Home is where the heart is, and the office, classroom, restaurant and cinema. In the last year we’ve seen a shift from homes having outdoor entertaining areas that were only used on occasion, to true living spaces. The months of extra time spent at home meant turning every area of people’s homes into a functional outdoor setting that can be used year-round.
Here are some of the top changes and trends we’ve seen popping up in homes in the last year.
As the demand for space within a home grew; for schooling, work and relaxing we saw a shift in demand for outdoor spaces that became more like outside rooms. These outdoor rooms became important in giving us fresh air and a change in setting during this monotonous period in our lives.
People had time to renovate and add decks and patios to extend their home living areas. This provided homeowners with more relaxing spaces that were set up as work or school areas, making it feel like they were actually ‘getting out’ in a time without any travel. These outdoor rooms became another way for homes and families to experience a fresh new area, to make their home and day-to-day lives less suffocating, and alleviate the mental stress of lockdown.
We also saw the style of these areas change. Moving away from rustic recreation areas and towards a style more similar to an interior lounge room. The recreation of these outdoor settings became very much the same as what we would see in our own living rooms, to create the inviting feel of an indoor room.
Creating Spaces Perfect For Year Round Use
Although outdoor spaces and entertaining areas aren’t anything new, more people have become focused on changing their functionality. Mainly in the development of these spaces so that they work as a usable and comfortable space throughout the year, no matter the weather.
Outdoor heating, like fire pits, as well as cooling and misting systems are popping up more and more frequently across homes to make these areas usable every day. Outdoor lighting that is more than just decorative is also becoming increasingly popular, so that these spaces can be used throughout nights and daylight savings.
Furniture, accessories, and add-ons that help you stay outside longer are an especially popular upgrade. Outdoor rugs, throw blankets, and lighting can provide added comfort into the night or in cooler temperatures. Although these products and ideas aren’t new, their usefulness in turning occasionally used outdoor spaces into everyday living areas makes them especially popular for 2021.
Veggie Patches and Edible Gardens
This extra time at home has also had a large impact on the way people see and use the greenery around their homes. There’s been a move towards edible gardens, vegetable patches, herb planters and fruit trees within outdoor settings. Instead of being used simply for looks and design, these plants now have multiple functions and can promote a healthier lifestyle for families.
As millions of people across the globe become stuck in their homes, motivations started to change. People wanted more than to just be outside, they wanted a hobby that would become beneficial to them, while also getting out and being outdoors. Many people became obsessed with cooking and experimenting with their normal palette. Edible gardens became a great way to create an outdoor hobby that supplied your own kitchen with homegrown fruits, vegetables and herbs. People wanted to find new and innovative ways to add colour, flavour and nutrition to their families dinner plates, growing an edible garden became a very popular way in fulfilling this idea.
Social Front Yards
For those who didn’t live in a home with a huge and functional backyard, the utilisation of their front garden became crucial. They became the newest home addition, changing from places for curb appeal only to one that could function as an extra living space. It was like having a new room to enjoy for most people.
Creating an outdoor living space in the front yard of the home was not only about maximizing daily living spaces—it was also for the benefit of socialisation. Because of the sudden change in the way and how often we could socialise, people felt a larger desire to make connections between themselves and their neighbours and friends.
Throughout 2020, people saw ‘drive-by parties’ and social gatherings through front yards increase, the front yard of homes had become more important in connecting and maintaining relations with others.
A social front yard became less formal than a typical backyard design, this simplicity became part of its appeal. Adding a cute table and chairs, a tree swing, a comfortable bench, or a lawn space, created areas for interaction between those inside and outside your house to connect and talk (in a socially distanced space) throughout the many months in lockdown. Again, these spaces were ones that were utilised to be used across the seasons.
Whether it’s a spot to grow herbs for homemade meals, a new outdoor setting with plenty of shade, or a place to do the cooking, outdoor living in 2021 became just as important as time spent within your home. Hopefully one of these trends have inspired you to change the way your outdoor setting functions, if you haven’t already changed your yard over the past year.