At this time of year, the outside beckons. As we spend more time outdoors, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to want to update their outdoor spaces with the kinds of amenities that duplicate what they enjoy in their indoor spaces. We’re not just talking about a gas grill on the patio; far more elaborate open-air amenities are on the rise.
For those looking to invest in their backyard entertainment spaces—and add value to their home—I’ve created a round up here of some of the hottest outdoor home trends in exterior design. From built-in barbecues and pizza ovens, to weather-resistant televisions and overnight mosquito sprayers, your outdoor oasis awaits!
1. Al Fresco Media Rooms: When it’s 80+ degrees outside but you want to catch up on your Netflix viewing, an outdoor media room is in order. Homeowners are opting to install retractable screens in covered spaces that both protect technology from the elements and ensure sun glare won’t interfere with what’s on the screen. (Game of Thrones, anyone?) Weatherproof TVs that can handle rain, dust, salty air, and humidity also offer a higher brightness and more reduced glare than many indoor products on the market today.
2. Outdoor Kitchens: Cooking outside used to mean throwing some hot dogs and hamburgers on a charcoal grill. Now, gourmet meals can be put together in outdoor cooking areas complete with high-end appliances. Rotisserie grills, ceramic grills, deep fryers, smokers and even pizza ovens can be found in some of the more elaborate outdoor kitchens. Don’t feel like carrying all the dirty dishes inside for washing? Dishwashers now come in outdoor versions, with winterization features. Add to the list custom cabinetry to store your outdoor flatware and dinnerware and…you get the picture.
3. Free-standing bar: Tiki huts or similar free-standing bars that offer drinks and entertainment separate from the outdoor kitchen are on the rise, too. They can be designed to offer views of the pool or landscaped gardens, and may feature comfortable seating, a cocktail prep area, beer tap, and cold storage.
4. High-tech outdoor systems: When planning outdoor spaces, homeowners are considering heating and cooling systems just as they do for their homes’ interiors. Fireplaces, fire pits, and stylized space heaters extend the use of outdoor areas in the cooler months, and ceiling fans and cooling mist systems keep the cool breezes flowing on the hottest days. To keep insects in check, mosquito control systems can be installed that will de-bug your backyard overnight.
5. Indoor-worthy furniture and flooring: If you do make some of these investments in your outdoor spaces, you’ll need comfortable and attractive furniture on which to enjoy your entertainment and meals! Sitting on your old weather-beaten wicker won’t cut it. Advances in the industry make it possible to have fully upholstered, weatherproof furniture that’s comfortable enough for the duration of a leisurely dinner or two-hour movie. And for feeling barefoot and fancy free, new eco-friendly deck materials both look great and will leave you splinter-free. (That said, bluestone continues to be a hot trend).
The key to enhancing your outdoor space is to ensure that the work is done professionally and the materials are high-quality and built to last. Savvy buyers will appreciate well-designed exterior “rooms,” which add to a home’s value as well.
Before starting any project, do your research. You’ll need to find a great contractor, understand the rules governing your property and the permits you may need, and know which features will help maximize the ROI of your outdoor living additions. With over 15 years of experience helping my with this process, I’d be happy to help guide you through.
Contact Fiona at 914-417-5147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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