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Today’s Trends for Backyard Bliss
As we have said often lately, the pandemic changed a lot about the way we live and work, and raised our demands of our homes. Just like the interior of our homes, we demand much more of our outdoor spaces today. Many homeowners are investing in their outdoor spaces, and we have several outdoor living trends to share.
As interest rates have risen, more homeowners are staying and investing in their homes, rather than moving to another home that might already have the amenities they want. According to the most recent study from Yardzen, investment in outdoor projects is all about increasing enjoyment at home.
Outdoor Rooms Add Value
Today’s homebuyers want to have all the functionality they can get outside of the home. Living spaces, cooking spaces, play spaces, outdoor theaters…there are many ways to add to the livability of the back yard. No matter the size of the home or yard, outdoor living spaces add value.
According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, homes with outdoor living spaces sell for an average of $15,000 more than homes without them.
Transforming outdoor living spaces will increase the square footage of your home, without actually adding to the footprint of the house. Providing a space to relax and enjoy the outdoors can be a major selling point for buyers, who are looking for a home that offers a lifestyle that is both comfortable and convenient.
The good news is, landscaping doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Often some good old-fashioned labor can create attractive outdoor spaces that add to the livability of a home. Outdoor living rooms can be found in a deck or patio, or even in a side-yard.
10 Outdoor Living Trends in 2023
1. Home Gardens
The pandemic brought on a huge interest and growth in home gardening. Remember the “Victory Gardens” of WWII? Just like the “Fight Inflation Gardens” of the 70’s, more and more homeowners want to get their hands dirty and grow their own food. It doesn’t matter if your yard is small, or if you live in a community with an HOA, gardens are a value add for a home. Small yards are ideal for raised bed gardens or vertical gardens.
At the top of the list of outdoor living trends is having a manageable garden. According to the Yardzen data, they saw a 30% increase in requests for raised beds, and a 43% increase in requests for a greenhouse. No matter what level of experience, home gardening is something every homeowner can accomplish in some form or another.
2. The Garden Shed
Along with the rise in home gardening, homeowners added a backyard shed to add to their home storage without expanding their square footage. Yardzen saw a 33% increase in sheds, ADU’s and outdoor storage. Think: home office, kid hangout, or gardening shed; all these uses add livability without a great cost or renovation.
3. Increased Play Factor
As families spent more time at home, they increased investment in the backyard as a playground for the kids. For exercise, socialization, creative play and spending time together as a family, the backyard has received a lot of attention lately.
Treehouse builds were up 14%, play structures were up 28%, and slides were purchased 85% more last year.
4. The Plunge Pool
Not only were children playing in the back yard, adults were investing in play equipment too…namely the plunge pool. The top trend among adults was the plunge pool, which is less expensive, requires less maintenance and takes up less space than the traditional pool. And they are a beautiful water feature, no doubt.
5. Dining Al Fresco
The other top outdoor living trend is the outdoor kitchen. An outdoor kitchen can be as elaborate or as simple as a homeowner wants, and still add value. Keep in mind though, that the more elaborate the lower the return on investment.
One of the top trends among homeowners is entertaining at home with the ability to transition from day to night in the back yard. This includes tables large enough to fit a crowd, outdoor bars, pizza ovens, and space heaters for those chili nights.
Yardzen saw a 65% increase in pizza ovens, a 68% increase in large outdoor tables, and a 69% increase in outdoor bars. Outdoor lighting, firepits and outdoor heaters were in demand as well.
6. Outdoor Living Rooms
Comfortable outdoor lounging is also in demand as we spread out in our backyards these days. Firepits are still a popular addition to the backyard design plan. The demand in outdoor full fireplaces rose 40% last year. More people desire the comfort of indoor amenities outdoors.
7. Yards for Wellness
One of the emerging trends since the pandemic is the importance of wellness, both physically and mentally. Stress and anxiety are daily realities that most people believe are important to address. our homes are more and more the place where we look for Zen. Our bathrooms are increasingly designed with spa-like features. Our backyards are meeting that need as well.
Back yards are a great place to devote to relaxation and rejuvenation. Many studies show that being outside is good for health, and the backyard provides additional space for a “digital detox”. Saunas, cedar tubs, cold plunges and outdoor showers are increasingly in demand.
2023 saw an increase in sauna purchases of 45%, a 34% increase in hot tubs, and a 28% increase in outdoor showers. Even wind chime sales were up 13%.
8. Environmentally Friendly Yards
Homeowners have increasingly become aware of the need for regionally environmentally friendly yards. As pollinator populations are dwindling and native species are disappearing, many are researching and acting on what they learn.
Even here in Maryland, the state legislature passed a bill in 2021 limiting the authority of Homeowners associations across the state when it comes to how homeowners can choose to landscape. The object of the bill was to allow homeowners more freedom to plant native species and environmentally friendly designs, as opposed to the strict rules imposed previously.
There are a lot more things that can go in a lawn besides grass that will make the pollinators happy and look great. Grass alternatives, low-water landscaping, and no-grass front yards are increasingly in demand. More homeowners in the west are designing for drought. Native plants are also in more demand as homeowners learn the benefits.
Trees are crucial for reducing climate-warming stresses by sequestering carbon and creating habitat. 47% of respondents in this study reported purchasing additional trees for their landscaping.
9. Organic Maximalist Plantings
Another outdoor living trend that comes from more environmental awareness is landscaping design that includes more organic forms, less modernism or minimalism. Designs include lots of plantings that create habitat and bring in the pollinators. The Yardzen data showed a 100% increase in design plans for a “cottage garden”, which is an organic, maximalist style of gardening. Abundant, wild-inspired plantings, gravel paths and patios, stone pavers and antique-inspired garden décor are hallmarks of the cottage style.
This more organic style of gardening and landscaping is low-maintenance and embraces full and lush plantings that fit in with any style of architecture. It includes more native and climate adapted plants, rather than fussy, hard-to-grow plantings.
10. A Statement Front Porch
While “backyard bliss” is still in demand from homeowners, the front porch is having a moment. Creating a welcoming, decorated front porch is on most homeowner’s agenda in 2023. A front porch of today needs appropriate seating, flowers and a welcome mat.
There has been a significant increase in porch swings, door knobs, house numbers and light fixtures to enhance the front porch.
One of the things I particularly love about Pinterest is the ability to see what’s trending in search. Many ideas for the top outdoor living trends can be found on Pinterest. The Pinterest top trends of 2023 include:
- Foyer entryway décor ideas: +190%
- Front door portico: +40%
- Front door transformation: +85%
- Garden front of house entrance: +115%
- Porch for camper: +115%
Porch and entryway enhancements sound like a small thing, but they can instantly elevate the curb appeal of a home. Curb appeal is a powerful aspect of creating value when selling a home. Studies have shown again and again that most buyers take about 30 seconds to decide if they are interested in a home or not. That is just about the time it takes to drive up to house, park, get out, and walk through the front door. Curb appeal matters!
Popular Outdoor Rooms
Where should you invest in your outdoor living spaces? While you certainly want to make spaces that meet your own family’s needs, it is always a good idea to research outdoor living trends that are current. Some of the most popular outdoor rooms in 2023 include:
- Fire pits
- Outdoor kitchens
Create a Design Plan
When planning an outdoor room, it is important to consider the following factors:
- The climate of the area
- The size of the home
- The budget
Even if you don’t completely stick to your plan, its important to have one. You want to consider both the horizontal and vertical plane in your plan. Pathways are both functional and work to draw your eye through the space. When you plant up, consider trellises, arbors or gazebos for the climbers. Planting up and out can increase the space visually without actually needing more space.
You’ll want to plan your pathways before you do any planting. What kind of pathways you use should fit in with your design esthetic. Stone or pea gravel pathways work well with a cottage garden design. So do natural slate and stone pathways, or even a mix of both. With more formal designs you’ll want to consider hardscape pathways.
Choose materials that are durable and low-maintenance. The idea of adding more living space without a lot of extra work is a smart idea. Not only will future buyers appreciate it, you will have more enjoyment of your outdoor rooms.
- Make sure the space is well-lit and comfortable.
- Add features that will make the space inviting, such as plants, furniture, and a water feature.
- Consider adding a covered area to protect you from the elements.
- Make sure the space is accessible to all members of your family, including those with disabilities.
By following these tips, and considering a few of today’s outdoor living trends, you can create an outdoor room that will add value to your home and enhance your lifestyle.
Pin for later Reading: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/4292562137824668/
Contact Chris Highland to see homes for sale in Frederick Md. We are here to help you navigate through this currently challenging market.