere from 10 – 15% to your property value.  Not a bad investment at all.

So, interested in a new outdoor living area for your backyard?  If so, give us a call at Tom’s Outdoor Living We can help you with the design process and the installation.