After a year filled with stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and working/schooling from home, people have begun to take a closer look at how they use their space. Those with outdoor patios, porches, decks, or even front steps likely found themselves spending more time enjoying them and dreaming up improvements. While the pandemic will hopefully recede as vaccine rollouts continue, the emphasis on functional and enjoyable outdoor spaces is here to stay.
Here are a few of the latest tips and trends on outdoor living spaces:
1. Fire Pits
Hugely popular over the last year, fire pits are perfect for a social distance hang and bring the coziness of a campout into your backyard. Enjoy roasting s’mores with the kids, enjoying a drink with friends, or even a quiet night listening to the waves roll in, watching the stars come out with a warm crackling fire nearby. While some love the smell and crackle of a wood fire pit, others opt for the no-fuss, no-firewood gas fire pits. Not only are firepits perfect for summer nights, but they can also facilitate year-round use of your outdoor space.
2. Flexible and Usable Spaces
After a year where our homes transformed from just living spaces into schools, offices, gyms, restaurants, bars, and safe havens, homeowners rediscovered the benefits of flexible and functional outdoor spaces. Comfortable and durable outdoor furniture is key. Enjoy a day working remotely outside, a get-together with friends, or a meal outside!
While outside spaces remain versatile, many homeowners are reverting back to homes with traditional layouts, hoping for a physical (and mental) separation between workspace and living space.
3. Gardens Galore!
Garden spaces, especially edible gardens have been all the rage in the past year. Seeds can even be hard to come by with the increased interest! Not only does converting a bit of your outdoor space into a garden provide you with some fresh produce, but it’s also a satisfying and entertaining activity for the whole family. Even if you don’t have space for a full garden, you can still container garden!
Native plants are increasingly favored in gardens. Not only are they well adapted to living in the area, but they also support native pollinators and bees. The Association to Preserve Cape Cod has a list of native plants and advice for landowners on their website.
Homeowners are also growing more flowers that they can view out their window during a Zoom call or even better to bring inside and spruce up your kitchen table or Zoom background!
4. Fun and Functional Lighting
Who says it’s time to go inside when the sun goes down? Not you with the help of some quality and tasteful outdoor lighting! Edison bulbs remain trendy, and twinkle lights along walkways or around trees are a great way to add depth to your outdoor space. Use your lighting as an accent to the space by spotlighting a tree or fence line or try a unique statement light to draw attention.
Solar lights are a great choice with a wide range of options and are perfect for illuminating walkways.
5. Outdoor Showers
Already a staple of Cape Cod homes, outdoor showers are catching on off-Cape as well! Once you’ve enjoyed a fresh air shower you won’t want to go back to an indoor shower!
6. Clear the Clutter!
Whatever benefits you gain from a lush patio filled with plant life or ample seating are surely negated if there are so many pots or chairs that you stub your toe! Less is more; A decluttered space leaves room for you to enjoy your oasis and can be much more relaxing.
Whatever your patio, porch, deck, or yard get outside and enjoy summer on the Cape and Islands!