SPECIAL REPORT: 5 Trends in Outdoor Living

March 21, 2017

Spring has sprung, and consumers will be looking to refresh and renew their outdoor living spaces. Decks, patios, yards and other landscaping are all in line for seasonal updates, so here are a few trends that consumers might be interested in pursuing in their outdoor areas.

Tiled decks. While wood and composite decks have been the go-to for many homeowners, 2017 may see an increase in the use of tile for outdoor entertaining spaces. Consumers are continuing the trend of creating exterior “rooms” that flow seamlessly or coordinate with their homes’ interiors and are thereby opting to use materials such as porcelain tiles for decks and patios. Products like the Outdoor Flooring System™ by Gratedex® can make the process of installing or replacing tiled decks easier and with fewer steps than traditional installations.

Nonstandard patterns and mixed colors in hardscaping. Another trend in outdoor hard surfaces is the use of creative patterns and coordinating mixed colors in features such as patios, walkways and retaining walls. Rather than using the same color material throughout, landscapers are creating visual appeal by mixing and matching various shades of stone and concrete wall block, breaking up an otherwise bland background. Additionally, to add a bit of artistry to basic walkways, some homeowners are using materials in varying color, size and shape to create “mosaic” effects, like some of these examples seen on Pinterest.

Designating entertainment spaces. Pergolas will remain a strong standard in outdoor shelters, and kits like Trex® Pergola™  offer a convenient option with multiple styles to choose from. Pergolas aren’t the only feature that can be used to designate outdoor spaces. Privacy screens or freestanding walls are also a useful way to visually define entertainment areas. One trend in these features is the incorporation of varied size widths of boards (wide and narrow) combined into a panel or row of panels to provide more visual interest. Additionally, living screens are gaining in popularity as more consumers use vertical structures for plants.

Paint treatments. Color-washed wood, whether an entire structure or part of an artistic landscape feature, is also trending in certain regions. Since this technique can involve multiple steps, retailers have the opportunity for add-on sales within this department, as well as the opportunity to offer DIY workshops to draw consumers into their stores.

Outdoor games. Playing outside doesn’t just have to be for the kids; many adults like to join in the fun. Whether it’s creating a DIY Kerplunk game using a tomato cage, PVC pipes and a few plastic balls or installing a trendy bocce ball court, consumers are finding many ways to include outdoor entertainment in their landscaping plans. Some pre-made backyard games include:

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