Now, more than ever, outdoor living is in! While homeowners have increasingly invested time and money into their yards in recent years, 2020 saw interest in outdoor living spike to unprecedented levels as homeowners everywhere adjusted to a new normal by reimagining how to use and enjoy their exterior spaces. As a result, the outdoor living design trends for the 2021 outdoor living season have never been more inventive.
“Outdoor living spaces offer a chance to decompress, enjoy nature and safely connect with friends and family,” said Chris Cramer from Boise Cascade, a leading U.S. wholesale distributor of building products. Cramer manages the Boise, Idaho branch. “Thanks to the impressive design and quality of today’s outdoor products, these spaces often rival the convenience, comfort and design of the indoors.”
Boise Cascade has teamed with Trex Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking and railing and a leader in high-performance, low-maintenance outdoor living products, to identify five trends expected to shape the outdoor living landscape in 2021.
- Outdoor OfficesAmong the top trends predicted for the coming year is the emergence of outdoor workspaces. With working from home and remote learning expected to continue, contractors report increased interest in outdoor spaces that can comfortably and functionally accommodate professionals and students.Requests for stylish sheds and backyard cottages are on the rise. Pergolas, too, are in high demand. In fact, leading home design site Houzz is calling 2021 “the year of the pergola” due to their versatility and affordability. A relatively easy addition to any deck or yard, a pergola creates the look and feel of an outdoor room while adding a distinct architectural element. Of course, its main purpose is providing shade – essential for enhancing visibility of laptop screens and devices, as well as offering cool relief on hot days.
- Expanded Elbow Room
During the past year, our homes have become offices, classrooms, fitness facilities and rehearsal spaces. It’s no wonder many homeowners find themselves suffering from cabin fever and desperate for some extra elbow room.One simple solution is to optimize the space beneath an elevated deck, an often overlooked area, by adding an under-deck drainage system. Designed to divert water away from the foundation, systems like Trex® RainEscape® protect a deck’s substructure from moisture and create dry space underneath the deck surface that can be used for any number of purposes – from storing seasonal items to serving as bonus living space outfitted with everything from furniture, accessories, lighting and entertainment components, to workout equipment, toys and games for at-home “recess,” or even a dance floor, mirror and ballet bar!
- Take the PlungeAnother trend driven by the pandemic has been the dramatic increase in residential pools, spas and water features. Between travel restrictions and indefinite closings of community pool facilities, homeowners across the country are taking the plunge and installing swimming pools, hot tubs and ponds in their backyards. To give these additions a finished look, surround them with high-performance, low-maintenance composite decking. Unlike wood, composite decking won’t rot, warp, stain or fade and never needs sanding, staining or sealing.“Trex delivers the beauty of wood without the environmental impact, the labor-intensive upkeep or the natural deterioration over time,” says Cramer. “Plus, it’s made from 95% recycled materials and only needs an occasional cleaning with soap and water to maintain its color and aesthetic for decades.”
- Luxury StaycationFueled by the drastic decline in domestic and international travel over the past year, homeowner interest in replicating the sophisticated style and comforts of a luxury hotel or resort in their homes has continued to grow. From plush towels and perfectly plumped pillows to outdoor accents like composite cladding, fire tables, water features and industrial railing, commercially inspired designs can give any home environment the essence of an extravagant staycation.“Homeowners are finding inspiration in commercial settings like upscale hotels and restaurants,” adds Cramer. “Outdoors, this trend is seen in modern railing styles, such as Trex Signature® Railing. The durable, low-maintenance aluminum railing collection delivers sleek sophistication in a range of designs, including horizontal rods, mesh panels and glass inserts.”
- Give It a Try with DIYThe DIY category exploded in 2020, encouraging homeowners to roll up their sleeves and tackle even the most challenging projects – a development experts expect to continue in 2021. Industry analysts are predicting DIY home projects and repairs will shift from a trend to long-term habit with ambitious DIYers aiming to save money and earn some serious bragging rights.Consumers who are comfortable using a hammer and a saw can upgrade their backyard with composite decking. Building or resurfacing a deck with Trex is a doable DIY project that can be completed over the course of a weekend with at least two people.