Must-Haves for Your Ultimate Outdoor Living Space

outdoor living furniture

When it comes to living the good life, the outdoors are the new indoors. Lux outdoor living spaces are a growing trend. But living large also means living smart. Many of the latest backyard trends take a page from the larger move toward sustainability and embracing nature. Adults and kids alike can enjoy a relaxing, modern retreat just beyond the back door. Check out some of the latest trends in outdoor living.


Sustainable Landscaping

From native plants to pollinator gardens, homeowners are investing in landscaping that reflects their love of nature. HGTV reports, “Homeowners now assume sustainable design will be a major part of the plan — both for economic and environmental reasons.” Consider cutting back on lawn space in favor of more diverse plants. Native plants will thrive, providing you with beautiful flowers, butterflies, and birds. A little research can tell you what to plant that animals like deer or rabbits won’t simply scarf down. But plants provide the basis for a healthy ecosystem. You may spend less time and money watering, too.


Outdoor Appliances

High-end outdoor kitchens have been popular for several years now, but people are getting more creative with them. Homeowners now want all the same amenities in the outdoor kitchen that they depend on indoors. Additions like wine refrigerators, sinks, and ice makers make backyard entertaining seamless. Some homeowners even want pizza ovens and lobster boilers. Don’t forget cabinets and counters, either. Lots of durable, attractive materials are now available for outdoor kitchens.

Expect high quality, too. Design Builders Inc. says outdoor amenities should, “replicate the beauty, refinement, and utility of their indoor counterparts.”


Natural Materials

Opt for furniture in wood, teak or rattan. Plastic and faux wood are out, says Country Living magazine. Also look for more organic textures in everything from upholstery to firepits. A distressed wood couch in weathered gray with pastel canvas cushions, for example, could form the centerpiece of your seating area. Outdoor furniture tends to weather and fade anyway, so embrace its natural evolution. Building materials like natural stone in asymmetrical designs are also popular.


Hybrid Grills

With their luxury outdoor kitchens, cooks expect more from their grills. That’s because backyard dining isn’t just about burgers and kabobs anymore. Hosts want to serve their families and guests a complete meal, cooked to perfection. The DIY Network reports that “the al fresco movement has reached epic proportions in the last several years.”

Hybrid grills combine charcoal and gas, allowing more flexibility. Some even feature hardwood grilling and smokers. Cook fast or slow, and with different techniques, depending on what you’re going for.


Backyard Gardening and Farming

Nothing beats the taste of fresh-laid eggs or just-picked herbs. As people become more concerned about the source of their food and its carbon footprint, they’re sourcing their meals closer to home. And you can’t get any closer than the backyard.

Growing herbs, fruits and vegetables is fun and educational, especially for children. Start simple with two or three things. Then talk to your neighbors about swapping what you grow.

But don’t stop with plants. Says blogger Tiffany Davis, “Can livestock really be raised in a traditional backyard? Yes, and you’ll be amazed what you can do!” Adventurous homeowners are raising chickens, ducks, goats, and even bees. More and more communities are offering classes and other resources to teach residents how to succeed with their backyard mini-farm.


Small Swimming Pools

Homeowners still enjoy their swimming pools, but they’re using space more wisely. HGTV says, “we’re seeing more and more people ditch their Olympic-sized pools for a more petite version.” Newer pools follow the trends mentioned above — asymmetrical designs and a natural look, for example. More important, people want them smaller. A pint-sized pool looks classy, uses less water, and leaves room for all of the other features you dream of for your backyard paradise.


Now that you have some ideas, the only limit is your imagination. Increase your enjoyment of your home, and its value, with the perfect backyard paradise.


PHOTO: Marianne / CC0 Public Domain